An advanced forum focusing on the structure of international trade and investment in the new era was held at the Wuzhou Guest House on Thursday morning, with dozens of economic and policy experts shedding light on their observations and suggestions for the changing trend in globalization.
The 16th Forum on “WTO & Shenzhen” was sponsored by the Shenzhen Municipal Government and organized by the Shenzhen Municipal Economy, Trade and Information Commission along with the Shenzhen Municipal Fair Trade Bureau.
The forum was divided into three sub-topics that looked into the general challenges of economic globalization faced by all countries in the world, China’s rising role in policy-making for international trade and investment and Shenzhen’s advantages in boosting multilateral cooperation globally.
Huo Jianguo, vice chairman of the China Society for WTO Studies and former president of the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, studied the development of globalization since the end of WWII and named a few challenges and bottlenecks faced by all economies.
“One of the biggest challenges is that certain countries, especially the United States, decide to promote trade protectionism, which will surely undermine the function of international trade,” said Huo during his speech.
Besides trade protectionism, Huo also raised the concern of imbalanced distribution of profits among various stakeholders in international trade actions. Thus, Huo suggested that the implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative might play a significant and crucial role in building up a fair model for international trade.
Shenzhen, as the pilot city of opening up, has been given high expectations. “We hope Shenzhen can play a bigger role by sharing its experience in international trade and multilateral economic cooperation,” said Liu Yuhua, commercial counselor from the Ministry of Commerce’s Department of WTO Affairs.
Another guest speaker, James Lockett, vice president of Huawei Technologies, shared how the Shenzhen-based telecommunications giant benefits from free trade and how important free trade is to a corporation and even a country as a whole.
It is the 16th year that the Shenzhen government has hosted the Forum on “WTO & Shenzhen.” Nearly 280 experts, government officials and representatives from universities as well as research institutes attended Thursday’s forum.