CIIE to help nation foster opening-up

(China Daily) 08:20, November 03, 2021

Staff members on Monday set up an exhibition booth for the upcoming China International Import Expo in Shanghai. The CIIE is scheduled to run from Friday to Nov 10. [Photo by Tang Yanjun/China News Service]

Expo to inject more growth momentum and confidence into global economy, say experts

The upcoming fourth edition of the China International Import Expo will again signify China's unfaltering promise to further open up to the rest of the world, no matter how the external environment changes, according to experts and business leaders.

President Xi Jinping has always reiterated China's commitment to further opening-up, they said, and the annual global trade gala is a concrete move by the country to deepen international business cooperation for shared prosperity and progress. It also is a move to share the benefits and opportunities of China's rapid development with the entire world, and to support economic globalization and the building of an open world economy, they said.

The business leaders and experts also emphasized that this year's CIIE will inject more growth momentum and confidence into the global economy, since it will be held as the world struggles with economic recovery due to disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic to both supply and demand.

The CIIE is the world's first national-level import exhibition and an innovation in the history of global trade.

Scheduled to take place from Friday until Nov 10, the event will feature nearly 3,000 business exhibitors from 127 countries and regions, with the number of participating countries and companies surpassing that of the third annual expo, according to the CIIE Bureau.

During his speeches either on-site or via video at CIIE opening ceremonies each year, Xi has reaffirmed that China will expand opening-up and sincerely desires to share its market opportunities with the world and bring more positive energy to the global community.

"We will steadfastly expand all-around opening-up and explore more efficient ways to connect domestic and foreign markets and share factors of production and resources," the president said via video at last year's CIIE opening ceremony.

While addressing the 16th G20 Leaders' Summit via video link on Saturday, Xi said China will promote institutional opening-up covering rules, regulations, management and standards, and step up the protection of intellectual property rights.

China will continue to foster a business environment that is based on market principles, governed by law and up to international standards, and ensure a fair and equitable market order for domestic and foreign companies alike, he said.

Following President Xi's directives, China has been growing foreign trade innovatively, improving the business environment and deepening bilateral, multilateral and regional cooperation, analysts said.

It also has been nurturing new pacesetters of opening-up, such as increased experiments at pilot free trade zones and ports and wider opening-up in sectors including services and the digital economy.

All those measures will turn China's market into a market for the world, a market shared by all, and a market accessible to all, they said.

"The holding of the CIIE demonstrates that China honors its commitment to high-level opening-up and sharing development dividends with others to shore up globalization," said Zhang Yansheng, chief researcher at the China Center for International Economic Exchanges.

"The world is in urgent need of more trade orders and increased demand to revive the staggering economic recovery, as well as communications to reach consensus and find more effective ways to combat the pandemic and repair global industrial and supply chains, and regarding both, the CIIE will play a vital positive role," he said.

Leon Wang, executive vice-president of global pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, was excited about taking part in the CIIE for the fourth time in person.

In the past three editions of the expo, the company showcased its innovative disease management solutions, signed collaborative agreements with some regional governments, and attracted a wide range of companies both at home and abroad to its International Life-Science Innovation Campus, an incubation platform that it wants to build along with local governments.

Largely thanks to the CIIE, the platform has been deployed in many cities in China to bring together more than 60 enterprises at home and abroad, in partnership with nearly 10 international innovation institutions and 10 investment institutions.

"The CIIE is an important window for China's opening-up. We value the CIIE as a unique stage both to demonstrate our innovation results and to forge new cooperation with more partners," Wang said.

The CIIE has become a key channel for products and services worldwide to enter the market of the world's second-largest economy, which is growing fast due to consumption upgrades and increased demand.

Last year, tentative deals for one-year purchases of goods and services at the CIIE totaled more than $72 billion, up 2.1 percent from the second edition of the expo, despite the impact of the pandemic, according to the CIIE Bureau.

Zhang Wenlang, chief macroeconomic analyst with investment bank China International Capital Corp, said China's foreign trade performance continues to be sound. This is thanks to its good control of COVID-19 and complete supply chains, amid the pandemic's grave impact on global supply chain efficiency, which has caused port backlogs, container shortages and trade cost spikes and curbed cross-border investment activities, Zhang said.

Under such circumstance, the CIIE will provide a new marketplace for the flow of commodities and production factors from various countries, and will facilitate international trade, investment and cooperation, and foster new economic development momentum, he added.

Italy-based pharmaceutical company Chiesi will set up a stand-alone booth at the medical equipment and healthcare product exhibition section at the CIIE.It made its debut at the CIIE last year with only a small booth within the Italian medical pavilion.

Huo Jianguo, vice-chairman of the Beijing-based China Society for World Trade Organization Studies, said China has made great achievements in expanding market entry, and as it vows to promote institutional opening-up, the focus for the next phase will include increasing the transparency and stability of administrative rules and regulations.

Huo said China needs to align rules and regulations on trade and investment with the high standards of the world, such as those adopted by the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, which it has officially applied to join. The CPTPP is a trade agreement among 11 economies, including Australia, Canada and Japan.

(Web editor: Zhong Wenxing, Liang Jun)


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