MOFCOM Regular Press Conference September 30, 2021




Shu Jueting: Good afternoon, friends from the press, and welcome to the regular press conference of the Ministry of Commerce.



I have no announcement to make today, so I would like to take your questions now.


The floor is open.




Shenzhen TV: Recently, MOFCOM and Hunan Provincial People’s Government co-hosted the second China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo. What are the outcomes of the expo?




Shu Jueting: The second China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo (CAETE) was successfully held in Changsha, Hunan from September 26 to 29.


With fruitful outcomes, the expo was a grand event for China and Africa to strengthen solidarity, enhance cooperation and pursue common development under new circumstances, which creates a good environment for the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Dakar Summit to be held this year.


First, greater consensus for China-Africa cooperation.


Yang Jiechi, member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and Director of the Office of the Central Commission for Foreign Affairs, attended the opening ceremony and delivered a keynote speech; the presidents of Algeria, Senegal and Rwanda delivered virtual speeches at the opening ceremony.


More than 30 African senior officials and heads of international organizations, as well as African ministerial officials and diplomatic envoys in China participated in relevant events of the expo virtually.


Second, fresh achievements of exhibitions in four aspects.


Firstly, the exhibition space was bigger. The main venue covered an area of 64,000 m2, 60% larger than the first expo.


Secondly, the substance of the expo became richer. With new sections such as African-branded Products Exhibition and Domestic-International Trade Integration Exhibition, the expo hosted nearly 300 companies from 47 African countries and displayed a wide range of African and China-Africa joint brands, attracting over 6,500 exhibitors and buyers from home and abroad.


Thirdly, innovative forms were adopted. With online meetings, exhibitions and transactions, 320 exhibitors put around 2,300 products on display, and total transaction exceeded 250 million yuan. Livestreamed meetings and 2D and 3D exhibitions were viewed tens of millions of times.


Fourthly, progress of in-depth cooperation was highlighted. A 30,000-m2 secondary venue was set up at Gaoqiao Grand Market as a permanent exhibition hall for the special exhibition areas of African coffee, cocoa, nuts and agricultural and sideline products, as well as characteristic exports of Hunan, as a window on the accomplishments of the Pilot Zone for In-depth China-Africa Economic and Trade Cooperation.


Third, vibrant subnational cooperation.


For the first time, this year’s expo featured two guest provinces, namely Zhejiang and Jiangxi, which successfully held the Conference on Zhejiang-Africa Economic and Trade Cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative and the China (Jiangxi) - Africa Investment Promotion Conference.


Besides, Hubei Province, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region and the city of Shenzhen also held Africa-oriented special economic and trade events; 29 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities displayed their overall images, flagship businesses and trade and economic cooperation status with Africa at the Provinces Hall.


During the expo, provinces and municipalities signed 106 projects, accounting for 78.5% of all signed projects.


Fourth, increasing importance as a platform.


Focusing on new characteristics and trends of China-Africa trade and economic cooperation, this year’s expo designed sub-forums for cooperation in food and agro-products, medicine and health, infrastructure and industry chain, as well as special events for financial cooperation and industrial park promotion. 135 cooperation documents worth US$22.9 billion were signed physically and virtually, covering agriculture, mining, manufacturing, infrastructure, e-commerce and finance; a wide range of funding sources were tapped into, including loans from Chinese financial institutions, corporate funds, funds from international financial organizations and investment funds.


Thank you.




CMG Voice of China: Why is China considering joining CPTPP?


In addition, what is the accession procedure after the application is submitted?




Shu Jueting: China is stepping up fostering a new development paradigm with domestic circulation as the mainstay and domestic and international circulations reinforcing each other, which will provide broader market and development opportunities for countries around the world.


The application to join CPTPP demonstrates China’s will and determination to continue to deepen reforms and expand opening up.


As a long-standing supporter of free trade, China has been calling for open, transparent, mutually beneficial and win-win regional free trade arrangements and is actively building a global network of high-standard FTAs.


In particular, in the context of COVID-19, China stands ready to work with all to overcome the adverse impact of COVID-19 through actively promoting regional economic integration and trade and investment liberalization and facilitation for greater contribution to global economic recovery and growth.


