China’s greater openness represents opportunity for LatAm

The unprecedented opening-up measures announced by Chinese leaders during the ongoing “two sessions” — the annual gatherings of the country’s top legislature and the political advisory body — represent an opportunity for Latin America, said Ecuadorian experts.

In an interview former Foreign Minister Fernando Carrion said that the “two sessions” have led to global expectations for their impact on world affairs.

This year’s “two sessions,” namely, the fifth session of the 12th National People’s Congress (NPC) and the fifth session of the 12th National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), are being held on March 3-15. The annual meetings are among the most important political events for China.

China being the world’s second largest economy “is a reality for any country interested in maintaining relations with China,” Carrion explained. “China occupies a majorly important position and it is of enormous importance and usefulness for Ecuador to maintain close ties with China.”

Delivering a government work report to NPC deputies on Sunday morning, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said that the country has made significant progress in improving the environment for foreign investors.

Among other things, he noted that foreign firms will enjoy the same treatment as domestic firms in license applications, standards setting and government procurement, and will enjoy the same preferential policies under the Made in China 2025 initiative, a plan to modernize the manufacturing sector.

“China’s open door will not close,” Chinese President Xi Jinping said Sunday afternoon when joining a panel discussion with lawmakers from Shanghai at the annual session of the NPC.

China will keep opening up on all fronts, and continue to liberalize and facilitate trade and investment, said Xi.

“This is the ideal moment for Latin America to strengthen ties with China, even more than before,” said Carrion. “We can see that the United States and (Donald) Trump administration have an erratic foreign policy, which seems that Latin America is not a priority for the United States.”

In comparison, “President Xi has said China is open to boosting its commercial and investment relationships with other countries, unlike Trump,” said the former minister.

Marcelo Fernandez, an international relations analyst, told Xinhua that given its global geopolitical importance, China’s increasing openness is positive.

“It is highly positive that China will open itself further to the world. It is something Ecuadorians must learn to promote our development. A greater openness of Ecuador to the world will generate more trade and foreign investment from countries like China,” said Fernandez, who is also a former diplomat.

Concerning anti-globalization tendency, he said that Xi spoke of Chinese development being an opportunity for the world at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

“It certainly is. China is the second largest economy in the world. If its economy opens up, it will create many opportunities for the countries that are able to capitalize on this opening up,” he said.

“We must seize the opportunity that China is creating. Hopefully, Latin American countries do so, not only to boost trade, but also to attract Chinese investment to the region. This is something that clearly has mutually beneficial advantages,” said Fernandez.

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