"The reform and opening-up have not only profoundly changed the country but also greatly influenced the whole world," President Xi Jinping said during his keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the BFA on Tuesday, hailing China's development experience as a "second revolution."
Echoing Xi's speech, Pascal Lamy, former WTO director-general, told the Global Times on the sidelines of the BFA on Wednesday that "China has made a major contribution to the world economy during the past 40 years. It also brought tremendous changes to the country itself."
For many years, China has contributed over 30 percent of global growth, becoming a key anchor and driver of global growth, said Xi.
Lamy hailed China's membership in the WTO as a "historic milestone," which made the country more integrated into the global economy and has significantly promoted global free trade and a win-win situation for both China and other economies.
Along with China's accession to the WTO, the Belt and Road initiative and the country's role in mitigating the Asian and global financial crises highlight China's great contributions to the world over the past four decades, according to Xi.
The help other developing nations have received from China is another example of the achievements of China's reform and opening-up, Ban Ki-moon, former UN secretary-general, said in BFA.
The opening-up "is visionary… it not only concerns domestic issues, but has also leveraged those experiences to help people around the world," Larry Chan, president of Liwayway (China) Co, which is headquartered in the Philippines, told the Global Times at BFA.
"The Philippines has been a very good recipient of Chinese technology and experiences," Chan said.
A model of inclusive growth
Hu Xiaolian, chairwoman of the Export and Import Bank of China, said at the BFA that another benefit of China's rapid development is "the Chinese way." "We have found our road to Rome, and modernization," Hu noted.
At a time when trade protectionism and global economic unpredictability are on the rise, the "Chinese way" is also providing valuable policy alternatives to other economies, according to former French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin, who is attending the BFA.
"The policy has inspired many countries and as a result we're seeing more opening-up policies in Eurasian and Afro-Asian countries," Raffarin said.
Ban also praised China's commitment to tackling climate change, noting that China was one of the first countries to formally ratify the Paris Agreement, which boosted other countries' confidence in endorsing the accord.
Zhang Jiantao, vice president of Coca-Cola's Greater China, Korea and Mongolia, told the Global Times at the BFA that the world has been confronted by multiple problems including environmental issues, economic volatility, poverty and climate change. "China has achieved great success in overcoming those internal challenges… it has been leading the way in exploring models to solve these shared global issues," Zhang stressed.
A continued contribution
Officials and company executives at the BFA said they believe that China's development path and policies will continue to benefit the world.
China's plan to increase domestic consumption will create huge opportunities for foreign companies to expand their business in China, Zhang said.
In the future, "reform and opening-up of China's financial sector is going to change the world," said Fang Xinghai, vice chairman of China Securities Regulatory Commission.
"China's reforms have now entered the deep end, which is very difficult. But opening-up is a sound mechanism to force reform. We need pressure as a motivating force and stick to the road to modernization," Jia Kang, chief economist with the China Academy of New Supply-side Economics, told the Global Times on Wednesday.