In the next step, China will consult with the members in accordance with the relevant procedures of CPTPP.


Thank you.




CMG Business Radio: My question is about Chinese-Russian economic cooperation and trade.


On September 28, the 24th meeting of China-Russia Trade and Economic Cooperation Sub-Committee was held. What are the achievements of this meeting?


What is the trend of Chinese-Russian economic cooperation and trade this year?




Shu Jueting: On September 28, Wang Wentao, Minister of Commerce, and Maksim Reshetnikov, Minister of Economic Development of Russia, held the 24th meeting of the China-Russia Trade and Economic Cooperation Sub-Committee virtually.


The meeting actively implemented the important economic and trade consensus of the two heads of state and made preparations for bilateral high-level exchanges on the economic and trade front.


It is fair to say that the two sides have a common aspiration for the development of economic cooperation and trade in the new era, jointly plan new highlights and growth areas of Chinese-Russian economic relations and trade in the new era, and are making progress towards the trade target of USD200 billion set by the two heads of state.


First, the two sides have redoubled efforts to promote economic cooperation and trade.


Since the beginning of this year, Chinese-Russian trade has gained momentum and achieved gratifying results. From January to August, the trade volume of goods reached USD88.5 billion, an increase of 29% year-on-year, and volume for the whole year is expected to reach a record high. Trade in services rebounded rapidly, increasing by 35% in the first half of the year.


The two sides agreed to consolidate the momentum of trade growth, promote the development of new business forms, such as cross-border e-commerce, while developing traditional commodity trade, and create new growth areas such as digital economy, green trade and medical health. The two sides agreed to expand trade in services and elevate cooperation in travel, transportation, construction, culture, film and television to a new level, promote standard alignment, improve trade and investment facilitation, and make good use of platforms such as Canton Fair, China International Import Expo (CIIE) and China-Russia Expo to promote cooperation and exchanges between localities and companies.


Second, the two sides have gathered strength through smooth industrial and supply chains.


A number of key Chinese-Russian cooperation projects have achieved new progress. In the first eight months of this year, China's direct investment in Russia increased by 23% year-on-year.


The two sides agreed to take joint measures to further ensure smooth port transportation and customs clearance and ensure the stability of industrial and supply chains. The two sides agreed to focus on key investment projects, strengthen service coordination and create a "shining example" for cooperation between the two countries, support the establishment of electromechanical industry demonstration parks in each other’s localities, and discuss the cooperation on "two countries, dual parks". On the basis of ensuring safety, the two sides will steadily expand two-way market access for agricultural products and deepen agricultural cooperation along the entire industrial chain, such as on soybeans.


Third, the two sides have supported the development of emerging areas.


The two sides agreed that the two countries have broad prospects for cooperation in emerging areas such as digital economy, green and low carbon development, and are willing to promote matchmaking and exchanges between Internet and high-tech enterprises, The two sides agreed to strengthen cooperation in areas such as 5G, artificial intelligence, big data and smart cities.


Strengthening policy coordination and project matchmaking, support enterprises to cooperate in the fields of clean energy, energy conservation and environmental protection, and efficiency improvement for traditional energies, and strengthen bilateral cooperation and green empowerment.


Fourth, the two sides have worked in unity for multilateral cooperation.


The two sides will strengthen communication and coordination on multilateral fronts such as BRICS, G20, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and APEC, oppose unilateralism and protectionism, and promote an open world economy, participate in the WTO reform, promote positive outcomes for MC12, and safeguard the authority and efficacy of the WTO.


During this meeting, the two sides also fully exchanged views on cooperation in trade development, digital economy, green and low carbon and other economic and trade issues, and agreed to step up the work to enrich the contents of China-Russia comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership in the new era with tangible cooperation results.


Thank you.




The Paper: Some cities have announced electricity use controls, which have affected industrial production and people’s lives. What’s MOFCOM’s comment on such policies’ impact on export and domestic consumption?




Shu Jueting: On ensuring energy supply, relevant authorities have made their response yesterday.


We will watch closely for the operations of commercial businesses, and help them address difficulties and problems should they arise.


Thank you.




Yicai TV: My question is about the ongoing Amazon account banning. What are the impacts on foreign trade companies?


