NEW YORK, Oct. 14 (Xinhua) -- The progress made in the latest round of U.S.-China economic and trade consultations is "a first step in the right direction," an experienced trade watcher has said.
"There is no question that the public viewed this step in a positive light. The stock markets surged. The tariffs have hurt growth globally and although this is a small first step, it is a step in the right direction," said Carla A. Hills, chairman and CEO of Hills & Company, a Washington-based advisory firm on trade and investment, told Xinhua in a recent interview.
In their two-day talks, which concluded Friday in Washington, China and the United States achieved substantial progress in areas including agriculture, intellectual property rights protection, exchange rates, financial services, expansion of trade, technology transfers and mechanisms for dispute settlement.
They also discussed arrangements for future consultations and agreed to strive toward eventually reaching an agreement.
U.S. equities notched solid gains on Friday, as Wall Street cheered the highly-anticipated trade progress, which pushed the Dow surging 319.92 points to 26,816.59 at market close after cresting above 500 points.
The S&P 500 rose 1.09 percent to 2,970.27, while the Nasdaq closed up 1.34 percent to 8,057.04. Friday's rally helped the Dow and the S&P 500 to snap a three-week losing streak.
Moreover, China announced Friday a clear timetable for allowing full foreign ownership of financial service companies, which will completely open the country's futures, brokerage and fund management sectors to foreign investors.
Lauding the move as sending "the right signal to potential investors and service providers foreign and domestic," Hills, who was also a former U.S. trade representative from 1989 to 1993, noted that China's opening of its financial market is good for its economy.
The business professional also pointed out that the potential for cooperation between businesses in the world's two largest economies is enormous.
"Removing restrictions would result in economic growth on both sides and globally," she added.
Looking forward, Hills said the mass public "can only hope that the two governments can resolve the differences in a lasting fashion which would have very positive effects on economies worldwide."
"I favor having regular high-level meetings to address the remaining concerns," she stressed.