China's continuous opening-up means more opportunities

By: XinhuaFrom:English Edition of Xinhua | Updated: 2019-Apr-12 11:35
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BEIJING, April 11 (Xinhua) -- Since Chinese President Xi Jinping announced a slew of opening-up measures a year ago, the country has been translating words into actions with solid progress.

"I wish to make it clear to all that China's door of opening-up will not be closed and will only open even wider," Xi assured the world with concrete measures to further open up China's market at the annual conference of the Boao Forum for Asia on April 10, 2018.

Xi announced that China would significantly broaden market access to manufacturing and financial sectors, create a more attractive investment environment, strengthen protection of intellectual property rights (IPR), and expand imports.

One year on, consistent opening-up measures have been implemented in China, which are solid enough to convince skeptics over whether China will make good its promises.

People were surprised to see that nine months after Xi's speech, U.S. electric carmaker Tesla broke ground in Shanghai on its first overseas factory, also the first-ever wholly foreign-owned car plant in China. In addition, German insurer Allianz Group has gained permission for establishment of an insurance holding company in China, which is China's first wholly-owned insurance holding company by a foreign insurer.

To boost imports, the country lowered tariffs for an array of products including automobiles, medicine, and daily consumer goods. With a booming domestic consumption market, China is willing to share its vast opportunities.

Another landmark move was the approval of the Foreign Investment Law. When it goes into effect next year, the law will help ensure foreign investors enjoy equal access to China's opportunities by regulations including a system of pre-establishment national treatment plus a negative list.

One of the major concerns bothering foreign investors is IPR protection. Foreign businesses have been complaining about poor law enforcement and low damages awarded from IPR cases in China.

After vowing to "step up law enforcement," and "significantly raise the cost for offenders," at last year's Boao forum, China has been taking solid steps to address such problems.

An encouraging sign is that Chinese courts concluded 41.8 percent more IPR-related cases of first instance in 2018.

Though not perfect, China's IPR protection mechanism has always been improving. A draft amendment to the patent law was submitted for top legislature review, with revisions to increase the compensation for patent infringement to impose "unaffordable costs" on serious violations.

Such moves are in line with the country's efforts to continue its shift to high-quality development. As the country relies more on innovation to boost its economic growth, strengthened IPR protection is an essential part of China's reform and opening-up.

"Continuous reform and opening-up has been and remains a key driver for China's success," World Bank country director for China Bert Hofman said, noting that China's commitment to reform and opening-up would mean more opportunities for the rest of the world.

With promises honored and remarkable results achieved, more acts including shortening the negative list for foreign investment are around the corner. The world has good reason to expect even further opening-up from China in the future.