BEIJING, March 24 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Vice Premier Han Zheng said Sunday that opening up has become "a distinctive symbol of contemporary China," and the country will unswervingly open still wider to the outside world.
"China has pursued development with its door open and succeeded in transforming a closed and semi-closed economy into an all-round open economy," Han said at the opening ceremony of the China Development Forum 2019 in Beijing.
Opening up was key to China's economic growth in the past, and the high-quality development of China's economy in the future can only be achieved with greater openness, he added.
China will prioritize the Belt and Road construction and stress both inbound and outbound investment and business activities in pushing opening up to a higher level, the vice premier said.
The country will continue to take active moves to expand imports, further lower tariffs and facilitate customs clearance to better share the opportunities of its large market with the rest of world, he said.
"We will continue to relax controls over foreign investment access, reduce the negative list for foreign investment, and allow wholly foreign-invested enterprises in more areas," Han said.
China will work to create a top-notch environment for doing business and strengthen protection of intellectual property rights, to allow foreign companies to achieve better development in fair competition.
"We will unswervingly explore new horizons of opening up," Han said, adding that China will add a new section to the Shanghai pilot free trade zone, and put forward policies and institutional system for building the Hainan free trade port step by step.
Han also noted the important progress made last year toward building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, and expressed confidence in meeting this year's targets.
"We are ready for a tough battle, and confident that we will be able to fulfill this year's economic and social development targets to lay a decisive foundation for the completion of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects," Han said.
With "Greater Opening-up for Win-Win Cooperation" as its theme, this year's China Development Forum scheduled to run from Saturday to Monday is a high-level meeting gathering experts, entrepreneurs, government officials and representatives of international organizations from all around the world.