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MOFCOM Regular Press Conference (September 8, 2022)

Shu Jueting: Friends from the press, good afternoon. Welcome to MOFCOM’s regular press conference. Since I have no announcement to make, I would like to take your questions.

The floor is open.

CAN: We’ve noted that the 22nd China International Fair for Investment and Trade opened officially this morning. Could you brief us on this year’s CIFIT?

Shu Jueting: The 22nd CIFIT will be held between September 8 and 11 in Xiamen, Fujian. Under the theme of “Global Development: Sharing Digital Opportunities, Investing in a Green Future”, this year’s CIFIT aims to strengthen its three functions of two-way investment promotion, release of authoritative information and discuss over investment trends and build itself into a quality international and professional platform.

As an international platform, this year’s CIFIT implements the Global Development Initiative in earnest, and highlights regional economic coordination and development and multilateral and bilateral trade and economic exchanges. Over 160 important guests including leaders, ministers and diplomatic envoys of relevant countries, heads of international organizations, representatives of foreign investment promotion agencies and chambers of commerce, and senior management of multinational corporations have been invited to attend the events. In order to make the International Investment Forum more influential and professional, a model of 1+2+1 was adopted for the first time, with one keynote forum focusing on international investment hotspots and trends, two seminars on digital economy and green chemical industry and the Gulangyu Forum on exchanges between Chinese and foreign investment promotion agencies, business communities and local governments. The Silk Road Maritime International Cooperation Forum, BRICS Sustainable Investment Forum and RCEP Cooperation Forum were also held concurrently.

In terms of specialization, this CIFIT offers 120,000 square meters of exhibition and 13 professional exhibition areas around three sections: investment promotion, industrial innovation and project-investor matchmaking. Among them, an area of 26,000 square meters for project-investor matchmaking and an exhibition area of China's popular investment destinations are established in an innovative manner, and an efficient matchmaking platform for local governments and foreign-invested enterprises, projects and investors are built. During the event, more than 30 investment and project matchmaking events will be held, and roadshows will be hosted for around 1,000 projects. At the same time, we will continue to optimize CIFIT on the cloud for the integration and complementarity of online and on-site matchmaking negotiations. In particular, following the trend of cutting-edge digital technologies, a special series of MetaVerse events will be held to create immersive and interactive scenarios.

In terms of brands, this CIFIT focused on hot topics such as digital economy, green and low-carbon development and cross-border industrial investment, and launched four series of brand activities, namely, the 2022 Chinese and Foreign Investment Promotion Agencies Conference, Green Development for companies "Going Global", Green China--Summit on International Cooperation of Low-carbon Industry, and Leading China--Conference on Emerging Industry Investment and Financing Cooperation. During CIFIT, authoritative information such as China Foreign Investment Statistics Bulletin 2022, China Foreign Investment Report 2022, Foreign Investment Guide of China (2022 Edition) and Country Development Report for Chinese-invested Enterprises will also be released.

Friends from the media are welcome to actively follow and participate in this CIFIT. Thank you.

Chengdu.cn: The Mid-Autumn Festival is around the corner. Before that, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) worked with several departments to jointly issue an announcement on no excessively expensive moon cakes and promoting the healthy development of the industry to resolutely crack down on such moon cakes. What relevant measures have the Ministry of Commerce taken?

Shu Jueting: On June 9, the Development and Reform Commission, the Ministry of Commerce and other two departments jointly issued the announcement on no excessively expensive moon cakes and promoting the healthy development of the industry. Since then, the Ministry of Commerce has actively taken measures to implement the announcement according to the division of duties.

First, policy publicity. We have organized an online meeting for 13 trade associations and 33 leading enterprises in the production and distribution of moon cakes, interpreting the announcement and the mandatory national standards for relevant food packaging, and ask trade associations and leading enterprises to take the lead in complying with the announcement and relevant standards.

Second, industry self-discipline. We have guided six trade associations, including the China General Chamber of Commerce, in jointly issuing the proposal on stopping the distribution of excessively expensive moon cakes and promoting healthy development of the market, covering more than 80,000 member enterprises, and guide the companies to willingly resist the excessively expensive moon cakes, so as to create a sound social environment. We have communicated the guiding principles and specific requirements of the announcement to 111 key retail enterprises in touch with the Ministry of Commerce, and guide the major distribution enterprises to operate in compliance and set reasonable prices. We have guided e-commerce platform enterprises to improve trading rules, optimize technical support, and fulfill the supervision obligations for moon cake sales on the platforms.

Third, strengthened supervision and inspection. We have arranged local commerce authorities to implement the requirements of the announcement, and strengthen industry guidance for various market players and the management of moon cake tickets and vouchers. As of August 31, the local commercial departments have randomly checked more than 6,000 market players through on-site visits and online inquiries, and urged correction of the violations or handed over 33 clues to relevant departments.

The Mid-Autumn Festival is around the corner, thus the moon cake sale peaks now. According to the survey of China General Chamber of Commerce, this year's moon cake market is generally stable and in order, and good value moon cakes represent the mainstream in the market. The Ministry of Commerce will cooperate with NDRC and other relevant departments to continuously strengthen monitoring and regulate administration of the moon cake market, resolutely stop the excessively expensive moon cakes, so that holiday food such as moon cakes can regain their nature as mass consumer goods and their traditional cultural origin. Thank you.

