And, despite ongoing tensions, the total value of impo

orts and exports rebounded sharply in March, reaching 9.6 percent higher than March 2018. S

o, overall trade grew by 3.7 percent year-on-year in the quarter despite low growth rates in January and Febru

ary. Exports of electrical and mechanical products, which are higher value added, grew by 5.4 percent in the qua

rter. And, private sector trade grew 9.9 percent, far more than the overall growth rate.

I am worried to see that total investment in real estate grew by 11.8 per

cent year-on-year. Having lived through the 2008 finan

cial crisis in the United States, I’m wary of continued high investment in real estate in a time when property prices are al

ready astonishingly high and China’s living space per person has already surpassed that in Europe.

The bottom line is that fiscal and monetary policies combined with policies to promote structural transformation have

achieved a stable macroeconomic situation and steady movement toward supply side upgrading.

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Chinese firms ideal partners on Belt and Road Initiative

Firms from China and the UK are ideal partners in many countries along t

he Belt and Road Initiative, a China-Britain Business Council official said in Beijing.

“The UK has taken a very positive view on seizing these opportunit

ies for UK businesses, particularly our banks, our large consultancy firms and our infr

astructure companies,” said Jeff Astle, managing director of China operations at the council.

British expertise in areas of financial services, banking, legal services, consulting services around engineering pro

vides a broad range of opportunities for UK firms to collaborate with Chinese firms in other countries, Astle said.

“We benefit from many English legal jurisdictions in many

of these countries, the English language and our businesses have long history and experiences in these coun

tries. That means we are a great ideal partner for Chinese firms in many of these Belt and Road counties,” said Astle.

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The annual report estimates that total electricity cons

umption in 2019 is expected to grow 5.8 percent. Demand for coal is expected to hit 3.95 billion

tons, with the power sector still playing a significant role in the consumption of coal.

Consumption of oil is predicted to reach 620 million tons, up 1.6 percent year-on-year, while

the growth rate for natural gas consumption is expected to slow, with an annual consumption of 310 billi

on cubic meters in 2019, up 10.4 percent year-on-year, it said.The 2019 Beijing International Horticultural Ex

hibition (Expo 2019 Beijing) opens to visitors Monday, and will showcase a wide variety of flowers, fruits, vegetables and

herbs from across the world, including more than 300 rare and endangered plant species.

Nearly 20,000 volunteers across media, translation and giving directio

ns will work at the 162-day event, running April 29 – Oct 7. Click to watch their greetings in s

even languages: Chinese, English, Russian, French, German, Spanish and Japanese.

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They maintained that Belt and Road construction wi

l make positive contributions in implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development of the United Nations.

The leaders also pledged to pursue trade and investment liberalization

and facilitation, reject protectionism and unilateralism and uphold the rule-based mul

tilateral system with the World Trade Organization at the center, according to the communique.

Xi told reporters that the consensus reached by the leaders has set the right course for the development of the BRI.

Our shared goal is that we work together to make the interconnectivity among various countries more efficient, foster mo

re robust economic growth, develop even closer international cooperation and enable people to live a better life, he said.

Xi also said BRI cooperation projects will be market-based. To ensure s

ustainable development, the leaders agreed to promote a level playing field for business com

munities and create a nondiscriminatory business environment, he said.

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Those involved in the BRI will strengthen synerg

y in development plans and initiatives of various countries and international organizations and in

tensify bilateral and the third-party market cooperation to help more countries raise their level of connectivity, Xi said.

He added that participants agreed that Belt and Road forums are an important platform for multilateral co

operation and should be held on a regular basis.

President calls for countries’ joint efforts in building Belt, Road in forum speech

President Xi Jinping pledged on Friday to take strong measures such as easing market

access for foreign capital and increasing imports to promote the higher-level opening-up of the country.

While delivering the keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the

Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing, Xi said that the p

urpose of building the Belt and Road is to achieve win-win cooperation and common development.

China will increase imports of goods and services on a larger scale, and it will further lower its tariff rates, Xi said.

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Xi stressed the importance of fulfilling bilateral and

 multilateral trade agreements, saying that Chinese people value a promise as much as tons of gold.

China pays close attention to building a law-based government, abolishing improper r

ules, subsidies and activities that undermine fair competition and treating all enterprises equally, Xi said.

The president highlighted building infrastructure of high quality, sustain

ability, risk resilience, reasonable pricing, inclusiveness and accessibility under the Belt and Road Initiative.

Infrastructure is a bottleneck in the development of many nations

, Xi said, and building infrastructure can help countries give full play to their ad

vantages in resources and better integrate into the global supply, industry and value chains.

Xi called on countries to uphold multilateralism, promote green devel

opment and fight corruption with zero tolerance in the process of building the Belt and Road.

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Pledges at forum draw overseas experts’ praise

The international community has hailed President Xi Jinping’s call on Friday to ease market

access for foreign capital and increase imports so that opening-up reaches a higher level.

Xi said in his keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the S

econd Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing that the purpose of buil

ding the Belt and Road is to achieve win-win cooperation and common development.

China will increase its imports of goods and services and will further lower its tariff rates, Xi said.

Francis Chua, chairman emeritus of the Philippine Chamber of Commer

ce and Industry, noted Xi’s emphasis on quality imports and state-of-the-art products.

“China will keep its commitments,” said Chua, who was attending the forum as a member of the Philippine business delegation.

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Production and sales of these firms picked up in Mar

with the aggregated industrial value added expanding by 8.5 percent year-on-year, 3.2 percentage points

higher than that in the January-February period.

Operation revenue jumped by 13.7 percent year-on-year i

n March, 10.4 percentage points more than that in the January-February period.

Stabilizing prices served as another driver of the rebound, according to an NBS analy

sis. The producer prices rose 0.4 percent year-on-year in March, ending a decline for eight months in a row.

The purchasing prices for raw materials edged up 0.2 percent from a ye

ar ago, 0.1 percentage points higher than that in the January-February period.

Preliminary estimates showed that the price changes added 26.8 billion yuan to industrial profits in March, and the cont

ribution of price changes to industrial profit growth rose by 4.5 percentage points from that in the Ja

nuary-February period, said senior statistician Zhu Hong from the NBS’s Industrial Bureau.

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delivers keynote speech at second B&R forum

President Xi Jinping delivered a keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the Second Belt

and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing on Friday. Here are the highlights.

Belt and Road opens up new space for global economic growth

Joint building of the Belt and Road has opened up new space for the world’s economic grow

th. It also created a new platform to boost international trade and investment, expanded new practices to optim

ize the global economic governance, and made new contributions to improving people’s well-being of all countries.

High-quality development of Belt and Road stressed

The principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits should be uphel

d. The open, green and clean approaches should be adhered to. The goals of high-standard, livelihood-impro

ving and sustainable development should be achieved.High-quality, sustainable infrastructure under BRI highlighted

Infrastructure is the cornerstone of connectivity

and a bottleneck of development confronting many countries. Bui

lding infrastructure with such standards can help countries give full play to their advantages in resources and b

etter integrate into the global supply, industry and value chains for interconnected development.

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Country’s 1st space station to be shared a full-size m

China’s plan to involve international communities in its space mis

sions to jointly conduct space research shows its determination to further enhance global coop

eration in space projects, according to the director of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs. That incl

udes opening up its planned space station to other countries, especially developing countries.

China’s space station, which is expected to be completed and operating by 2022, will be the world’s first space station open

for cooperation with all UN member states in manned space flights and exploration. The station will be able to sup

port research on astronomy, space life sciences, biotechnology, microgravity fundamental physics and space materials science.

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