The Belt and Road thematic session on trade connectivity was held in Beijing on May 14. AQSIQ Minister Zhi Shuping attended and addressed the meeting. Zhi emphasized that President Xi Jinping, in his speech in the opening ceremony of the forum, spoke of promoting connectivity of policies, rules and standards so as to privide institutional safeguards for enhancing connectivity, and in the areas of customs, inspection and quarantine pushing to launch projects at an early date and deliver early benefits. Zhi said that AQSIQ would solemnly implement Xi’s requirements, together with the countries along the Belt and Road, proactively promote connectivity of National Quality Infrastructure, safeguard quality and safety, eliminate technical barriers and facilitate international trade.
Zhi pointed out that trade played a very important role in Belt and Road Initiative. President Xi’s idea of five connectivities regards trade facilitation as an important part. As the internationally accepted Natinoal Quality Infrastructure (NQI), standards, metrology, certification and accreditation, inspection and testing are common technial language, and act as the bridge in facilitating trade. As the competent authority of NQI, AQSIQ implemented President Xi’s initiative, proactively strengthened practical cooperation with the countries along the Belt and Road, established cooperation mechanisms and platforms, pushed forward the connectivity of National Quality Infrastructure, conducted practical cooperation for trade facilitation, strengthened joint prevention and control of pests and diseases, and has made staged achievements.
Zhi emphasized that President Xi, in the 2017 International Economic Forum, clearly stated: “We should commit ourselves to growing an open global economy to share opportunities and interests through opening-up and achieve win-win outcomes. We must redouble efforts to develop global connectivity to enable all countries to achieve inter-connected growth and share prosperity. We must remain committed to developing global free trade and investment, promote trade and investment liberalization and facilitation through opening-up and say no to protectionism. ”Premier Li Keqiang said in the 2017 government report that China is to promote liberalization and facilitation for international trade and investment. These positions and views are in line with the philosophy of “achieving shared growth through discussion and collaboration”in Belt and Road. Therefore, AQSIQ would like to join hands with the countries along the Belt and Road, proactively promote connectivity of National Quality Infrastructure, safeguard quality and safety, eliminate technical barriers and facilitate international trade.
Zhi made a four-point proposal to countries along the Belt and Road. Firstly, to promote mutual recognition of standards to facilitate legal trade. Based on international standards, to strengthen standards harmonization and recognition, regulate trade practices and facilitate trade. Secondly, to strengthen metrology cooperation to facilitate fair trade. To establish information exchange mechanism, promote international mutual recognition of the result of pattern evaluation of measuring Instruments, and promote international equilvalence of measurement result. Thirdly, to promote certification and accreditation cooperation to facilitate mutually beneficial trade. To strengthen policy communication, seek for equivalent and harmonized approach, and develop common standards in certification and accreditation in the areas of common interest, and achieve “one standard, one certificate, regionally accepted, globally recognized ”.Fourthly, to deepen inspection and quarantine cooperation to facilitate safe trade. To strengthen technical exchange and information sharing on pest and disease surveilance, risk assessment, quick inspection and nonconforming product notification and recall. Zhi also proposed to promote connecting of relevant systems, networking of certificates, mutual assistance of law enforcement and joint prevention of risks, to build up a community of shared destiny in quality and safety, and consolidate a safety basis for facilitating trade.
During the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, Zhi attended the opening ceremony of the forum and the high-level dialogue. Zhi signed cooperation documents relating to inspection and quarantine respectively with his counterparts from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and the Netherlands, and signed with Director General of United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) Li Yong the MOU on cooperation between AQSIQ and UNIDO.
On the sidelines, Zhi also met with heads of authorities of the countries along the Belt and Road, and on behalf of AQSIQ signed cooperation agreements on inspection and quarantine, cooperation agreements on National Quality Infrastructure in the area of standards, metrology and certification and accreditation, and joint initiative on strenghening cooperation in standards so as to promote Belt and Road construction.