Will MOFCOM take measures in response?




Shu Jueting: We have been paying close attention to the measures taken by certain foreign e-commerce platforms at certain Chinese platform businesses. We have proactively offered help and guidance to the affected businesses to respond.


We have guided Shenzhen and other localities to offer legal assistance and other forms of support, encourage foreign e-commerce platforms to provide follow-up services for Chinese businesses, and hosted special training sessions on cross-border e-commerce to make sellers more familiar with the rules of the platforms.


So far, China’s cross-border e-commerce sector has maintained rapid growth in general.


In the next step, we will encourage the companies to diversify their business, assist them in enhancing risk management and compliance with international trade rules and standards, and firmly support them in taking reasonable measures to protect their lawful rights and interests.


Meanwhile, we will continue to build a credibility system for the healthy development of the whole sector.


Thank you.




South China Morning Post: The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) government has published the Report on Hong Kong’s Business Environment. What’s your comment?




Shu Jueting: We welcome and support the release of the Report on Hong Kong’s Business Environment.


The Report effectively denounces the smear of the U.S. in its so-called “Hong Kong business advisory” and fully demonstrates the sound business environment and bright prospects of Hong Kong after its shift from chaos to stability. It helps the international community to understand the realities of Hong Kong and gain greater confidence in the city.


MOFCOM has been supporting Hong Kong in improving its status as an international financial, trade and shipping center and safeguarding its good business environment.


We have been expanding openness of the mainland to Hong Kong through CEPA, implementing commerce policies for the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, encouraging Hong Kong to take part in and promote the Belt and Road Initiative, and supporting Hong Kong’s participation in international and regional economic cooperation.


In the future, MOFCOM will further strengthen trade and economic cooperation between the mainland and Hong Kong by supporting Hong Kong in joining the domestic economic circulation, bridging the domestic and international circulations, and engaging in regional economic cooperation on more occasions, so that Hong Kong can explore new opportunities of international cooperation and leverage its unique advantages in building the new development paradigm.


Thank you.




CNBC: I have two questions. Firstly, as president Xi Jinping has announced that China will not build new coal project abroad, does it mean that China will not invest in overseas coal-fired power projects?


Secondly, does China recently have new considerations towards China-U.S. trade?


Does it plan to remove the additional tariffs?




Shu Jueting: On your first question: On September 26, President Xi Jinping announced at the general debate of the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly that China will step up support for other developing countries in developing green and low-carbon energy, and will not build new coal-fired power projects abroad.


This statement once again shows China’s responsible attitude towards global climate governance.


We will firmly implement the instructions of President Xi Jinping’s important speech.


On your second question: Regarding China-U.S. trade, China believes that the additional tariffs do not benefit China or the U.S., nor do they help with world economic recovery.


As inflation pressure increases globally, the additional tariffs result in heavy pressure and loss for the businesses and consumers of both of our countries.


Thank you.




Phoenix TV: I have a question about China-US trade relations. It is reported that U.S. Commerce Secretary Raimondo intends to visit China to improve U.S.-China economic and trade relations, but she also indicated continued restrictions on Huawei's access to advanced chips.


What is MOFCOM’s response?


Are there any plans for the two economic teams to meet in the near future?




Shu Jueting: We have taken note of the report. China-US trade and economic relations are win-win in nature, as the trade flows and economic cooperation serve the fundamental interests of the two countries and peoples, and beyond.


We hope the two sides can make joint efforts to create conditions for the healthy and steady development of the bilateral relations.


The two trade and economic teams have maintained normal communication. We will update you on the latest developments should there be any.


Thank you.




The Cover: My question is also about the CPTPP. We noted that China has submitted a formal application to join the CPTPP. What work is MOFCOM undertaking to meet the qualifications and how is the progress?




Shu Jueting: To actively advance the accession to the CPTPP, China has conducted a comprehensive study and assessment of its provisions, reviewed the necessary reform and legal revision that may be required, and will make high-level market access commitments beyond China's existing treaty practices. We will provide members with commercially beneficial market access opportunities to promote bilateral trade and investment growth.


Thank you.




