GUANGZHOU, China, Oct. 28, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The fourth Understanding China Conference opened Saturday in Guangzhou, bringing in-depth discussions around the theme of "New Globalization and China's New Round of Reform and Opening-Up."
About 600 politicians, strategists, scholars, entrepreneurs from 17 countries and regions, as well as representatives of international organizations, participated in the two-day event, according to the organizing committee.
Participants are expected to attend in-depth discussions, seminars and forums with topics including the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, global governance and China's economic development.
The international trading system that has made possible the extension and expansion of the opportunities of globalization is nowadays "under severe stress," said Ernesto Zedillo, former president of Mexico, at the opening ceremony.
He called for joint efforts to protect global multilateralism, saying that "we hope all countries can take the initiative to protect and reinforce the multilateral trading system."
His view was echoed by Li Yong, director-general of the UN Industrial Development Organization, who cautioned against protectionist sentiments, saying that economies that close their borders risk cutting themselves off from job opportunities and innovation investment.
Experts spoke highly of China's role in globalization.
"Globalization and China's own policies have been highly complementary and mutually beneficial. We need to recognize this to fully understand China's commitment to globalization and the new round of the reform and opening up today," Li said.
China has contributed a lot to globalization, said Martin Jacques, a senior fellow of the Department of Politics and International Studies at the University of Cambridge, adding that one of China's basic views on globalization is inclusiveness, which allows China to better integrate into the world economy.
"We have to launch the new globalization. It will be very difficult, but we can succeed," said Kishore Mahbubani, a distinguished fellow at the Asia Research Institute of National University of Singapore.
Launched in 2013, the Understanding China Conference has served as a platform for the world to understand China's development strategies.
Guangzhou, capital of south China's economic powerhouse Guangdong Province, has been at the frontier of China's reform and opening-up. Today, as a national center city and a comprehensive gateway, Guangzhou has set up a solid foundation in terms of foreign trade, business environment, industrial transformation, international exchanges and social governance. With China increasingly opening up, Guangzhou has formed an all-dimensional, wide-ranging and multilevel pattern of opening up itself.
The GDP of Guangzhou increased by 6.9 percent in the first nine months of this year to more than 1.78 trillion yuan (USD 252 billion), according to the city's government.