6.7-6.10 2018China·Ningbo
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Opening up and risk control--China's bid to stabilize economic growth2017-12-26

The now-concluded meetings of the Central Economic Working Conference have closed this year with a focus on promoting reform and opening up next year, as well as taking steps to eliminate systemic risks.

The meeting, which maps out the economic work for the next year, has suggested the country's policy toward international trade needs to be opened up further.

Specifically, it calls for increasing imports by cutting tariffs on some products, while at the same time, raising the product quality on goods being exported from China.

Huo Jianguo with the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation says this forms a foundation for China's international trade policies.

"Previously we only mentioned a policy that requests using imports to drive exports, but it doesn't equal an overall trade policy. However this time I see it as a prototype of a unified trade policy for the country. That is to say we set a tone for international trade, which requires higher competitiveness of our exported goods and, at the same time, an expansion of imports, with the ultimate goal of balancing exports and imports," Huo said.

As part of the sessions, central authorities have announced plans to lower the threshold for foreign funds to enter the financial sector, allowing foreign institutions to invest in Chinese bonds, insurance and banks.

Zong Liang is a chief researcher with the Bank of China.

"On one hand opening up in financial sector must be adapted to the country's economic development. On the other, its goal is to build a new business environment, to let China become a global business hub.   What should this environment look like? It would let foreign companies come to China under the expectations that they're going to make more money and make their businesses better off," Zong noted.

Controlling systemic risk is also a major concern.

Steps have been taken through this year to try to root out systemic risks to the financial markets, including curbs on capital flight and tighter regulations on how companies generate financing.

Yi Gang, vice governor of the People's Bank of China, says they plan to keep this trend up in the coming few years.

"We will strengthen supervision on financial products with new standards. All financial companies and their products must be licensed; unlicensed businesses will be banned. Meantime, we're going to keep an eye on companies which have a range of services, including financial components. We will prevent irrational financing and crack down illegal fund raising activities," Yi said.

The growth of defecits across China has begun to slow through this year.

Paul Sheard, chief economist for S&P Global, suggests that authorities should focus on transparency when handling debt issues.