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[Yearly Overview XIII for Commerce Work in 2018] Overcome Difficulties and Actively Create the New Situation for Multilateral Economic and Trade Cooperation
  

In 2018, in accordance with the requirements and plans of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council and guided by President Xi Jinping鈥檚 Thought on Socialism with Chinese characteristics for a New Era and the spirit of the 19th CPC National Congress and the second and third plenary sessions of the 19th Central Committee of the Communist Party, MOFCOM accelerated the implementation of the Free Trade Zone strategy, took all out to hold the Hongqiao International Economic and Trade Forum of the first China International Import Expo, and actively participated in the cooperation of multilateral regional mechanisms such as the G20, the BRICS and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC). Remarkable results have been achieved.

First, MOFCOM actively contributed to the Chinese program on global economic governance reform. In the major series of home-based diplomatic activities, MOFCOM constructively participated in and actively led multilateral cooperation mechanisms to contribute the Chinese program and Chinese wisdom. First, the first Hongqiao International Economic and Trade Forum was successfully hosted. More than 40 distinguished guests from the political and business circles were invited to attend and speak in three parallel forums, with more than 2,400 delegates from more than 130 countries and regions. The guests deeply discussed the new ideas for the reform of the global economic governance system while focusing on the theme of 鈥渟purring new vitality of global trade, creating an open and win-win scenario,鈥and jointly and loudly spoke out against protectionism and unilateralism, which gathered positive energy to maintain free trade and the multilateral trading system. It has aroused enthusiastic response from all walks of life both at home and abroad. Second, MOFCOM constructively participated in and guided the G20 economic and trade cooperation. MOFCOM promoted the successful hosting of the conference of Trade Ministers in Argentina in September and achieved pragmatic results. MOFCOM finally promoted the G20 Summit in Buenos Aires to issue a declaration in a complicated and grim situation at the end of November, reaching consensuses on major issues such as the WTO reform. At the same time, MOFCOM actively promoted all parties to reach the documents on pragmatic outcome of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Third, MOFCOM thoroughly implemented the consensuses of the BRICS Xiamen Summit, and promoted the successful publication of the joint communique at the Trade Ministers鈥Meeting and the separate statement on supporting the multilateral trading system, anti-unilateralism and protectionism in early July, and achieved more than 10 pragmatic results in the Model E-Port network, e-commerce, trade in services, intellectual property rights, trade promotion, standardization, and SMEs. At the end of July, the Johannesburg leaders鈥meeting issued the Johannesburg Declaration, which approved relevant economic and trade achievements and continued to magnify the positive effects of the Xiamen Summit.

Second, MOFCOM promoted the high standard free trade network to make new progress. In 2018, MOFCOM accelerated the construction of the free trade zones and achieved fruitful results. The FTA negotiations with Mauritius were officially concluded, which became the first free trade agreement China signed with African countries. The upgraded FTA was signed with Singapore, which further promoted the Belt and Road construction towards a further and practical way. The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP) held the second summit meeting, and substantial progress was made in the negotiations. China-Singapore FTA upgraded negotiations concluded successfully. China-ROK FTA negotiations, second phase of China-Palestine negotiations, China-Norway, China-Israel and other FTA negotiations were steadily promoted. China-Panama and China-Palestine FTA negotiations and the China-Peru FTA upgrading negotiations were initiated. The friends鈥circle in FTA circle is constantly expanding. So far, China has reached 17 free trade agreements with 25 countries and regions, and is conducting 13 FTA negotiations or upgraded negotiations, as well as 8 FTA joint feasibility study or upgraded joint research. In addition, the implementation of the fourth round of tariff reduction negotiations in the Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement has deepened China鈥檚 economic and trade cooperation with South Asian countries.

Third, MOFCOM promoted new achievements in regional sub-regional economic and trade cooperation. While in APEC, MOFCOM maintained the momentum of the Asia-Pacific Free Trade Area, promoted the connectivity of Asia-Pacific economic and trade, completed the Asia-Pacific Model of E-port Network (APMEN) assessment, basically established a trade value-added database of the global value chain, promoted cooperation in the green supply chain, guided the formulation of APEC service policies, and made economic and trade contributions to APEC 鈥減ost-cooperation vision of 2020.鈥In addition, MOFCOM promoted the ASEM to achieve pragmatic economic and trade achievements, actively promoted the implementation of the Greater Tumen Initiative (GTI) Trade and Investment Cooperation Roadmap, promoted the establishment of "big trade group" in the Central Asian regional economic cooperation to coordinate trade policies and trade facilitation cooperation, and actively participate in the leaders鈥summit of the Great Mekong Sub-region Cooperation and the Economic Corridor Forum.

Fourth, MOFCOM solidly promoted multi-bilateral development cooperation. First, MOFCOM conducted pragmatic cooperation with multi-bilateral development partners in China. MOFCOM continued to coordinate the relevant UN development agencies and professional departments to implement the Country Cooperation Program of this period and promote the implementation of the UN Development Assistance Framework for China (2016-2020). Second, MOFCOM fully cooperated with the fight against poverty. MOFCOM continued to promote the relevant development agencies of the UN to implement poverty reduction cooperation projects of early childhood development, water and environmental sanitation, and local characteristic industry development in Jiangxi鈥檚 Quannan, Qinghai and Hunan鈥檚 Bucheng, and continuously explored new areas of cooperation. Third, MOFCOM carried out the Belt and Road international cooperation with relevant international organizations, promoted and assisted international organizations to apply for South-South Cooperation Assistance Fund projects, and carried out cooperation projects in social and livelihood areas such as maternal and children鈥檚 health in relevant developing countries. MOFCOM continued to grant zero-tariff treatment to 97% of the tariff items exported to China from the least developed countries and supported the independent and sustainable development of other developing countries.

The 70th anniversary of the founding of the People鈥檚 Republic of China in 2019 is a crucial year for building a well-off society in an all-round way. Guided by Xi Jinping's Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, we will fully implement the spirit of the 19th CPC National Congress and the second and third plenary sessions of the 19th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and thoroughly study and understand the spirit of the important speech of General Secretary Xi Jinping at the celebration of the 40th anniversary of reform and opening up. We will conscientiously implement the deployment of the Central Economic Work Conference, fully promote the 鈥淢ultilateral Regional Economic and Trade Cooperation Action Plan鈥for business reform and development, actively participate in and promote the reform of the global economic governance system, further promote the construction of the free trade zones, strengthen regional and sub-regional economic and trade cooperation, and welcome the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People鈥檚 Republic of China with outstanding results.



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