High level of opening up to the outside world to achieve China's new development


Since the 18th Party Congress, China has implemented a more proactive opening-up strategy, built a global network of high-standard free trade zones, accelerated the construction of pilot free trade zones and Hainan Free Trade Port, and built the "Belt and Road" as a popular international public product and international cooperation platform. With the implementation of a series of high-level opening-up policies and initiatives, China's economic and social development has maintained a good momentum and become an important driving force in leading global development.

Despite the rise of global counter-globalization, unilateralism and protectionism, China's openness has continued to rise. According to the World Openness Report 2022 jointly released by the Institute of World Economics and Politics of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and the Hongqiao International Economic Forum Research Center, the world openness index will be 0.7491 in 2020, down 0.02% from 2019 and 1.5% from 2015; however, China's openness index has improved from 0.7107 in 2012 to 0.7507, an increase of 5.6%, making it an important driving force for common global openness. At the same time, China has explored a number of groundbreaking and leading reforms and high-level opening initiatives. As of 2022, China has set up 21 pilot FTZs; the Negative Market Access List (2022 Edition) lists 6 prohibited access items and 111 permitted access items, a reduction of up to 64% compared to the 2016 Draft Negative Market Access List (Pilot Edition). China has also achieved zero manufacturing entries on the negative list in the Pilot Free Trade Zone and launched the country's first negative list for cross-border trade in services in Hainan Free Trade Port.

Today, China has become a major trading partner of more than 140 countries and regions, ranking first in the world in total trade in goods, attracting foreign investment and outbound investment, and forming a wider, broader and deeper pattern of opening up to the outside world. 2022 will see China's foreign trade scale hit a new record high and maintain its status as the world's top goods trading country for six consecutive years. Data from the General Administration of Customs show that China's total trade in goods exceeded the RMB 40 trillion mark for the first time in 2022, continuing to grow by 7.7% from a high base in 2021. At the same time, China's foreign investment absorption and outbound investment cooperation continue to maintain good growth momentum. Data from China's Ministry of Commerce show that from January to November 2022, China's actual use of foreign investment amounted to RMB 1.156 trillion, up 9.9% on a comparable basis compared with the same period of the previous year; equivalent to USD 178.08 billion, up 12.2% compared with the same period of the previous year. During the same period, China's outward non-financial direct investment was RMB 687.86 billion, up 7.4% over the same period last year; equivalent to USD 102.66 billion, up 3.6% over the same period last year.

China's economic and social development has made a series of remarkable achievements in the high level of opening up to the outside world, and China has become the country with the closest economic volume to the U.S. in the past century. 2012 to 2021, China's gross domestic product (GDP) grew from 54 trillion yuan to 114.9 trillion yuan, accounting for 18.5% of the world economy, an increase of 7.2 percentage points, and firmly ranking second in the world. In 2021, China's total GDP at market exchange rates reaches $17.8 trillion, equivalent to 77% of the U.S. GDP. This share breaks the previous record of 72% of U.S. GDP set by Japan in 1995, making it the second-largest economy to reach the highest share of the U.S. economy in the past century. After surpassing Japan as the second largest economy in 2010, China's total GDP reached more than double Japan's total GDP in 2014, 3.6 times Japan's total GDP in 2021, and is expected to reach 4.3 times Japan's total GDP in 2022.

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