A more open China in eight keywords


In 2023, China continued to advance high-level opening up, injecting impetus into global cooperation and win-win outcomes. The following eight keywords bear witness to China’s new initiatives and achievements in opening up.

Keyword: Exhibition

Following the Ministry of Commerce’s announcement to fully resume offline trade fairs and expos domestically in February 2023, a series of major exhibitions were hosted as scheduled in the country, attracting exhibitors from all over the world. 

According to statistics, a total of 3,248 exhibitions were held in professional venues across the country in the first nine months of this year, increasing 1.8 times year-on-year and 32.4 percent over the same period in 2019.

Various types of exhibitions have achieved fruitful results.

The 3rd China International Consumer Products Expo was attended by 3,382 consumer brands from 65 countries and regions. The 134th China Import and Export Fair, also known as the Canton Fair, concluded with an offline export turnover of $22.3 billion in total.

The 2023 China International Fair for Trade in Services yielded more than 1,100 outcomes. The 6th China International Import Expo saw a total of $78.41 billion worth of tentative deals reached for one-year purchases of goods and services, representing a 6.7 percent increase from that of last year, and setting a record high.

Keyword: Manufacturing

China announced the removal of all restrictive measures on foreign investment in manufacturing at the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation.

It both demonstrated China’s determination to advance high-level opening up, and marked an important measure of the country to build new systems for a higher-level open economy, said Li Dawei, a researcher at the Institute for International Economy, Chinese Academy of Macroeconomic Research.

In the first 10 months of 2023, foreign direct investment into China’s manufacturing industry reached 283.44 billion yuan ($39.65 billion), maintaining year-on-year growth. In particular, the high-tech manufacturing sector saw a growth of 9.5 percent in the utilization of foreign investment.

Keyword: Service industry

In the Shanghai Hongqiao International Central Business District, cross-border bond issuance, cross-border mergers and acquisitions and other services have brought great convenience to enterprises. 

In Beijing’s Shunyi district, the first foreign entertainment agency to establish a branch in Beijing is located in the Tianzhu comprehensive bonded zone, marking further opening up in the cultural sector. 

Since 2015, China has implemented comprehensive pilot programs for opening up the services sectorin 11 selected cities and provinces. 

In the first three quarters of 2023, the added value of the service industry in these 11 regions reached 13.2 trillion yuan, accounting for 69.7 percent of the local GDP. The actual use of foreign capital in the service industry amounted to $50.85 billion in these regions, accounting for 55.6 percent of the total foreign investment in the industry nationwide.

Keyword: BRI

The year 2023 marks the 10th anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Over the past decade, the BRI has become the most popular international public good and the largest international cooperation platform in today’s world.

According to statistics, more than 421,000 local jobs were created globally in overseas economic and trade cooperation zones built by Chinese enterprises under Belt and Road cooperation. 

It is estimated that by 2030, Belt and Road cooperation could help lift 7.6 million people out of extreme poverty and 32 million out of moderate poverty, and raise global real income by 0.7 to 2.9 percent.

Keyword: Free trade zone

The Kashgar Area of China (Xinjiang) Pilot Free Trade Zone was inaugurated on Nov. 11, 2023. It is the 22nd pilot free trade zone established in China.

The year 2023 marks the 10th anniversary of the establishment of China’s first pilot free trade zone. China remains committed to comprehensive opening up, promoting trade and investment liberalization and facilitation. It will take the lead in establishing institutional systems that align with international investment and trade rules.

Over the past decade, China’s pilot free trade zones have played a pioneering role, yielding a series of outstanding innovative achievements. Covering less than 0.4 percent of the nation’s land area, China’spilot free trade zones attracted 18.4 percent of foreign investment in China and accounted for 18.6 percent of the country’s foreign trade in the first half of 2023.

Keyword: New “three major ones”

Solar batteries, lithium-ion batteries and electric vehicles are the new “three major ones” underpinning China’s exports.

China’s production and sales of new energy vehicles have topped the global market for eight years in a row, with a global market share of over 60 percent. From January to September, China’s lithium-ion battery exports totaled $48.605 billion, a year-on-year increase of over 30 percent. 

China’s photovoltaic module production has ranked first in the world for 16 consecutive years. Besides, the country holds more than 80 percent of the world’s polysilicon, silicon wafers, cells, and modulesmanufacturing capacity.

The structure transition of trade in goods from clothing, household appliances and furniture to the new “three major ones” mirrors the outstanding performance of China’s foreign trade upgrading.

Keyword: Digital trade

China’s self-developed games have generated over 10 billion yuan in overseas revenue, and the overseas market for Chinese online literature has surpassed 3 billion yuan with over 150 million n overseas users.

Currently, the overall size of China’s digital trade is expanding. From January to August 2023, China’s digitally-delivered service trade rose 10.4 percent year-on-year to 1.81 trillion yuan. 

From January to September, the import and export volume of cross-border e-commerce reached 1.7 trillion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 14.4 percent. China’s cross-border e-commerce trade partners have covered the globe, and China is one of the countries with the most complete cross-border e-commerce ecosystem in the world.

Keyword: Renminbi internationalization

Statistics released by the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) in September 2023 revealed that the Chinese yuan achieved a record increase in its global payment share. Its share rose from 3.9 percent at the beginning of the year to 5.8 percent, surpassing the euro for the first time.

So far, the People’s Bank of China, China’s central bank, has authorized 31 yuan clearing banks in 29 countries and regions, covering major international financial centers. 

In 2023, the international currency functions of the Chinese yuan continued to strengthen, achieving fruitful results in expanding its applications in settlement, transactions, and value storage. Insiders pointed out that the enormous size and stable growth of the Chinese economy have laid a solid foundation for the internationalization of the Chinese yuan.


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