By Liu Zhiqiang, Han Xin from People’s Daily
China’s reform and opening up policy, an important engine driving up its economy in the past 40 years, would ensure a high-quality economic growth in the future, scholars and entrepreneurs agreed at a high-level seminar kicked off in Beijing on September 16.
During the China Development Forum Special Session organized by China Development Research Foundation, academic and business representatives have shared their opinions on China’s huge achievements over the past four decades, and looked into the prosperous future under the deepening reform and opening up.
“China’s GDP, calculated at comparable prices, achieved an average annual growth of 9.5 percent in the past 40 years, far above the world average of 2.9 percent in the same period,” said Li Wei, Minister of the Development Research Center of the State Council.
With its GDP exceeding 80 trillion yuan in 2017, China had become the world’s second largest economy, the largest industrial country, the largest merchandise trader, the biggest holder of foreign exchange reserves, and the second largest nation regarding research and development input, Li added.
Over the past four decades, 700 million Chinese have been lifted out of absolute poverty, accounting for over 70 percent of global poverty reduction in the period. The life expectancy of the Chinese rose to 76.7 in 2017 from 67.8 in 1981.
Besides, the average years of schooling for residents above 15 years old has increased to 9.6 in 2017 from 5.3 in 1982.
China has made itself a primary driving force for global economic growth by maintaining its contribution rate at over 30 percent for years.
On one hand, China provides the international market with huge amount of high-quality products at low prices as the world’s largest exporter, while on the other hand, the country offers other countries a chance to share its economic fruits by allowing global commodities to access the market with over a billion consumers as the globe’s second biggest importer.
As a developing country that attracts the most foreign capital, China has offered dividend of its economic development to foreign-funded enterprises.
In addition, Chinese companies are also accelerating their overseas expansion, which is in turn promoting economic and technological development of their investment destinations.
China’s reform and opening up had brought and would continuously bring huge benefits to both China and the rest of world, remarked Robert Zoellick, Chairman of the Board of Alliance Bernstein Corporation and former president of the World Bank.
He believes that a more open policy will better facilitate economic globalization, suggesting that China keep deepening reform and opening up to prop up confidence of the global market.
Reforms on property right and market should be propelled simultaneously to ensure effectiveness of economic system reform, Yang Weimin, deputy director of Committee of Economic Affairs of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) National Committee, said when elaborating on how to reassure China high-quality development through reforms in the next step.
He described property right and market as the most effective incentive, and the most useful way for allocation of resources respectively to realize the goal of economic system reform.
China would improve proprietorship and its derivatives including contracting right, right to use, right of management, leasehold and usufruct to perfect the property right mechanism, he elaborated on the country’s tasks in the next phase.
In addition, China should reduce the government interference in resource allocation and let the market to decide, Yang added.
The private sector had made huge progress since the reform and opening up, and China’s economic development in the next phase should depend more on independent innovation, said Fan Gang, president of China Development Institute.
He called on Chinese entrepreneurs to carry forward innovation spirit in both technologies and market models, saying effective measures should be adopted to further develop the private sector and vitalize the economy.
Foreign guests invited to the event also expressed their expectation for China’s openness, saying it would benefit every country in the world.
China released an important signal as it reduced tariffs on imported cars from 25 percent to 15 percent, said President of BMW Group Region China Jochen Goller.
He noted that China had professional employees and well-built infrastructure, which would continue to make the country a hot investment destination for transnational companies.
China should play a more important role in the international community in the future, lauded Zoellick, citing the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank that set an example in many aspects.
Zhu Min, Chairman of Tsinghua University’s National Institute of Financial Research said that China must keep its own momentum for robust growth while opening to the world in this competitive market.
“To further deepen reform and opening up is a piece of good message both for China and the world,” he remarked.