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Premier calls to enhance trade liberalization and facilitation in SCO

By Hu Yongqi in Sochi | | Updated: 2017-12-01 21:23

Premier Li Keqiang called on members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization on Friday to increase trade liberalization and facilitation during the 16th Meeting of the Council of Heads of Government (Prime Minister) of the SCO in the Russian city of Sochi.

Li said the eight SCO members, which cover three-fifths of land in Europe and Asia with nearly half the world's population and 20 percent of its gross domestic product, have a huge market potential. Tax and non-tax barriers should be reduced to build an integrated market in the region and unleash potential for trade, as the global economy and trade are recovering, he said.

Li said China suggests trade liberalization should be steadily promoted and the negotiation and signing of an agreement on SCO trade liberalization should be accelerated. A feasibility study for the SCO free trade zone should be carried out at an appropriate time to establish a systematic arrangement for regional economic cooperation, he said.

Li said cross-border e-commerce should be supported to usher in the benefits of the digital economy. He said cooperation should be strengthened in service trade and a framework should be signed to promote service trade.

China will host the first international import exposition in Shanghai next November, a major measure by China to support trade liberalization and open its market to the rest of the world, the premier said. He hoped other countries can actively participate in the event.

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