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China's high-level opening-up beneficial to global recovery Release date: 2020-12-23    Source:Xinhua

French designer Christophe Branchu has worked in China's tech hub of Shenzhen for eight years now. The southern Chinese megacity is the country's reform and opening up flagship.

Though businesses worldwide have been hit hard by the raging COVID-19 pandemic, Branchu sees more business potential for his design studio in the Chinese market.

"I feel right now we're entering a new stage also for Chinese market which is trying to develop more higher quality products, and can really compete on a global level, not only about price, but also about what kind of technological innovation or kind of qualities they bring to the table. I think since the virus, my business has changed a lot, but also opens up a lot of new opportunities for me in Shenzhen and in China. I just hope openness will always remain one of the key things," Branchu said.

According to a development roadmap released in November, China will take new steps in the next five years to promote even higher standards of opening-up.

China now has 45 special economic zones, alongside new national zones and free trade zones.

As one of China's first special economic zones, Shenzhen is the perfect model for the country's expanding opening-up measures.

The once small coastal village is now a metropolis, housing 13 million. Its GDP has expanded 14,000 times over the last four decades.

A comprehensive plan for Shenzhen puts the city on the fast track to become a global center of innovation, startups and creativity.

This year, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, China was able to hold both the International Fair for Trade in Services and the third China International Import Expo, to promote its ties with the global economy.

At the import expo, businesses from around the world were able to see opportunities in the Chinese market for themselves, with a record total value of deals sealed at this year's event.

China's mandatory 14-day quarantine for arrivals didn't deter passionate overseas participants like Roy Van Den Hurk, general manager of a New Zealand dairy company.

"CIIE is a fantastic platform to launch a business to Chinese consumers, because all of the buyers are coming to CIIE, so we don't have to go around the country into all these different areas. And I think it's a fantastic opportunity. So we'll definitely be here next year and the year after, though, I'm sure," Roy Van Den Hurk said.

With a total population of 1.4 billion and a middle-income group exceeding 400 million, the Chinese market is the most sought-after in the world.

As China works to pursue high-quality Belt and Road cooperation with its partners, more and more foreign nationals are choosing to work and even settle down here.

Jan Broni has lived in southeast China's coastal city of Xiamen for the last 13 years.

"Xiamen is doing a lot to support the business environment. And then we have the rail road going all the way to Europe, which is half the time of the freight by sea. So these initiatives which are connected to Belt and Road is really supporting our business as well," Jan Broni said.

The Danish national now calls Xiamen home.

"I don't know if I will be coming back, because it is really nice here. Business is really good. It's safe. So why leave?" He added.

From coastal cities to mountainous plateau regions, every corner of the country is embracing opening-up. China's integration of different cultures and cooperation with global businesses get deeper day by day.

In the suburbs of Xining, capital of northwest China's Qinghai Province, Morgan Johns and his friends run a company that plants and sells organic vegetables.

"I was really interested about agriculture in Qinghai. Especially there's a lot of opportunities for growth. So that was one of the reasons that attracted me specifically to this place. And so I've learned a lot from local farmers about growing in a high altitude climate. Now our oldest child is 14, and our youngest is seven. So for these kids, China is really their home," Morgan Johns noted.

More Chinese companies are being encouraged to go global, creating win-win outcomes both for themselves and their worldwide partners.

Six years have passed since the Colombo Port City project was launched. The largest foreign direct investment in Sri Lanka is reshaping the local economy, and emerging as a major generator for future economic development.

"This project is a landmark project in Sri Lanka. It will be the main income generator in the future. This project will create over 80,000 jobs and will create many other opportunities and indirect jobs too. It will also attract over $15 billion worth of investment. Therefore, this project will be the main financial and economic hub. It is not for the present, but more for the future generation to be born," Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa said to media.

In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has plunged the world into recession, stoking anti-globalization sentiments. Even so, China's unwavering determination to open up even further to the global business market is as strong as ever.