January 17, 2024
BEIJING – Premier Li Qiang assured the world on Tuesday that the Chinese economy will grow steadily thanks to its sound and solid fundamentals in terms of an industrial base, production factors and innovation capacity, as well as its huge market.
When addressing the 54th Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Li called on enterprises from around the world to continue to invest in China, and said “choosing the Chinese market is not a risk, but an opportunity”.
The Chinese economy is estimated to have grown around 5.2% in 2023, higher than the official target of 5 percent, Li said at the meeting, which is being attended by the global elite from the fields of politics, business, culture and civil society.
“The overall trend of long-term growth will not change. It will provide continuous and strong impetus to the development of the world,” he said.
Noting that China has a mega market with rapidly unlocked demand, the premier said the nation is also cultivating large-scale new growth drivers in areas such as a new type of urbanization and green transition, which will provide broader space for boosting global trade and investment.
“No matter how the world changes, China will stay committed to the fundamental national policy of opening-up and open its door still wider to the world,” he said. “We embrace investments from businesses of all countries with open arms.”
China will steadily expand institutional opening-up in terms of rules, standards and management, continue to shorten the negative list for foreign investment, provide national treatment for foreign businesses, and keep fostering a market-oriented, law-based and world-class business environment, he added.
As the World Economic Forum’s 2024 annual meeting is themed “Rebuilding Trust”, the premier urged the international community to discard prejudices, bridge differences, treat each other with sincerity, and work as one in the same direction to tackle the trust deficit.
Li put forward a five-point proposal on rebuilding trust, enhancing cooperation and promoting world economic recovery, including strengthening macroeconomic policy coordination among nations and firmly upholding the multilateral trading system to build greater synergy for global growth.
In order to keep global industrial and supply chains stable and smooth, he called for strengthening industrial specialization and collaboration, as well as firmly advancing trade and investment liberalization and facilitation.
Efforts should be made to strengthen international exchanges and cooperation on science and technology, work together for an open, just and nondiscriminatory environment for the development of science and technology, and break the barriers impeding the flow of factors for innovation, he said.
After his address, Li answered questions from Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum, on topics including artificial intelligence governance and the multilateral system. He said that true multilateralism should be built on basic norms governing international relations based on the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter.
“China neither walks away from agreements nor pulls out of organizations; nor do we ask other countries to pick sides; and we have always been a staunch supporter of multilateralism,” Li said.
Raymund Chao, chairman of PwC Asia Pacific and China, told China Daily that Premier Li’s speech highlights the steady progress of the Chinese economy, which serves as a strong driving force for global economic recovery and growth.
In the face of global challenges such as AI technology disruption and climate change, it is crucial to strengthen cooperation and pursue mutual benefits in order to achieve sustainable development, Chao said.