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Xi says BRICS must promote open world economy
 
Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers a keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the BRICS Business Forum in Xiamen, southeast China's Fujian Province, Sept. 3, 2017. Photo: Xinhua
 
The BRICS group of emerging economies must promote trade liberalization and an open world economy, Chinese President Xi Jinping said at a business meeting on Sunday at the start of a three-day summit being held in southeastern China.
 
Addressing the BRICS Business Forum in Xiamen on Sunday, with Brazilian President Michel Temer and South African President Jacob Zuma in audience, Xi said after ten years a fully-fledged BRICS cooperation framework is taking shape.
 
With Russia's Vladimir Putin and India's Narendra Modi joining in, the leaders of the world's five major developing countries will chart way forward for the bloc at the ninth BRICS summit scheduled for Sept. 3-5.
 
The heads of state from the BRICS nations are in Xiamen through tomorrow, giving China, as host, its latest chance to position itself as a bulwark of globalization in the face of US President Donald Trump’s “America First” agenda.
 
This will be the ninth summit of the BRICS grouping, which came together about a decade ago to push for an alternative world order that wasn’t dominated by Western nations.
 
“We should push for an open world economy, promote trade liberalization and facilitation, jointly create a new global value chain, and realize a global economic rebalancing,” Xi told BRICS business leaders and senior officials.
 
Xi said despite headwinds causing growth setbacks, the BRICS countries are "fully confident" about their growth potential and the future outlook.
 
“We should not ignore problems arising from economic globalization or just complain about them,” he said. Rather, BRICS nations should work together with other members of the international community to find solutions, he said.
 
“The development of emerging market and developing countries won’t touch anyone’s cheese, but instead will diligently grow the world economic pie,” he added. 
 
In July, Xi called on members of the Group of 20 (G20) nations to champion an open world economy, and at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, in January offered a vigorous defense of globalization.
 
In Xiamen, Xi closed his 45-minute speech by saying that Beijing encouraged Chinese companies to continue going abroad, and “warmly welcomed” other countries’ firms to invest in the world’s second-largest economy.
 
"Only openness delivers progress, and only inclusiveness sustains such progress," Xi said.
 
The BRICS summit comes just a week after China and India agreed to end a more than two-month standoff between hundreds of troops in a Himalayan border area, which had put a sidelines meeting between Xi and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in question.
 
During the Xiamen summit, China will hold the Dialogue of Emerging Market and Developing Countries, where the leaders of Egypt, Guinea, Mexico, Tajikistan and Thailand will join the BRICS leaders in discussing global development cooperation and South-South cooperation.
 
While outreach programs have existed in past BRICS summits since 2013, it is the first time participating leaders have come from around the world, but not just neighbors of the host country.
 
Xi said this "BRICS Plus" approach should be promoted to build an open and diversified network of development partners for the bloc.
 
Turning to China, Xi said the country had made the "right choice" on deepening reform and will march on in strides.
 
China's economic aggregate grew by 239 percent over the past ten years and the lives of its 1.3 billion-plus people have been significantly improved, he added. 
 
"Going forward, China will continue to put into practice the vision of innovative, coordinated, green, open and inclusive development," he said.
 
"We will adapt to and steer the new normal of economic development, push forward supply-side structural reform, accelerate the building of a new system for an open economy, drive economic development with innovation, and achieve sustainable development," Xi said.

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