Daily Economic News: The first batch of exhibits for the fourth China International Import Expo (CIIE) has cleared customs recently. Could you brief us on the preparation for the CIIE?




Shu Jueting: Since 2018, we have delivered three successful sessions of the CIIE. Acting as a major platform for international procurement, investment promotion, cultural exchange and open cooperation, the CIIE, with its ever growing impacts, has provided countries with increased opportunities in exploring market, attracting investment and achieving growth, and facilitated the efforts in building the new dual circulation development paradigm, an open world economy and a community with a shared future for mankind.


Preparation for the fourth CIIE is well underway as planned.


On attracting exhibitors for the Business Exhibition, we remain committed to making the CIIE a comprehensive and professional trade fair. The exhibition area totals over 360,000 square meters, with more companies signing up for the this year’s exhibition than last year. Special exhibition booths are demanded by 95.9% of the exhibitors. Fortune Global 500 companies and leading industry players have shown a strong interest in participation, over 80% of whom are returning exhibitors, a rate higher than that of the previous session. The number of foreign small and medium-sized enterprises organized in groups has increased by 30%.


On attracting buyers, we use big data to target more professional buyers. This year, for the first time, we send invitations to professional visitors from exhibiting companies and relevant entities. So far, 39 trade missions and nearly 600 sub-missions have been set up.


Our roadshows play an effective role in buyer attraction. A total of 18 roadshows were attended by more than 2,700 buyers online or on-site. Over 200 exhibitors and 500 buyers have already started to engage with one another through matchmaking events to negotiate deals.


Regarding the Country Exhibition, we adopt technologies such as 3D modelling and virtual engines for the online exhibition for the first time. Participating countries will be provided with virtual pavilions to showcase their development achievements, competitive industries, culture and tourism, representative enterprises and other specialty areas in various forms such as pictures, videos, 3D models, etc.


This year, the Hongqiao International Economic Forum will be comprised of the main forum and 13 parallel sessions. Guests from home and abroad joining the events online or on-site will share insights on global frontiers and industry hot spots, including health economy, green development, consumption upgrade, digital economy, smart technology, agricultural development, intellectual property and finance, contributing “Hongqiao wisdom” to world economic recovery and a global community of health for all.


While following proper epidemic containment protocols, we have coordinated all exhibition service providers to work at the exhibition venues from the mid-August and address exhibitors’ shipping requests for their exhibits with tailor-made services, so as to better serve all exhibitors and ensure safe, orderly and timely delivery of all exhibits.


On September 27, the first batch of exhibits completed the customs clearance process.


Apart from our comprehensive shipping services, we are coordinating other exhibition services, such as the construction of special exhibition booths, booth drawing reviews and approvals, as well as on-site services for certificate registration, catering and cleaning.


With just over a month before the opening of the fourth CIIE, we will spare no efforts in delivering an international trade and economic fair that is safe, spectacular and fruitful.




Nikkei: In order to join the CPTPP, it seems that China needs to address numerous problems regarding SOEs, digital data, government procurement, and labor rights. Some domestic experts argue that China should try to seek exceptions as much as possible.


What’s MOFCOM’s take on the experts' views?




Shu Jueting: On the issue of CPTPP, I have just shared the relevant information. We will promptly release any further information.


Thank you.




Hongxing: Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei, has recently returned to China after nearly three years of illegal detention by Canada.


It is reported by foreign media that just a day before Meng's acquittal, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo stated publicly that the U.S. government will take further actions against Huawei if need be, including by dissuading other countries from using Huawei’s 5G equipment. How does MOFCOM view it?




Shu Jueting: The international trade and economic order is severely damaged and global industrial chains and supply chains gravely threatened by the attempts to generalize the concept of national security and abuse export control measures, and to direct national forces against Chinese companies, institutions, and individuals.


We expect the US to immediately redress its wrong practice.


China, as we always do, will remain firm in defending the legitimate interests of Chinese companies.


Are there any further questions?


If not, this is the end of the press conference.


In addition, I am pleased to inform you that the Ministry of Commerce has recently opened official accounts on both Facebook and Twitter. Please search for "the Ministry of Commerce of the People's Republic of China" and follow us!


I wish you all a happy National Day!


Thank you.