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Premier speaks at ASEAN Business and Investment Summit

Updated: Nov 13,2020 09:17 PM

Premier Li Keqiang delivered a speech to the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit via video link on Nov 13.

He said the unexpected COVID-19 outbreak has posed a serious threat to the lives and health of people in all countries, and caused the worst recession in world economy since World War II.

ASEAN countries are China’s neighbors and important partners, he added. The trade and investment between the two sides are rising against headwinds, with the volume of trade growing 5 percent and China’s investment in ASEAN up 76.6 percent year-on-year.

ASEAN has become China's largest trading partner, and their bilateral economic and industrial relationship has become closer, he noted.

China adopted effective and appropriate macroeconomic policies in a timely manner while addressing epidemic prevention and control. With the Chinese people’s all-out efforts, China registered positive economic growth for the first three quarters and stabilized its economic fundamentals, which is a hard-won achievement for a country with a population of 1.4 billion, Premier Li said.

To stabilize employment and economic fundamentals, the government has carried out a slew of policies to help enterprises tide over difficulties, especially micro, small and medium-sized enterprises and individual business, he said.

According to the Premier, continuous efforts have been made to promote fee and tax cuts, administrative reforms and improve the domestic business environment, which have energized hundreds of millions of market players.

The daily number of newly registered market players in China has now returned to the level over the same period last year, he said, emphasizing the survival of such a huge number of market players guarantees employment and people’s livelihoods.

The Chinese people are resilient and market players are highly confident of the future, and it is safe to say China’s economy will see positive growth this year, Premier Li said, adding China takes the lead in recovering and developing the economy.

Both China and ASEAN are aware they are still facing many difficulties and challenges; not only economic recession and shrinking trade, but also the rise of protectionism, he said. China will uphold the concept of building a community with a shared future for mankind, strengthen cooperation with ASEAN countries and safeguard multilateralism, free trade, and peace and development in the world, he added.

This year, Premier Li said, marks the 75th anniversary of the victory of the world anti-Fascist war and the establishment of the United Nations. In the past 75 years, Asia walked out from turbulence, conflicts and poverty toward peace, cooperation, and prosperity.

"We are deeply aware of the importance of regional peace and stability. It is not only the need for business and investment, but also serves the expectation of long-term stability and sound development," Premier Li noted.

According to the Premier, China always advocates free trade under the framework of the World Trade Organization and supports regional economic integration and economic globalization. Since establishment, the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area has witnessed expanding fields and upgraded cooperation.

Premier Li said the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, which is expected to be concluded during the meeting, will send a positive and clear signal to regional economic integration.

"We are willing to enhance connection of development strategies with ASEAN countries on the basis of mutual benefits and win-win results, and promote Belt and Road cooperation," Premier Li said.

China will make all-out efforts to push forward regional economic recovery, Premier Li said. He said East Asia has played an important role in driving the global economy in past years, and it should carry out that responsibility in regard to the present international situation.

He called on the countries concerned to join hands and work together to promote regional economic recovery and seek prosperity, which will greatly help global economic recovery. To achieve this goal, cooperation on advanced technology is necessary among large enterprises, and new cooperation highlights in new fields such as micro, small and medium-sized enterprises’ development.

Next year will be the 30th anniversary of the establishment of China-ASEAN dialogue relations, and the two sides’ bilateral ties will be more mature, Premier Li said. He added he believes the relations will continue to achieve win-win results and initiate new prospects in business, trade and investment cooperation, which will further benefit the people of both sides and safeguard peace, stability and prosperity in the region and the world.