Bloomberg: The Biden administration is holding back again on a decision to scrap any Trump-era tariffs on China imports, while studying ways to help businesses seeking relief. What’s MOFCOM’s comments? How much higher would China’s export be, assuming that these tariffs were absent? And how much have the additional tariffs between China and the U.S. contributed to the current high inflation globally?

Shu Jueting: China always believes that the U.S.’s Section 301 tariff measures are negative not only to China, but also to the U.S. and the rest of the world. Despite high inflation, the U.S.’s decision to extend additional tariffs on China will induce greater loss for its business and consumers. Thank you.

MASTV: The 2022 China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS) was concluded on Monday in Beijing. What are the achievements of this year’s CIFTIS? What role has it played, amid Covid-19’s impact on the world economy, especially the service sector?

Shu Jueting: The 2022 CIFTIS was concluded in Beijing on September 5. It showcased various highlights and yielded abundant outcomes. In a world where global economic recovery and international trade development are faced with numerous new situations and challenges, it bears special significance in several aspects.

First, the CIFTIS once again demonstrates that China is confident and resolute in expanding high-level opening-up and promoting development and prosperity of global trade in services. President Xi Jinping delivered video speeches to the 2020 and 2021 sessions, and sent his congratulatory message this year, which fully shows the Chinese government’s commitment to the development of trade in services around the world. In the congratulatory message, President Xi Jinping announced China’s major steps to deepen high-level opening-up in services and reaffirmed China’s belief in benefit for all, inclusiveness, cooperation and win-win outcomes. His proposals, which have received broad attention and positive feedback from the international community, inject new impetus into the common pursuit of an open, mutually beneficial service sector and world economy.

Second, the CIFTIS moves all parties to reach important consensus on overcoming difficulties and advancing global economic recovery. In his keynote speech at the opening ceremony, Vice Premier Han Zheng said, “China stands ready to work with all sides to uphold the vision of a community with a shared future for mankind, implement the Global Development Initiative, and pursue healthy and sustainable development of trade in services, so as to inject strength into world economic recovery.” Heads of state and heads of international organizations delivered video speeches, expressing their willingness to work with China in supporting the multilateral trading system and promoting world economic recovery and growth. Seven summit forums and over 100 professional and business forums were held during this year’s CIFTIS to cover cutting-edge areas and latest opinions, contributing wisdom and strength to global trade and economic development.

Third, the CIFTIS presents achievements of China’s innovation-driven development of services trade and facilitated a series of major cooperation outcomes. This year’s CIFTIS included an exhibition section to introduce China’s achievements in trade in services since the 18th CPC National Congress in 2012, and continued to adopt forms of exhibition such as “one fair, two venues”, “comprehensive and themed exhibitions” and “online and offline exhibitions”. Both the value and quality of contracts exceeded the previous session. According to preliminary statistics, 1,339 outcomes were produced during this CIFTIS. Several prestigious reports were released, including one on China’s trade in services development, introducing major trends and reflecting research outcomes.

In the next step, we will study President Xi Jinping’s congratulatory message and implement the decisions of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council. We will work for the implementation of the outcomes and consensus reached during this year’s CIFTIS, leverage CIFTIS as a crucial platform to for China to expand opening-up, deepen cooperation and pioneer innovation, and deepen innovation-driven development of China’s services trade, so as to make new contribution to services trade development globally. Thank you.

China Daily: We learned that the first plants of BASF Guangdong Verbund site had started production on September 6. What has MOFCOM done in support of key foreign-invested projects recently? What’s the considerations for the next step?

Shu Jueting: In response to the decisions and deployment of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council to leverage the role of key foreign-invested projects in stabilizing foreign investments, MOFCOM has worked with related departments to establish a task force for key foreign-invested projects, which constantly updates the list of key foreign-invested projects with its members and sub-national governments. The projects are mainly concentrated in priority industries identified in the 14th Five-year Plan, such as high-end manufacturing and high technologies. Through one-on-one services, regular surveys, and project funding monitoring mechanism, the task force aims to track the progress of the projects and help solve difficulties. In fact, it has helped solve 611 problems reported by FIEs and projects. It also plays a coordinating role in accelerating the administrative approval or record filing, and securing funding, land and power supplies to the projects, as long as the demands for production factors are reasonable. It aims to push for the signing of a group of projects under negotiation, launch of a group of projects that are signed, and the delivery and operation of a group of projects that are under construction.

At present, the key foreign-invested projects in general are progressing well. Half of them are under construction or operation, over 30% of the projects under construction have started production, over 60% of the projects have entered full production. the BASF Guangdong Verbund site, the third plants of the BMW Brilliance Automotive production base in Shenyang have both started operation. MOFCOM statistics show that in the first seven months of this year, foreign-invested projects above 100 million dollars in China registered paid-in capital of 66.85 billion dollars, up by 35.0%, accounting for 53.9% of the paid-in FDI in this period.

Going forward, the task force will adjust the list of key-foreign invested projects as needed, give priority to iconic manufacturing projects with large investments and strong impact, improve whole process services and support, facilitate the implementation and operation of more foreign-invested enterprises, so that major foreign-invested projects can plan a greater role in driving foreign investments growth and stabilizing the overall economy. Thank you.

Shu Jueting: Any more questions? If not, this is the end of the press conference. Thank you.

(All information published on this website is authentic in Chinese. English is provided for reference only.)