China has entered a phase of high-quality development, which requires deeper reforms and greater openness. The Central Economic Labor Conference, in particular, emphasized the way and process of opening up China and the need for the country to take the initiative to uphold the high standards of economic and trade rules. international.
China must first build a healthy external environment to ensure macroeconomic stability. Ensuring stable economic development is therefore a priority for China in 2022. Trade agreements are an important mechanism for promoting the stable development of bilateral relations and creating a healthy external environment, and stable expectations for foreign trade and investment. foreign exchange can be achieved to some extent through the signing of multilateral trade agreements and regional trade agreements.
In 2021, for example, bilateral trade between China and the United States maintained a high growth rate. Through the analysis of the data, we can see that the first phase trade agreement signed between the two countries played a stabilizing role in the development of their trade relations. The stable economic and trade development of China, Southeast Asia and many countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative has also benefited from the China-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement and the Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement, which provided significant political support to help maintain the stability of industrial supply chains.
An important development in 2022 will be the implementation of the Comprehensive Regional Economic Partnership Agreement, which entered into force on January 1. . But China’s active participation in economic and trade rule-making includes not only regional trade agreements, but also advancing the negotiations on relevant rules at the multilateral level of the World Trade Organization.
Through institutional opening, China can improve its market system and boost the vitality of market players. With the practice of openness and innovation from the inside out and from the bottom up, the goal of continuously boosting the vitality of market players can be achieved through the macroeconomic policies proposed during the the Central Economic Labor Conference. At the same time, we must ensure that the interests and demands of Chinese enterprises can be met when the international economic and trade rules undergo restructuring.
For its part, China will strive to ensure national treatment for foreign-invested enterprises, shorten the negative list of access to foreign investment, expand the opening up of service sectors such as telecommunications and healthcare. health in an orderly manner, revise and expand the catalog of industries to encourage foreign investment and introduce a negative list for cross-border trade in services in pilot free trade zones. China will also seek to attract more investment from multinational companies and speed up the implementation of large foreign investment projects while promoting high-quality cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative.
International trade rules include rules for the facilitation of business. There are some important rules and provisions regarding SOE reform in the CPTPP that China seeks to join. The goal of the reform of Chinese state-owned enterprises in 2022 is to achieve a three-year action plan and regularly promote the reform of monopoly industries such as the power grid and railways. In the reform process, there is a need to increase transparency, standardize trade assistance, and combine international standards with China’s own reforms to better boost the economic vitality of all Chinese state-owned enterprises.
China will also strengthen rule-making for the development of the digital economy and promote rules related to fair competition. Maintaining relevant rules for the protection of intellectual property rights will help promote economic innovation and an innovative economy.
At present, China has formed its own advantages in the process of institutional innovation in each pilot free trade zone where there is a need to conduct policy coordination and cooperative innovation to facilitate domestic circulation, such as the unification of certain standard rules, which is an important guarantee to promote national economic circulation through institutional innovation.
In the field of global climate change, the establishment of rules relating to climate change linked to international trade has accelerated, such as the carbon border regulation mechanism proposed in Europe. This has exerted some external pressure on China, but it is also an important opportunity for China’s economic and industrial transformation and development. China will participate in establishing the rules for promoting green development. In the process, China will promote quality growth of its economy through the expansion of its carbon market and the development of a domestic carbon tax, while paying attention to the interests of developing countries in the negotiations on the rules, by grasping the law of historical development and the construction of an international rule system for inclusive development.
This reflects the fact that China has moved from learning and obeying international rules to actively participating in building international economic and trade rules in the process of complying with international rules. High-level openness is an important driving force to promote comprehensive reform, and taking the initiative to adopt high-level international economic and trade rules is an important avenue for China to pursue high-level opening. .
The author is director of the Department of International Trade, Institute of World Economics and Politics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. The author contributed this article to China Watch, a think tank powered by China Daily. Opinions do not necessarily reflect those of China Daily.
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