Author: Beijing Xi Jinping new era of ideological socialism with Chinese characteristics research center special researcher, Institute of Hainan open economy, honorary president Zhao Jinping
The grand opening of the 2nd China International Import Expo attracted worldwide attention. Actively expanding imports is of great significance to meet the needs of the people's consumption upgrade, make up for the domestic energy and important resource supply gap, help improve the level of technical equipment and innovation, and promote the balanced development of international trade. The relationship between the government and the market should be handled properly to provide a good institutional environment and market environment for actively expanding imports; strengthen market risk prevention and control and provide safety guarantees for actively expanding imports.
In November 2018, China successfully hosted the first China International Import Expo (hereinafter referred to as the Expo). This is the world's first national exhibition with the theme of imports, a major initiative in the history of international trade, and has a positive impact on boosting confidence in the global market. The grand opening of the Second Expo will once again attract the attention of the world. Hosting the Expo and implementing a series of measures to expand imports, in line with the objective needs of high-quality economic development in China in the new era and the development of an open world economy, demonstrated China's strong determination to expand and open up and its role as a great power, and promoted China's cooperation with other countries in the world. win.
Meet the needs of the people's consumption upgrade
In recent years, the consumption level of Chinese residents has been increasing. Data from the National Bureau of Statistics show that from 2013 to 2018, driven by the continuous increase in the income level of residents, the average annual real growth of per capita consumption levels of urban and rural residents in China reached 5.2% and 8.5%, respectively; the Engel coefficient also went from 30.1%, respectively. , 34.1% fell to 27.7% and 30.1%. This means that domestic residents' consumption demand for goods and services is basically synchronized with economic growth, and the increase in rural consumption is even higher than that in cities and towns, and faster than the economic growth in the same period. In the past, the consumption structure mainly meeting the basic food and clothing needs has shifted to a higher-level consumption structure.
The rising demand of Chinese residents for foreign goods and services is a prominent performance of consumption upgrade. In 2018, the number of outbound tourism in China reached 162 million, an increase of 65% over 2013, and it has ranked first in the world for 6 consecutive years. Outbound tourism consumption expenditure jumped to the top in the world in 2014, reaching a record high of US $ 257.7 billion in 2017. . In order to meet the residents' consumption demand for foreign goods and services, China has repeatedly lowered the import tariffs on pharmaceuticals and consumer goods, encouraged the development of cross-border e-commerce, and greatly released the domestic consumption potential. Customs statistics show that in 2018, China's imports of five types of consumer goods, including food, drugs, clothing, shoes and hats, and miscellaneous products, increased by 67.9% over 2013, an increase of 7.1 times the average increase in imports over the same period. The "2018 China Import Cross-border E-commerce Development Report" shows that the size of China's import cross-border e-commerce transactions in 2018 reached 1.9 trillion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 26.7%.
Implementing a more active import policy for consumer goods will help improve people's livelihood. Proactively increase the import of high-end consumer goods, so that people can buy high-quality goods from all over the world without going abroad, which is conducive to solving the structural contradictions currently facing domestic oversupply of low-end and high-end consumer goods and better supply of the masses Increasing demand for high-quality goods and services has brought consumers more convenient purchases, more distinctive features, and more diverse consumer experiences. Implementing a more active import trade policy will also help reduce import costs and increase consumer welfare.
Bridging the domestic energy and important resource supply gap
Ensuring the supply of energy and important resources has a bearing on national economy, people's livelihood and national security. It is of great significance to sustainable economic and social development, improvement of people's lives, and long-term social order. However, due to natural endowment conditions, China will face the pressure of insufficient supply of energy and important resources for a long time.
To make up for the shortage of energy and important resources through imports is the need for the sustainable and healthy development of our economy. China is a large developing country. Building a socialist modernized country in a comprehensive manner requires long-term struggle, which cannot be separated from the support and guarantee of the supply of resource elements. For a long time, the moderate growth of energy supply is still a necessary condition for economic development, and it is an inevitable choice to use foreign resources and expand energy and resource imports.
Expanding imports of high-energy-consumption and resource-based commodities can ease pressure on domestic energy resources and the environment. For example, in 2018, China's imported pulp reached 24.79 million tons, an increase of 38% over 2013 and equivalent to 9.5% of domestic production in 2018. Imported pulp meets the needs of expanding domestic pulp consumption. If all imported parts are placed in domestic production, it will lead to a significant increase in wood consumption and sewage discharge for pulp production. In recent years, China ’s imports of resource-consuming commodities such as refined oil, chemicals, non-ferrous metals and steel have achieved varying degrees of growth. While meeting domestic market demand, it has played a positive role in alleviating pressure on energy resources and the environment.
Help improve the level of technical equipment and innovation
Speeding up equipment upgrades and technology upgrades will play an important role in improving China's industrial quality and efficiency. China is the world's largest industrial country and the only country in the world with all industrial categories in the United Nations Industrial Classification. The output of more than 220 industrial products ranks first in the world. In the fields of new-generation information technology, aerospace, high-end equipment manufacturing, new energy, and new materials, there are also a number of products and technologies that have reached international advanced levels. Against the background of a new round of science and technology revolution, and the increasingly fierce industrial technology competition in various countries, accelerating domestic equipment upgrades and technology upgrades, and continuously improving the technical level of production equipment, are China's new international competitive advantages and industrial highs. Important foundation and guarantee for quality development.
