Anna Salmi, chief commercial officer of Finnish leading department store Stockmann checks the payment via Alipay by Yin Wei, chief financial officer of Finnish mobile payment company ePassi, Alipay's partner in Finland, on September 1, the day when the retail giant introduced Alipay as one of its payment methods (XINHUA)
Almost four decades after implementation of its reform and opening-up policy in the late 1970s, China has become the world's second largest economy, second largest trading nation, largest exporter, second largest importer and second largest overseas investor. China certainly has the capabilities to create huge development opportunities for the world.
China is making new contributions to global technological innovation. With a new round of industrial revolution coming, innovation has become the biggest driving force for the world economy. Throughout history, China has remained a standout in innovation, represented by its "Four Great Inventions"—papermaking, printing, gunpowder and the compass. In recent years, China has revived to become one of the leading nations in innovation in fields like quantum communication, super computers and power transmission. What's more, China's "Four New Great Inventions"—high-speed railway, mobile payment, online shopping, and bike sharing—are bringing great changes to people's lives. The world is shifting from "Copy to China" to "Copy China!"
China also provides vast markets for the world. As more and more Chinese people attain middle-class status, consumption will rise significantly. Already the largest buyer of bulk commodities, China will offer massive potential markets for countries rich in resources.
Global capital can tap China's rapid development to reap profits. Since its reform and opening up, the nation has absorbed $1.7 trillion of foreign investment. And since the 18th CPC National Congress, China has begun to promote a more open economy by setting up pilot free trade zones, introducing the management model of pre-established national treatment with a negative list, opening more sectors and cutting thresholds for the entry of foreign funds.
Chinese enterprises have ventured abroad to invest, resulting in growth opportunities for locals. From 2013 to 2016, China's non-financial overseas direct investment reached $491.5 billion, up by 21.6 percent year on year.
China has always pursued shared benefits. According to authorities, in the next five years, the nation's total imports are expected to reach $8 trillion; its foreign direct investment, $600 billion; its outbound direct investment, $750 billion; and outbound trips made by its people, 700 million. These figures foretell bigger markets, more capital and better revenue opportunities for countries around the world.
Since the 2008 international financial crisis broke out, the global economy has remained sluggish. It has been difficult for the world to escape from the mire of economic slowdown and evolve from old drivers of growth to new ones. China has actively attempted to do just that.
Facing the economic downturn, China has not adopted large-scale stimulus policies, but pursued innovative, coordinated, green, open and inclusive development, promoted supply-side structural reform, and freed and developed productive forces and economic vitality through reform. Consequently, China's economy has shown rising momentum, setting a good model for the world. Hosted by China in 2016, the G20 Hangzhou Summit hammered out a top-level plan for structural reforms—including priority areas, guiding principles and evaluation indicators—offering China's experience for world development.
Facing a lack of global public goods, China is trying to fill the gap. The nation proposed the Belt and Road Initiative, aiming to share China's development opportunities with other nations along the routes and realize common prosperity. China also helped establish the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the BRICS New Development Bank, which offer systematic financial support for coordinated regional development.
China's rapid development has drawn global attention and become a model for developing countries. Due to the impacts of the 2008 international financial crisis, many developed countries have been stuck in economic slumps over the past several years, as have some emerging market economies. However, China has maintained steady growth. Between 2013 and 2016, China's average annual economic growth rate hovered around 7.2 percent, considerably higher than the 2.6-percent global average and even the 4.0-percent average of developing economies. That number testifies to the advantages of China's development path and has inspired more countries to learn and borrow from China's experience, which demonstrates that a nation can choose its own development path according to its own history and realities. China's economic success has strengthened the confidence of other countries to choose an independent development model that optimally suits their own national conditions and realities.
China's progress is providing opportunities for world development, and the nation is making contributions to the establishment of an innovative, vibrant, interactive and inclusive world economy.
This is an edited excerpt of an article by Chen Qiqing, a professor in the Economics Department of the Party School of the CPC Central Committee, originally published in China Pictorial
Copyedited by Chris Surtees
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