Yang Yuanqing Expo speech: tariffs are ultimately consumers to pay

On November 5, the 2nd China International Import Expo opened in Shanghai. Speaking at the interactive session on the topic of “WTO Reform and Free Trade Agreement: Path Selection and Prospects”, Yang Yuanqing, Chairman and CEO of Lenovo Group, said that the role of the multilateral trading system and free trade agreements in promoting international trade and investment is positive from the corporate perspective.

杨元庆进博会发言:关税最终还是消费者买单

Yang Yuanqing also put forward two suggestions: 1. I hope to minimize tariff and non-tariff barriers. Because tariffs often have to be reflected in the final price, the consumer pays. The higher the price of the product, the smaller the market will be. 2. Trade and investment liberalization and facilitation are the common aspirations of international enterprises. One of the great help of the international trade and investment system for enterprises is to make clear expectations through rules.

The following is the full text of Yang Yuanqing’s speech:

First, we recognize the role of the multilateral trading system and free trade agreements in promoting international trade and investment from a business perspective. Without the efforts of a mechanism such as the WTO over the years, international trade could not have made such a significant progress.

Speaking of next steps, from a corporate perspective, we want to minimize tariff and non-tariff barriers. Tariffs often have to be reflected in the final price, paid for by consumers. The higher the price of the product, the smaller the market will be. “Information Technology Agreement” (ITA) for example, zero tariffs greatly accelerate the popularity of electronic products in the world, the market is a large, scale effect has, unit costs are reduced, productivity increases, technology update iteration is getting faster and faster. Computer mobile phones and so on is precisely the entrance to access to knowledge and information, but also the tools of connectivity, the popularity of this kind of products, in the social sense of the value is more inestimable. So it’s good for businesses and consumers to achieve low tariffs through multilateral agreements like ITA.

Second, the liberalization and facilitation of trade and investment is certainly the demand of international enterprises. Companies need a relatively stable and predictable international environment when making cross-border investment decisions. Taking Lenovo’s several cross-border mergers and acquisitions, for example, it often took years, from due diligence, to approval through the relevant national government, to later integration. This is a steady progress of the medium- and long-term process, the investment environment, if there is wind and grass, it may lead to enterprises have to step in place, or even half-way. This is not only a question of efficiency, but also of confidence. One of the great help of the international trade and investment system for enterprises is to make clear expectations through rules.

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