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Li Keqiang Attends and Addresses China-ASEAN Business and Investment Summit

On the afternoon of November 13, 2020, Premier Li Keqiang delivered a speech via video link at the China-ASEAN Business and Investment Summit.

Li Keqiang said that the sudden attack of COVID-19 has posed a grave threat to the lives and health of people in all countries, and the world economy is enduring the worst recession since World War II. As close neighbors and important partners, the trade and investment between China and ASEAN have grown against the context of the global economic downturn. The trade volume of ASEAN has increased by 5 percent, and China's investment in ASEAN has increased by 76.6 percent on a year-on-year basis. ASEAN has become China's largest trading partner, and the economic and industrial ties between the two sides have become closer.

Li Keqiang briefly introduced the current economic situation in China. He said that China has coordinated the epidemic control with economic development, and promptly and decisively introduced effective and reasonable macroeconomic policies in response to the impact of the epidemic. With the Chinese people's all-out efforts, China registered positive economic growth for the first three quarters and stabilized its economic fundamentals, which is a hard-won achievement for a country with a population of 1.4 billion.

Li Keqiang pointed out that China's policy of helping enterprises to relieve difficulties and stimulating the vitality of market entities focuses on micro, small and medium-sized enterprises and individual industrial and commercial households, aiming to stabilize employment, so as to stabilize the economic fundamentals. To keep the employment stable depends on main market players. China has continued to promote tax and fee reductions, deepen the reforms to delegate powers, improve regulations, and provide better services, so as to improve the business environment and stimulate the vitality of hundreds of millions of market players. The daily number of newly registered market players in China has now returned to the level of the same period last year. It is precisely the survival of hundreds of millions of market entities that effectively guarantees the employment and people's livelihood. The Chinese people are resilient, and China's market players have firm confidence in the future. It is safe to say that China's economy will see positive growth this year. Among the world's major economies, China has taken the lead in recovering and developing the economy.

Li Keqiang pointed out that both China and ASEAN are aware that they are still facing many difficulties and challenges, not only the economic recession and the shrinking trade, but also the growing protectionism. China will uphold the concept of a community with a shared future, continue to promote cooperation with ASEAN countries, uphold multilateralism and free trade, and safeguard world peace and development.

China will resolutely maintain a peaceful and stable development environment. This year marks the 75th anniversary of the victory of the World Anti-Fascist War and the 75th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations. President Xi Jinping pointed out at the General Debate of the 75th Session of the UN General Assembly that the theme of peace and development has not changed, and the people of all countries have stronger expectations for peaceful development, cooperation and win-win results. Over the past 75 years, Asia has gone from turbulence to peace, from confrontation to cooperation, and from poverty to prosperity. We are deeply aware of the importance of regional peace and stability. It is not only a need for business and investment development, but also serves the expectations of long-term stability and sound development.

China will make efforts to promote regional economic integration. China always advocates free trade under the framework of the World Trade Organization, and promotes economic integration at the regional level, so as to make the "two wheels" roll together. Since the establishment of the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area ten years ago, it has witnessed expanding fields and upgraded cooperation. It is expected that the "Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)" will be signed during the leaders' meeting of the East Asian Cooperation, which will send a positive and clear signal to regional economic integration and economic globalization. We are willing to enhance coordination of development strategies with ASEAN countries on the basis of mutual benefit and win-win results, and promote Belt and Road cooperation.

China will make all-out efforts to push forward regional economic recovery. For many years, East Asia has played an important leading role in the world economy. Under the current background, we should still shoulder this responsibility. All countries must work together to promote regional economic recovery and seek prosperity, which will also inject strong impetus into the recovery of the world economy. In this process, we must not only carry out cooperation between advanced technology enterprises and large enterprises, but also create new cooperation highlights in new fields such as micro, small, and middle-sized enterprises.

Li Keqiang pointed out that next year will usher in the 30th anniversary of the establishment of China-ASEAN dialogue relations. The age of 30 marks the mature of a man. Li believes that the two sides' bilateral ties will be more mature next year and the relations will continue to achieve win-win results and initiate new prospects in business, trade and investment cooperation, which will further benefit the people of both sides and safeguard peace, stability and prosperity in the region and the world.

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