The shift in economic policy that took place during the 1980s has continued into the 1990s and has reached virtually all developing countries. As is well known, the general trend of policy reform has been towards liberalization of regulations and reduction of the direct role of the state in economic production, towards broadening the spheres in which market mechanisms are relied upon instead of administrative controls, and towards encouraging more integration into the international economy--both to promote competitiveness and to tap more successfully into world markets of goods, finance and technology.
Question: "As is well known" is routinely translated into Chinese as "known to many people". But the expression could also mean "fully understand" (See most dictionaries). So what does "As is well known" mean here in the above context? Thanks.