Economic Globalization has Become An Irreversible Historical Trend : Xi

President Xi Jinping sent a strong message of pursuing open global economies, supporting free trade and building a multilateral trade system in a highly anticipated speech delivered at the APEC CEO Summit in Vietnam.

Xi arrived in Da Nang on Friday to attend the annual APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting, scheduled for Nov. 10-11. He made the speech with the theme of “Creating New Dynamism, Fostering a Shared Future” immediately after arriving in Da Nang from Beijing on Friday afternoon.

Sharing his observations about the global economy, Xi said the world is witnessing profound changes in growth drivers, the model of global growth, economic globalization and the system of global economic governance.

He called on the 21 APEC members to continue to foster an open economy that benefits all, pursue innovation-driven development and create new drivers of growth, enhance connectivity and achieve interconnected development, and make economic development more inclusive and deliver its benefits to the people.

Xi defended the significance of economic globalization in his speech, saying that it has contributed greatly to global growth over the last few decades.

“Indeed, it has become an irreversible historical trend,” he said.

But he also acknowledged that economic globalization faces new adjustments in both form and substance.

“In pursuing economic globalization, we should make it more open and inclusive, more balanced, more equitable and beneficial to all,” he said.

In his speech, Xi highlighted the importance of improving a multilateral trade system and pursuing shared growth through win-win cooperation.

Mentioning that China will commemorate the 40th anniversary of reform and opening-up next year, Xi pledged to make continuous efforts to boost both.

“In pursuing economic globalization, we should make it more open and inclusive, more balanced, more equitable and beneficial to all,” he said.

He pointed out that the current headwinds confronting economic globalization is mostly generated by the lack of inclusiveness in development.

“Hard work is still needed if we are to bring the benefits of development to countries across the globe and people across our society, and thus turn our vision into reality,” he said.

President Xi renewed his call for building a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP), saying it is the long-cherished dream of the business community in the region and can provide an institutional underpinning for growing an open economy in the Asia-Pacific.

“China will not slow its steps in opening itself up. We will work together with other countries to create new drivers of common development through the launching of the Belt and Road Initiative,” he said.

The initiative, proposed by Xi in 2013, aims to boost interconnectivity and free trade between China and the rest of the world, with a focus on building a vast logistics and transportation network.

“This initiative is from China, but it belongs to the world. It is rooted in history, but it is oriented toward the future,” Xi said, adding that the initiative will create a broader and more dynamic platform for Asia-Pacific cooperation.

China is now a main driver of global growth, Xi said, noting that over the past four years, China’s economy has grown by 7.2 percent on average annually, contributing more than 30 percent of global growth.

The president’s speech came after China’s announcement on Friday that it will ease market access in finance sectors including banks, security funds and insurance, and gradually reduce tariffs on imported automobiles.

Xi told the business leaders that in the next 15 years, it is estimated China will import $24 trillion worth of goods, attract $2 trillion of inbound direct investment and make outbound investment worth $2 trillion.

In his speech, Xi also expressed his confidence and determination to achieve the goal of lifting all of the country’s poor people out of poverty by 2020.

It was the most important speech Xi has delivered at an international event since the conclusion of the Communist Party of China’s 19th National Congress, held last month, during which the CPC elected its new Central Committee.

The congress formulated a guide to action and a development blueprint for China in the new era, Xi said, adding that under the leadership of the CPC, the Chinese people will embark on a new journey.