Commentary: China import expo throws door wider open to common development

Source: Xinhuanet| 2021-11-12 11:50:17|Editor: Xiang Bo
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Visitors look at exhibits at the Intelligent Industry & Information Technology Exhibition Area of the 4th China International Import Expo (CIIE) in east China's Shanghai, Nov. 8, 2021. The 4th CIIE concluded here on Wednesday. (Xinhua/Meng Tao)

by Lyu Hui

BEIJING, Nov. 12 (Xinhuanet) -- With participants harvesting lucrative deals and expecting more in future, the just-concluded fourth China International Import Expo (CIIE) demonstrates China's commitment to further opening up and pursuing common development, which will inject momentum to global economic recovery.

As the world's first import-themed national-level expo, CIIE has been held successfully on four occasions since its inception in 2018. It has grown into a major platform for international procurement, investment promotion, cultural exchange and open cooperation, becoming an international public good for the world to share.

A total of 70.72 billion U.S. dollars worth of tentative deals were reached for one-year purchases of goods and services at the fourth CIIE.

This achievement is quite remarkable and even more positive given the current context of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has hindered trade activities across the world.

More than 2,900 enterprises from 127 countries and regions participated in this year's expo, with goods and services exhibition areas covering 366,000 square meters.

More than 80 percent of Fortune Global 500 and industry-leading companies from last year's CIIE returned for this latest edition.

CIIE, a great platform

The outpouring enthusiasm of the exhibitors demonstrates the strong spillover effect of the CIIE, which offers a great platform for businesses around the world to tap into the growing Chinese market.

Both big name multinationals and small start-ups can reap the benefits of participating in the event. The exhibitors also brought products specially tailored to the needs of Chinese customers.

Agricultural goods produced by the developing and least developed countries can all gain popularity in Chinese market via the expo.

Ramazan Tuzen, a Turkish businessman who took part in the previous editions of the CIIE, said the expo enables him to increase the annual sales of his Turkish specialty products and expand his business, adding that China is a very open and safe country with many business opportunities.

Kosala Wickramanayake, president of the International Business Council in Sri Lanka, echoed the Turkish businessman, saying the CIIE has offered Sri Lankan tea exporters a huge potential market.

Making CIIE debut were not only new products, services, and cutting-edge technologies but also innovative ideas, which meet Chinese people's enormous demands for high-quality merchandise and boost win-win cooperation in the world economy and trade.

As British Trade Commissioner for China John Edwards said, the CIIE has been "a huge platform" for British businesses, and the Chinese market is "extremely important."

CIIE, a positive contributor to world trade

From 2018 to 2020, the combined intended transaction volume of the previous three editions of the CIIE totaled 201.6 billion U.S. dollars, making a positive contribution to international trade.

The appeal of the CIIE also comes from the strong resilience and great potential of the Chinese economy, and the country's continuous efforts to open its doors wider to the world.

Chinese people have exerted extraordinary efforts and made major strategic gains in controlling and preventing COVID-19. The Chinese economy has steadily picked up, becoming the only major economy in the world to achieve positive growth last year. China has made important contributions to keeping global industrial and supply chains stable and boosting world economic recovery.

China's gross domestic product (GDP) in the first three quarters of this year expanded 9.8 percent year on year. It is well above its annual growth target of over 6 percent, with trade being a key driver underpinning China's economic resilience.

COVID-19 has had a complex and far-reaching impact on the world economy. Furthermore, rising anti-globalization, protectionism and unilateralism made the prospect of global recovery more uncertain.

All countries are in a community with a shared future and openness and cooperation are the right way to tide over crises.

China has always endeavored to advance high-level opening-up, to share development opportunities with world.

Hosting a series of open platforms, including the China International Fair for Trade in Services, the China International Consumer Products Expo, and the CIIE, has facilitated the unimpeded flow of trade and provided a much-need boost to the flagging global economy.

With a population of 1.4 billion and a middle-income group that exceeds 400 million, China will share immense market opportunities with the rest of the world.

From January to September this year, China's imports reached nearly 2 trillion dollars, up 32.6 percent year on year and hitting a record high. According to the latest data from the World Trade Organization (WTO), China's imports in the first half of this year contributed to 15 percent of the global import growth.

China's door wider open

At the opening ceremony of the 4th CIIE, Chinese President Xi Jinping said China will not change its resolve to open wider at a high standard, will not change its determination to share development opportunities with the rest of the world, and will not change its commitment to an economic globalization that is more open, inclusive, balanced and beneficial for all.

China has been walking the talk in fulfilling its opening-up commitments.

The measures China announced at the CIIE 2020 for further opening-up have mostly been implemented.

At this year's expo, China made new pledge to reiterate its unswerving commitment to more openness.

To firmly promote high-standard of opening up, Chinese President Xi said China will further shorten the negative list for foreign investment, and expand the opening of telecommunication, healthcare and other services in an orderly fashion.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of China's accession to the the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Over the last two decades, China has fully delivered on its accession commitments, lowering its overall tariff rate from 15.3 percent to 7.4 percent, below the the 9.8 percent it promised at WTO entry.

China's economic size has grown from the 6th to the second-largest globally. Trade in goods grew from the 6th to the 1st place, and trade in services from the 11th to the 2nd.

According to The World Openness Report 2021 released at the fourth CIIE, China has always adhered to win-win cooperation, promoted common development, and shared its development opportunities and dividends with other countries through opening-up.

Opening up is the hallmark of contemporary China.

Looking ahead, China will steadfastly expand all-round opening up and explore more efficient ways to connect domestic and foreign markets, which will not only meet China's own development goals, but also benefit people of other countries.