The import of key technical equipment and core components is conducive to solving the structural shortage problem facing industrial production. China's industrialization started late, and the industrial manufacturing industry as a whole is still at the low end of the value chain. Many key technologies still lag behind developed countries. For example, the self-sufficiency rate of key parts and components in China is only 1/3, and some key equipment for high-tech industries cannot be produced in China. Generally speaking, the structural contradictions of excess of low-end products and insufficient supply of high-end products are more prominent. Moderate imports can not only make up for the shortcomings in the production of key equipment and core components, but also help strengthen domestic equipment technology upgrades and integrated innovation capabilities, and improve product quality and output efficiency.
The moderate liberalization of general industrial product imports is conducive to promoting domestic market competition. According to the theory of comparative advantage, market opening is conducive to promoting competition and forcing companies to innovate, thereby driving the overall improvement of social productivity. The moderate liberalization of general industrial product imports is conducive to promoting domestic market competition and promoting more companies to innovate; it is conducive to forming a fair, open, and competitive market order, which stimulates market vitality; it can also bring consumption to domestic consumers. Cost reduction benefits.
Promote balanced development of international trade
China is the world's second largest economy and the world's second largest importer. In recent years, China has actively expanded imports and made important contributions to the steady growth of global trade. From 2013 to 2018, China's import scale increased from US $ 1.95 trillion to US $ 2.14 trillion, a cumulative increase of 9.5%, which is twice the increase in global imports during the same period, and its proportion in global imports increased from 10.3% to 10.8%. At present, with the rise of unilateralism and protectionism, which has caused large fluctuations in global trade, Chinese imports have played an important role in stabilizing and restoring growth in the international market.
Trading partners benefit from Chinese import growth. According to statistics from the World Trade Organization, in 2018, the annual export volume of countries outside China increased by an average of 2% compared with 2013. Among them, the increase in Chinese imports has increased the net exports of these countries by about 180 billion US dollars, which has contributed to the global (excluding China) The contribution rate of export growth exceeds 50%. Global trading partners have benefited tremendously from export growth from China's import growth. Chinese customs statistics show that from 2014 to 2018, China's imports from 133 trading partners achieved growth; imports from the top 20 largest trading partners such as the United States, Japan, South Korea, and Germany increased by 14.1% on average, 8.3% higher than the export growth . As the degree of trade dependence between different countries and China varies, the degree of benefit will vary, but all trading partners have become beneficiaries of Chinese imports.
Expanding imports promotes the balanced development of China's and world trade. While China's imports have boosted the export growth of its trading partners, it has also promoted bilateral and multilateral trade balances. China's trade surplus was US $ 351.8 billion in 2018, a decrease of 8% from 2014. Over the same period, the trade balance index dropped from 8.9% to 7.6%, and the average value of the trade balance index with the 20 largest trading partners dropped from 15.1% to 11.4%. With the current rise in protectionism and the challenges facing the multilateral trading system, China is actively expanding imports, promoting trade balance, and allowing more countries to share the dividends of China's economic development. This is an important measure for China to fulfill its international responsibilities and improve international relations. It is also an important reflection of China's practice of building a community of shared future for mankind.
Stimulate import potential and actively expand imports
At present, China's economic development has entered a new era. To make better use of the positive role of imports in meeting consumption upgrade needs, bridging energy resource supply gaps, improving the level of technical equipment and innovation, and promoting the balanced development of international trade, we should continue to promote a new round of high-level opening to the outside world and stimulate import potential, Actively expand imports while stabilizing exports.
Handle the relationship between the government and the market, and provide a good institutional and market environment for actively expanding imports. Under the conditions of market opening, the demand for imported goods is mainly affected by the supply and demand relationship in the domestic market. The quality, brand and price of goods are the decisive factors for enterprises to win the market. Full market competition has become the key to promote the reasonable growth of imports. The role of the government is to build an open market environment, create a good business environment, establish and improve the market supervision and management system, reduce the institutional cost of foreign commodity entry, and provide guarantee for fair competition between domestic and foreign enterprises. Last year, President Xi Jinping announced in his keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the first Expo. China will stimulate the potential of imports, continue to relax market access, create a world-class business environment, create a new highland for opening up, and promote multilateral and bilateral cooperation. The development of 5 aspects to increase efforts. In the past year, these measures have been fully implemented and have achieved positive results, providing a good institutional environment and market environment for actively expanding imports.
Strengthen market risk prevention and control, and provide safety guarantees for actively expanding imports. Strengthening the building of risk prevention and control capabilities under conditions of expanded opening is the prerequisite and guarantee for achieving a high level of market opening, high-quality development of foreign trade, and maintaining import safety. To this end, domestic industrial safety assessment, early warning and relief systems should be strengthened and improved; import regulation policy tools should be innovated to effectively play the active role of interest rates and tax rates in macroeconomic regulation; a positive national security list of imported goods should be formulated to implement strict entry of hazardous materials Restrict policies; strengthen the investigation, identification, and punishment of monopolistic and unfair competition behavior; maintain the authority and effectiveness of the multilateral trading system, and further strengthen the content of cooperation against various forms of trade protectionism in multilateral, regional, and bilateral mechanisms.