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Forum on National Affairs 2019 in Shanghai: Opening Up at a Higher Level

Date: 2019-09-03

                         The Forum on National Affairs was held on August 23rd-24th in Shanghai

On August 23rd-24th, the Forum on National Affairs 2019 was held in Shanghai. The forum was host by the Counsellors’ Office of the State Council (COSC), China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) and China Society of Economic Reform (CSER), and co-organized by the Counsellors’ Office of Shanghai Municipal People’s Government and Xinhuanet. The National Affairs Forum, an annual forum of COSC, is themed “Marching towards Opening to the Outside World at a Higher Level”. Wan Gang, Vice Chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference and President of the China Association for Science and Technology, delivered a keynote speech at the forum. Chairman of COSC Wang Zhongwei, Vice Mayor of Shanghai Chen Qun, Vice President of CCPIT Lu Pengqi, and Vice President of CSER Wang Zhan addressed the forum. Over 400 participants, including representatives of international organizations, officials of the State Council agencies, counsellors of the State Council, COSC research fellows, counsellors of local governments, as well as academics, entrepreneurs and journalists joined the discussions. The opening ceremony was chaired by Zhao Bing, Vice Chairman of COSC.
 
       Wan Gang, Vice Chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference and President of the China Association for Science and Technology, delivered a keynote speech at the forum.

In this speech titled “Stepping up Science and Technology Innovation and Promoting Opening-up and Cooperation at a Higher Level”, Vice Chairman Wan Gang highlighted the overarching, systematic and historic challenges on China’s innovation landscape and China’s growing strength in science and technology, thanks to more than 40 years of hard work since reform and opening-up and the innovation-driven development strategy that has been implemented since the 18th Party Congress. To promote opening-up and cooperation at a higher level, China needs to work with all other countries to build a win-win partnership to address common challenges including climate change, energy security, health, and food security. While pursuing its own development, China should let other countries and people benefit as well and strive for balanced and sustainable development across the world.

 Chairman of COSC Wang Zhongwei Wang Zhongwei spoke at the forum.

Wang Zhongwei stressed that counsellors must follow the guidance of the Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era as they advise the government on policy making. The focus should be the basic state policy of opening up. Interactions must be held with all stakeholders to build consensus, pool wisdom, and tackle challenges with courage. Efforts must be made to create a law-based and business-friendly business environment that is up to international standards. Institutional innovation should be deepened in pilot free trade zones to promote trade liberalization and facilitation. Counsellors should make targeted policy advice to support high quality development through high-level opening up.
 
                                   Vice Mayor of Shanghai Chen Qun spoke at the forum.

Chen explained that the leapfrog development in Shanghai has been attributed to opening up and said that to achieve development of higher quality, Shanghai must open up at a higher level. Shanghai will continue to drive reform through opening up and promote development through opening up. In so doing, Shanghai endeavors to lead the country in a new round of higher-level opening up.
 
                                    CCPIT Vice President Lu Peng addressed the forum.
  
Lu Peng said in his speech that China must stay committed to building an open economy by pursuing high quality development of the Belt and Road Initiative, steadily improving the quality of foreign trade, effectively utilizing foreign investment, improving the business environment, and getting deeply involved in the reform of the global economic governance system. The CCPIT is ready to provide facilitation for companies to engage in international cooperation. 
 
                                    CSER Vice President Wang Zhan spoke at the forum.

Wang Zhan described China’s development as a process of opening up and reform. The Belt and Road Initiative is designed to share China’s experiences and achievements in reform and opening up and pursue win-win cooperation. The Chinese economy has been resilient and vibrant because of China’s continuous opening-up at a high level and deepening reform.
 
                           Counsellor of the State Council Zhu Guangyao made a keynote speech.

Counsellor of the State Council Zhu Guangyao said that the global economy faces the risk of recession. The only right way forward is to return to multilateral coordination and cooperation, mutual respect, policy coordination and win-win cooperation. Shi Liangping, counsellor of the Shanghai Municipal Government, made the remark that China can only remain a leader in Globalization 4.0 through opening-up and reform of higher standards and quality.
 
                      WIPO Director General Francis Gurry sent a video message to the forum.
 
                                                                                     
                     
ASEAN Deputy Secretary General Aladdin D. Rillo made a keynote speech.

 

                   UN Resident Coordinator Nicolas Rosellini delivered a keynote speech.
 
     David Aikman, Chief Representative Officer for Greater China and Member of the Executive Committee of World Economic Forum , made a keynote speech.
 
                         Zhao Bing, Vice Chairman of COSC, moderated the opening ceremony.
 
China cannot develop in isolation of the world, and the world’s prosperity also depends on China. WIPO Director General Francis Gurry said in his video message that openness and connections building has always been the key to success in global affairs since ancient times. China has been a leader in innovation and intellectual property, which means the world looks to China to play a leading role in the future development of intellectual property system. ASEAN Deputy Secretary General Aladdin D. Rillo believed that in an age of economic globalization, economies are interdependent and that only through continuous cooperation can global challenges be resolved. UN Resident Coordinator in China Nicolas Rosellini made the remark that reform and opening-up has brought about tremendous changes in China and its relations with the world. The furthest reaching impact is China’s changing role in the world. David Aikman, Chief Representative Officer for Greater China and Member of the Executive Committee of World Economic Forum, called the Belt and Road Initiative as China’s most important measure in opening-up, which enhances China’s exchanges and links with countries along the routes and brings about prosperity in the entire region. The more than 100 work streams of the World Economic Forum welcome China’s cooperation in all areas to shape the future.

Higher-level opening-up requires concrete measures. The forum held dialogues on topics such as international cooperation on the Belt and Road Initiative, free trade zones and ports, opening-up along the borders, the rule of law, business environment, bilateral and multilateral cooperation and WTO reform. A special session for the counsellors was held to pool wisdom and make policy advice on opening up at a higher level in the new era. During the forum, field visits were arranged to the National Convention Center (Shanghai) and the Greenland Global Commodity Trading Hub, where visitors learned about the China International Import Expo and the shipping of imported products.