China to chop tariffs, enhance imports of high-quality items and providers: Xi

© Reuters. Leaders of APEC economies and business executives speak at the CEO Dialogue forum via video link ahead of the leaders’ summit

BEIJING (Reuters) – China will continue to cut its tariffs and expand imports of high-quality goods and services, Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Thursday, while vowing to push reforms and promote an innovation-driven growth model.

“We will further reduce tariffs and institutional costs…, and expand imports of high-quality products and services from all countries,” Xi said in a keynote speech delivered via video at the APEC CEO Dialogues, ahead of a leaders’ virtual summit on the future of international cooperation on Friday.

China will pursue higher quality growth through its “dual circulation” development model, driven by technological innovation, Xi said.

Xi also called for stronger policy coordination among international communities and said globalisation is “irreversible” and that China will not engage in “de-coupling”.

“Our new development pattern is not a closed domestic single circulation, but an open and mutually promoting domestic and international dual circulation,” Xi said.

The “dual circulation” strategy envisages that China’s next phase of development will depend mainly on “domestic circulation” or an internal cycle of production, distribution and consumption, backed by domestic technological innovation.

Xi also said China will sign free trade pacts with more countries and will promote a high-quality Belt and Road initiative.

At a key meeting last month, Xi and other leaders laid out a blueprint for China’s five-year plan and key objectives for the next 15 years. They include a goal to turn China into a “high income” nation by 2025 and advance to a “moderately developed” nation by 2035.

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