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MOFCOM Regular Press Conference (September 21, 2023)

He Yadong: Friends from the press, good afternoon. Welcome to the regular press conference of the Ministry of Commerce. I have two pieces of information to brief you today.

He Lifeng will chair the 10th China-EU High-level Economic and Trade Dialogue

The 10th China-EU High-level Economic and Trade Dialogue will be held in Beijing on September 25, as agreed by China and the EU. The Dialogue will be co-chaired by He Lifeng, member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, Vice Premier of the State Council, and Chinese principal of the Dialogue, and Valdis Dombrovskis, Executive Vice-President of the European Commission and European principal of the dialogue.

Foreign investment cooperation from January to August 2023

From January to August 2023, China's outbound investment continued to grow, with non-financial direct investment reaching 585.61 billion yuan, an increase of 18.8% (equivalent to 83.73 billion US dollars, an increase of 11.5%). In breakdown, non-financial direct investment by Chinese enterprises in Belt and Road partner countries reached 140.37 billion yuan, an increase of 22.5% (equivalent to 20.07 billion US dollars, an increase of 14.9%).

From January to August 2023, the overseas contracted projects delivered a revenue of 648.62 billion yuan, an increase of 6.1% from the same period of the previous year. The value of newly signed contracts reached 863.34 billion yuan, up 2% from the sme period of the previous year.In breakdown, the business revenue of projects undertaken by Chinese enterprises in the Belt and Road partner countries was 529.52 billion yuan, an increase of 4.8%; the value of newly signed contracts reached 725.35 billion yuan, up 5.6% from the same period last year.

Now I’m ready to take your questions.The floor is open

China Business News: The Ministry of Commerce has held a series of events under the "Invest in China Year", and said it will continue to hold these activities. So far, how have foreign-invested enterprises responded? What's the next step?

He Yadong: Since the beginning of this year, the Ministry of Commerce has organized a series of activities to attract investment in the "Invest in China Year", both inviting multinationals to China and taking Chinese businesses abroad. Judging from the response, foreign investors are highly interested in the campaign and very enthusiastic about participation. Some of them have expressed appreciation and optimism in the Chinese market. What they appreciate is that the campaign provides a useful platform for multinationals to learn about China's resource endowment, industrial foundation and business environment in all aspects, and provides smooth channels for foreign investors to enter, understand and invest in China. What they are optimistic about is that China has an enormous market and new opportunities as China opens the door wider. With full-fledged industrial chains and supply chains, China provides a solid foundation for production, so they are willing to continue to invest in China and grow and prosper here.

Going forward, we will continue to build the brand of "Invest in China" and hold various activities of the "Invest in China Year" initiative. For example, we will hold the "Invest in China Year" Summit during the sixth CIIE to support foreign investment promotion by local authorities, and help foreign enterprises to tap into the Chinese market and share China's development dividends. Thank you.

China News Service: Recently, Australian officials expressed the hope that the WTO dispute on wine trade remedies between the two countries could be resolved in the same way as the barley case. What is China's comment?

He Yadong: This year, China and Australia have held in-depth discussions at various levels on the proper settlement of trade disputes between the two countries at the WTO. Australia expressed its concern over the WTO dispute on anti-dumping and countervailing measures for barley and wine. China has also expressed serious concerns about Australia's anti-dumping and countervailing measures against three kinds of Chinese products--wind tower, railway wheel hub and stainless steel water tank, as well as Australia's unjustified practices in the trade remedy investigation against China.

The two sides have had multiple discussions and agreed to continue to work together actively to seek a prompt resolution of other disputes, China-Anti-dumping and countervailing duty measures on wine from Australia (DS602) and Australia-Anti-dumping and countervailing duty measures on certain products from China (DS603). China's wine industry is very important, and the case involves more than 1,000 Chinese wine companies. We are ready to work with Australia to enhance mutual trust and cooperation on the basis of the settlement of the barley dispute, fully accommodate each other's concerns, and find a package solution of the wine case and the anti-dumping and countervailing measures against the three products brought by China against Australia. As members of the WTO, China and Australia both have the responsibility to safeguard the rules-based multilateral trading system. China is open to resolving these issues through multilateral channels. Thank you

The Cover : According to the latest statistics, total retail sales in the first eight months increased rapidly by 7% from the previous year. With the Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day holiday approaching, what measures will MOFCOM take to boost consumption and stimulate economic growth?

He Yadong : The Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day holiday is traditionally a peak consumption season. The Ministry of Commerce is organizing a host of consumption promotion activities in September and October to meet consumer demands during the holidays and promote the sustained recovery and expansion of consumption. We will focus on the following four areas: First, we will hold consumption promotion campaigns.

First, we will launch major campaigns such as "National Home Renovation Consumption Season", "National 15-minute Convenient Neighbourhood Consumption Festival”, "The CIIE Consumption Festival". We will also promote consumption under scenarios such as the Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day, Asian Games, Business Integrity and Credit Benefits, to stimulate the consumption market.

Second, we will work with relevant departments to implement the policies to promote consumption of home furnishing, automobiles, and electronic products to ensure that the policies are effective. We will also introduce of a number of policies to support the development of the automotive aftermarket, in the hope to speed up consumption recovery.

Third, we will optimize the consumption environment. In urban areas, we will speed up the construction of international consumption centers, identify a new group of national demonstration pedestrian streets, and advance the three-year action plan to create 15-minute convenient neighborhoods. In rural areas, we will implement a three-year campaign to boost county-level commerce, so that the weak links in rural commerce are reinforced.

Fourth, we will foster new types of consumption. We will promote the healthy development of new forms and models of consumption, such as instant retail, live-streaming e-commerce, and social media-based e-commerce. We will create more immersive, experiential and interactive consumption scenarios, and encourage commerce, tourism, culture, sports and healthcare consumption to reinforce each other through both online and offline channels. We will advocate green and low-carbon consumption and promote green and intelligent consumption. Consumption is crucial to the macro-economy and people’s well-being. We will focus on priorities and take various measures to give full play to the fundamental role of consumption in driving sustained economic recovery. Thank you

Kyodo News Agency: According to reports, the export of gallium and germanium in August was zero. May I ask whether any company has applied for export license since August 1, when China began to impose export control on gallium and germanium? Has any company got export license? Will this continue in the future?

He Yadong : Since the formal implementation of the export control, the Ministry of Commerce has received applications for the export of gallium and germanium related items.

At present, after review in accordance with the law and regulations, we have approved a number of export applications that meet the requirements, and the applicants have obtained export licenses for dual-use items. The Ministry of Commerce will continue to review other license applications and make decisions in accordance with the legal procedures. Thank you

Reuters: Thailand has launched an investigation into imports of rolled steel from China, citing they have circumvented anti-dumping measures and involving 17 Chinese manufacturers. What is the response of the Ministry of Commerce?

He Yadong: We have taken note of this. China upholds the concept of win-win cooperation and free trade as we always do. In trade remedy cases against China, we hope that the investigation authorities can make impartial and reasonable rulings in strict accordance with laws and regulations to fully protect the rights of all stakeholders. Thank you

Bloomberg: What topics will be discussed in the meeting with the European Union? Will there be any discussions on the EU's anti-subsidy investigation on Chinese electric vehicles?

He Yadong: I have just released information on your question. We will release information on the 10th China-Eu High Level Economic and Trade Dialogue in due course. Please stay tuned. Thank you.


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