Services are growing rapidly. The value-added of th

 tertiary sector, which is mainly services, grew from 56.7 to 57.3 percent of GDP from the same period last year. The

Index of Services Production increased 7.4 percent year-on-year, higher than the growth rate of overall GDP.

Overall retail sales of consumer goods also grew at 8.3 percent. Sales of upgraded consumer goods witnessed fast gro

wth, with the highest rates concentrated in upgraded products such as cosmetics, phones and computers.

And, high-tech services grew at an astonishing rate of 21.2 percent. In prepa

ring for consumer 5G telecoms next year, the output of mobile communications base stations grew 153.7 percent.

The data also show strong movement toward the government’s goal

of creating an ecological civilization. New energy automobiles and solar cells grew by 48.2 percen

t and 18.2 percent, respectively. Sales of urban rail vehicles grew by 54.1 percent, showing the

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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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Consensus to lead to common prosperityries pose f

President says gathering sets stage for more Belt and Road progress, cooperation

More than $64 billion in deals were signed during the Second Belt a

nd Road Forum for International Cooperation, President Xi Jinping told members of the me

dia from home and abroad in Beijing after the three-day event concluded on Saturday.

In addition, Xi said, during the preparation and holding of the fo

rum, parties reached 283 pragmatic outcomes, including intergovernmental cooperation agre

ements, cooperative projects and the launch of multilateral cooperation platforms.

The outcomes fully demonstrate that joint building of the Belt and Road conforms to the trend of the times, wi

nning the hearts of the people, improving livelihoods and benefiting the whole world, he said.

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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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Xi said China’s moves to boost opening-up follow from

 an independent choice based on the objective need of the country’s reform and development.

This is helpful in promoting high-quality growth, meeting the people’s need

s for a better life and promoting peace, stability and development of the world, he said.

China also hopes that other countries will create a good investment environment, treat Chinese enterpris

es, students and scholars equally and create a friendly environment for their normal international exchange activities, Xi said.

Xi pledged to take stronger measures to promote international cooperation in protecting intellectual pro

perty, which he said is not only crucial to protecting the legal rights of companies but also to promoting high-quality growth.

China will enhance policy coordination with the world’s major economic entities and j

ointly promote the robust, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth of the global economy, he 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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Oh Ei Sun, a senior fellow at the Singapore Institut

e of International Affairs, noted Xi’s emphasis on high-quality development, free t

rade and people-to-people bonds, “all of which are sorely needed around the world”.

“The shift toward high-quality development is a natural extension of what China has been doing for the past few ye

ars. Now that the BRI is five years old, it’s about time to upgrade quality joint development,” he said.

“China is trying to address the concerns that have been raised sinc

e the last Belt and Road Forum two years ago. One of these concerns is the need for infr

astructure projects to be more responsive to the local circumstances of BRI member countries.”

Duncan Freeman, a research fellow at the EU-China Research Centre at t

he College of Europe in Bruges, Belgium, said infrastructure is important for economic gro

wth, so building infrastructure and building connectivity and efficient infrastructure are important.

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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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Leveraging private funds prioritized in BRI projects

China’s financial minister and central bank governor vowed to strengthe

n debt management and leverage more private funds for infrastructure construction un

der the Belt and Road Initiative, suggesting a new framework to assess debt risks for partner countries on Thursday.

The Ministry of Finance published a debt-sustainability analysis framework for the BRI’s participating economies at the start of t

he Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, a three-day event in Beijing.

Financial institutions of China and other BRI economies are encouraged to use the “nonmandatory” policy t

ool for rating debt risk before making lending decisions. The analysis method is based on in

ternational standards provided by the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, according to the ministry.

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Yi pledged to use more market-based commercial fund

 He also said improving transparency for projects’ financing is needed, especially for green

financing, and using local currencies in BRI investments to curb exchange rate risks. “The opening of local curr

ency-denominated bond markets will effectively attract long-term funds and reduce risks of currency mismatches,” he said.

Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fu

nd, said at the forum that China’s increased focus on the long-term success of BRI projects and the

BRI debt sustainability framework “are very welcome steps in the right direction”.

The further opening-up of China’s financial sector, such as the b

ond market, will enable diversification and foster renminbi internationalization, she said.

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