World leaders oppose all forms of protectionism: B&R Communique

Xinhua Published: 2017-05-16 00:17:32
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Chinese President Xi Jinping, foreign delegation heads and guests walk out of the Yanqi Lake International Convention Center after the first session of the Leaders' Roundtable Summit at the Belt and Road Forum (BRF) for International Cooperation, in Beijing, capital of China, May 15, 2017. [Photo: Xinhua]

Chinese President Xi Jinping, foreign delegation heads and guests walk out of the Yanqi Lake International Convention Center after the first session of the Leaders' Roundtable Summit at the Belt and Road Forum (BRF) for International Cooperation, in Beijing, capital of China, May 15, 2017. [Photo: Xinhua]

Leaders from 30 countries and three key international organizations attending a roundtable meeting of a forum agree to oppose all forms of protectionism, according to a communique.

Participants in the Leaders Roundtable of the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation adopted a joint communique here Monday.

"We reaffirm our shared commitment to build open economy, ensure free and inclusive trade, oppose all forms of protectionism including in the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative," the communique said.

"We endeavor to promote a universal, rules-based, open, non-discriminatory and equitable multilateral trading system with WTO at its core," according to the communique. 

On deepening economic and trade cooperation, leaders agree to uphold the authority and effectiveness of the multilateral trading system, and work together to achieve positive outcomes at the 11th WTO ministerial conference; promote trade and investment liberalization and facilitation and enable the general public to benefit from trade, it said.

The leaders reaffirm to expand trade by nurturing new areas of trade growth, promoting trade balance and promoting e-commerce and digital economy, and welcome the development of free trade areas and signing of free trade agreements by interested countries, said the document.

The leaders vow to contribute to a stable and equitable international financial system, promote openness and connectivity among financial markets, including through mutual cooperation on payment systems and the promotion of financial inclusion, according to the document.

They agree to encourage financial institutions to establish commercial presence in relevant countries and regions, promote bilateral local currency settlement and cooperation agreements, and facilitate the development of local currency bonds and stock markets, and encourage dialogues to enhance financial cooperation and fend off financial risks, it said. 

The leaders are determined to protect the planet from degradation, including through taking urgent action on climate change and encouraging all parties which have ratified it to fully implement the Paris Agreement, according to the communique.

They should manage the natural resources in an equitable and sustainable manner, conserve and sustainably use oceans and seas, freshwater resources, as well as forests, mountains and drylands, protect biodiversity, ecosystems and wildlife, combat desertification and land degradation so as to achieve sustainable development in a balanced and integrated manners, the document added. 

The two-day forum is by far the most important meeting on the Belt and Road Initiative since Chinese President Xi Jinping first raised the concept in 2013. It is the largest-scale and highest-level international gathering initiated by China.

Named after the historic Silk Road, the Belt and Road Initiative is set to combine the rapidly expanding Chinese economy with the development of Asia, Europe, Africa and beyond.

29 foreign heads of state and government leaders attended the forum. Other delegates include officials, entrepreneurs, financiers and reporters from over 130 countries, which are home to more than two thirds of the world's population and their combined gross domestic product accounts for 90 percent of the world's total.

Representatives from the world's major economies including all G7 countries were present at the forum. 

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, and Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund Christine Lagarde also attended the forum.

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