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Interview: China's reform, opening up create opportunities for world, says Philippine expert

(Xinhua)    07:51, December 27, 2018

MANILA, Dec. 26 (Xinhua) -- China has announced a series of measures on advancing reform and opening up, which will not only help the Chinese economy but also create opportunities for the global economy, said a Philippine expert.

The annual Central Economic Work Conference was held in Beijing last week to review the country's economic work in 2018, analyze the current economic situation and arrange the economic work in 2019.

Lucio Blanco Pitlo, a lecturer from the Chinese Studies Program in Philippine Ateneo de Manila University, told Xinhua that he noticed that a series of measures have been announced at the conference, like a larger cut in taxes and fees and advancing all-around opening up.

"It shows that China now is pushing an incremental and gradualist reform and opening up," Pitlo said.

The Central Economic Work Conference said the country needs to improve its consumption environment and boost consumer spending.

Pitlo believed that China's rising middle class and its increasingly sophisticated and diverse consumer tastes and preferences represent an immense potential for China and the world.

"Beijing can tap into this huge internal market, and other countries can too," he added.

Pitlo told Xinhua that it is impressive that Chinese leaders emphasized the country will reinforce investments on new infrastructures like the 5G network, AI and industrial Internet.

The China expert said these connectivity projects may facilitate faster and more efficient transactions. E-commerce and fintech may also enable Chinese enterprises to better reach out to the domestic audience and the same E-commerce and fintech platforms can also be utilized by foreign countries and firms.

On China's further opening up, Pitlo said the world's second-largest economy already demonstrated a commitment to continuing opening up to the world through the first China International Import Expo in Shanghai this year.

China is so integrated with the world economy that "a reversal or retreat is unimaginable," said Pitlo, adding that "China continues to advance the reform and opening up is important to the whole world."

At the Central Economic Work Conference, China announced it will continuously advance cooperation with other countries under the Belt and Road Initiative and it will hold the second Belt and Road forum for international cooperation.

In a world full of uncertainty where some resort to unilateralism that undermines the stability of global finance, trade and economic governance, the Belt and Road Initiative is "a welcome relief," Pitlo said.

On China's economic development, Pitlo said China is the main trading partner of over 120 countries and regions especially in emerging and developing economies, and that China's continued steady economic growth and stable policies will be warmly welcomed.

China's economic transformation and ascent in the industrial chain will also create opportunities for less developed countries, as certain industries and their downstream chains move out of China. For countries eager to jumpstart their industry or keen in expanding their existing manufacturing, this is a positive development, he added.

"China has changed a lot in the past 40 years and the pace remains forward," Pitlo said.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Liang Jun, Bianji)

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