Top news of the week:
Saudi Arabia, Iran agree to re-establish diplomatic relations
March 13, 2023
Iran and Saudi Arabia clinched a deal to restore diplomatic relations and re-open embassies, seven years after ties were severed over several issues on March 10. The decision to re-establish relations, which were severed in 2016, came following talks that took place from March 6 through March 10 in Beijing.
China to resume visa issuance for foreigners
March 14, 2023
China will reopen its borders to foreign tourists for the first time in the three years since the COVID-19 pandemic erupted by allowing all categories of visas to be issued from March 15. The move signals a significant change in the country’s COVID response measures and a return to normalcy.
China’s new-term State Council starts to perform duties with first executive meeting held
March 15, 2023
China’s new-term State Council has started to perform duties with Premier Li Qiang presiding over its first executive meeting. The meeting studied work related to the setup of the State Council and deliberated on the newly revised working rules of the State Council.
PBOC emphasizes building capacity in defusing financial risks
March 16, 2023
China’s central bank emphasized the improvement of the mechanism and capacity in handling financial risks in a recently held conference on financial stability. The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) said that preventing and diffusing financial risks has been a lasting theme of the financial industry.
China establishes new committees to oversee financial work
March 17, 2023
China released the final plan on reforming the Communist Party and State Council institutions which was passed during the “Two Sessions”. Two new financial industry-related committees under the CPC Central Committee were made public for the first time – Central Financial Commission and Central Financial Work Committee, will be established to strengthen the Party’s centralized oversight of the industry, including top-level planning, overall advancement o
Insight of the week:
China’s new premier, Li Qiang, held his first press conference following the closing ceremony of the 14th National People’s Congress (NPC) on March 13. His responses offered signs of what might lie ahead for the world’s second-largest economy. Here are the highlights:
- On new government’s goals: China will focus on promoting high-quality development and continue to deepen reform and opening up.
- On economy: Premier Li emphasized on the confidence in China’s economic outlook and said the country will introduce a set of policies in terms of macroeconomics, expanding demand, advancing reform and innovation, and preventing and defusing risks.
- On private sector: China will continue to support private enterprises with market-based and law-based rules, treat all companies and ownerships equally, and protect the property rights and interests of entrepreneurs in accordance with the law.
- On employment: China will continue to pursue an employment-first strategy and increase government support to boost employment. Regarding population drop, the Premier said that the quality of population and increasing number of talents will be the next competitiveness for China.
- On COVID-19: Li reaffirmed the necessity and “absolute correctness” of China’s previous COVID-19 control and prevention policies and said China’s timely adjustment of the measures were successful with continuing strengthening plan of medical services.
- On opening-up and China-US ties: China will stay firmly committed to pursuing the opening-up policy, align with high-standard international economic and trade rules, and further expand opening-up this year. China-US consensus needs to be translated into policies and actions, Li said, the two major countries “can,” and “must” cooperate.
The Premier’s remarks reflected his down-to-earth approach, which might inspire confidence among private businesses and foreign investors, though it eventually relies on the concrete plans and favorable policies yet to be announced.
Swedcham China Insights is provided by Kreab Beijing
Part of SwedCham China Insights articles is also published on Sweden-China Trade Council homepage: www.sctc.se
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