3. Steadfastly deepening reform and opening up, and constantly improving institutions and mechanisms conducive to developing scientifically. We deepened reform and opening up to respond more powerfully to the global financial crisis, worked hard to remove institutional obstacles and continued to open wider to the outside world.
We accelerated reform in key areas and links. We comprehensively carried out VAT reform. The reform of the prices of refined oil products and taxes and fees on them was implemented smoothly, and a new mechanism for pricing them worked well. We made solid progress in commercializing the China Development Bank and introducing the joint stock system in the Agricultural Bank of China, and launched a pilot project to use the renminbi as the settlement currency for cross-border trade. The ChiNext stock market was officially launched, which opened a new financing channel for enterprises based on independent innovation and other growth enterprises. We proceeded with the reform of local government departments in an orderly manner, and steadily carried out a trial of reforming institutions by type. We comprehensively launched the reform of tenure in collective forests. We devolved tenure in 100 million hectares of forest land to rural households, equaling 60% of the country's total area of collective forests. This is another major reform of China's rural operation system, and follows in the footsteps of the household land contract responsibility system.
We constantly raised the level of the open economy. We introduced policies and measures to stabilize foreign demand, adopted methods that conform to international practices to support export companies, completed the issuance of short-term export credit insurance worth US$ 90 billion, and arranged $42.1 billion of export financing insurance for complete sets of large equipment. We encouraged increases in imports. Since the second half of last year, falls in imports and exports have clearly eased, and we have consolidated our share of international markets. Last year imports and exports totaled $2.2 trillion. We reversed the decline in utilized foreign investment, and actual utilized foreign direct investment amounted to $90 billion for the entire year. More enterprises "went global" in spite of the adverse situation; non-financial outward direct investment amounted to $43.3 billion, and receipts from overseas project contracting operations reached $77.7 billion. We actively participated in international macroeconomic policy dialogue and coordination as well as economic, trade and financial cooperation, and played a constructive role in the joint response to the global financial crisis.