China President Xi Jinping said the country would continue to open up while pursuing its own development path, amid lingering concerns among investors over its economy.
(Bloomberg) — China President Xi Jinping said the country would continue to open up while pursuing its own development path, amid lingering concerns among investors over its economy.
“China will stay committed to advancing high standard opening up, pursuing Chinese modernization on all fronts with high quality development and creating new opportunities for open cooperation across the world,” Xi said in a video address to the China International Fair for Trade in Services in Beijing, according to China Central Television.
The Chinese leader pledged to ease market access in the services sector, with further opening up in areas including legal, telecommunications, tourism and professional examinations.
Xi said China would build a national trading market for voluntary greenhouse gas emission reductions. He also called on nations to “safeguard the hard won free trade and multilateral trade system.”
Xi’s comments come as his government steps up efforts to stimulate the economy and support the country’s currency. The People’s Bank of China said Friday it would trim the amount of foreign currency deposits that banks are required to hold as reserves for the first time this year. That move came just hours after authorities announced fresh stimulus for the property sector and unveiled plans to expand tax breaks for child and parental care and education.
See: China Ramps Up Campaign to Boost Fragile Economy, Currency
In previous years, Xi has used the fair to reaffirm China’s commitment to opening up. There have been indications that foreign businesses are looking for more than just pledges this time around, with European Chamber President, Jens Eskelund, saying last month some executives are feeling “promise fatigue.”
Some encouraging signs are appearing that a slump in factory activity may be ending. A private survey of China’s manufacturing activity unexpectedly expanded in August, hitting the highest level since February and well above economists’ estimates.
More than 2,000 exhibitors are expected to participate in the trade fair, which runs from Saturday to Wednesday. The UK will have a pavilion at the fair as the guest country of honor, and Chinese state media reported that representatives from HSBC Holdings Plc, Standard Chartered Plc and Schroders Plc are expected to attend.
(Updates with more details from speech from third paragraph.)
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