End­less Re­form and Open­ing Up

Ul­ti­mately, a “never- end­ing” expo re­quires con­stant re­form and devel­op­ment of the coun­try.

China Pictorial (English) - - Contents - Text by Zhang Haib­ing

At the first Belt and Road Fo­rum for In­ter­na­tional Co­op­er­a­tion held in 2017, Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping de­clared that China would host the first China In­ter­na­tional Im­port Expo (CIIE) in 2018. On many other diplo­matic oc­ca­sions, the coun­try has also pro­moted the CIIE to the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity. In Septem­ber, when the 2018 sum­mit of the Fo­rum on Chi­naAfrica Co­op­er­a­tion was held in Beijing, China pledged to im­port more com­modi­ties, non-re­source prod­ucts in par­tic­u­lar, from African coun­tries to sup­port African par­tic­i­pa­tion in the CIIE. China is wel­com­ing least- de­vel­oped African coun­tries to par­tic­i­pate in the event for free.

Clearly, the im­pend­ing CIIE is not an expo in the tra­di­tional sense. Ex­cep­tional Im­port Expo

The CIIE con­sists of three parts: Coun­try Pavil­ion, Busi­ness Ex­hi­bi­tion and Hongqiao In­ter­na­tional Trade Fo­rum, in­te­grat­ing the World Expo method to dis­play poli­cies and com­modi­ties with the func­tion of Davos World Eco­nomic Fo­rum to dis­cuss in­ter­na­tional trade trends.

The Coun­try Pavil­ion fo­cuses on dis­play­ing par­tic­i­pat­ing coun­tries’ poli­cies on trade and in­vest­ment, aim­ing to fa­cil­i­tate mu­tual pol­icy com­mu­ni­ca­tion. The Busi­ness Ex­hi­bi­tion is the ma­jor event fea­tur­ing en­ter­prises from overseas sell­ing com­modi­ties pro­duced abroad. Both the en­ter­prises and the prod­ucts they dis­play rep­re­sent ad­vanced lev­els of their re­spec­tive in­dus­tries. The Hongqiao In­ter­na­tional Trade Fo­rum will be held un­der the theme “Un­leash­ing New Vigor in Global Trade, Cre­at­ing a New Pat­tern for Open and Win-win Co­op­er­a­tion,” with an

eye on es­tab­lish­ing a plat­form for ex­change and com­mu­ni­ca­tion on global eco­nomic and trade is­sues. The fo­rum’s three par­al­lel ses­sions will fo­cus on “trade and open­ing up,” “trade and in­no­va­tion” and “trade and in­vest­ment.” Their top­ics are ex­pected to go be­yond trade is­sues and delve into global gov­er­nance.

The CIIE is ac­tu­ally a venue for trade ex­change fea­tur­ing China tak­ing the ini­tia­tive to fur­ther open its mar­ket by greatly low­er­ing the in­sti­tu­tional trans­ac­tion cost of im­ports to make con­tri­bu­tions to build­ing an open world econ­omy.

Far-reach­ing In­flu­ence

The CIIE will last six days start­ing from Novem­ber 5. How to de­sign a “never- end­ing” expo with en­dur­ing in­flu­ence has been a ma­jor con­sid­er­a­tion of or­ga­niz­ers.

Firstly, “never- end­ing” refers to con­ti­nu­ity. Rather than a one- off event, the CIIE will be held time and time again. For trad­ing par­ties, the premise and foun­da­tion of a sus­tain­able im­port expo lie in the con­sis­tent draw of ex­hibitors and pur­chasers. Ex­hibitors care most about eas­ier ac­cess to the Chi­nese mar­ket and in­creased prof­its, while pur­chasers pay at­ten­tion to whether they can ef­fi­ciently get qual­ity prod­ucts at low prices. So, the first im­port expo has made ex­ten­sive and metic­u­lous prepa­ra­tions on items rang­ing from fa­cil­i­tat­ing clear­ance to low­er­ing trans­ac­tion cost, dis­play­ing prod­ucts ef­fi­ciently and se­cur­ing deals ef­fec­tively. To guar­an­tee smooth trans­ac­tions, the CIIE set up a ser­vice plat­form for one-stop trans­ac­tions, pro­mot­ing a fu­sion of on­line and off­line trans­ac­tions. For ex­am­ple, the Shang­hai trad­ing del­e­ga­tion has set up four pur­chas­ing al­liances in­clud­ing a cross-bor­der im­port e- com­merce al­liance, a large re­tail­ers al­liance,

a com­pre­hen­sive trad­ing ser­vice providers al­liance and an ex­hibit­ing ser­vices al­liance, with an aim to fa­cil­i­tate ac­cu­rate con­nec­tions be­tween Shang­hai’s pur­chasers and the ex­hibitors. The CIIE also hopes to draw more pur­chasers from home and abroad to Shang­hai to do busi­ness in the fu­ture. From this as­pect, the im­port expo will be­come a per­ma­nent trad­ing plat­form.

Se­condly, the Na­tional Ex­hi­bi­tion and Con­ven­tion Cen­ter in Shang­hai will con­tinue to pro­vide ser­vices af­ter the CIIE by build­ing the “6+365” One- Stop Trad­ing Ser­vices Plat­form like DLG Im­port Com­modi­ties Cen­ter. Al­ready, the coun­try pavil­ions of New Zea­land and Mon­go­lia de­cided to par­tic­i­pate in both the 6- day expo and the 365- day ex­hi­bi­tions. This en­ables dis­played prod­ucts to trans­form into com­modi­ties, al­low­ing con­sumers to reach for­eign qual­ity prod­ucts with­out go­ing abroad.

Fi­nally, for China, the CIIE’S over­flow ef­fects can con­stantly pro­mote do­mes­tic re­form and devel­op­ment, op­ti­mize eco­nomic struc­ture and up­grade in­dus­tries. Forty years ago when the coun­try be­gan its re­form and open­ing up, China hoped to ex­change mar­ket ac­cess for tech­nol­ogy. But now China is open­ing its door to host the im­port expo in an ef­fort to ac­cel­er­ate in­no­va­tion- ori­ented devel­op­ment and in­dus­trial up­grad­ing of do­mes­tic en­ter­prises and con­stantly meet pub­lic as­pi­ra­tion for a bet­ter life.

Some newly es­tab­lished reg­u­la­tions and the ad­just­ment of some rules have re­leased div­i­dends like tar­iff re­duc­tions. Ac­cord­ing to a re­port is­sued by the tar­iff com­mit­tee of China’s State Coun­cil, since Novem­ber 1, 2018, 1,585 tax­able items have en­joyed lower most fa­vored na­tion tar­iff rates, ac­count­ing for 19 per­cent of all of China’s tax­able items. Since 2018, China has im­ple­mented four tax cuts, drop­ping the gen­eral tar­iff level to 7.5 per­cent from 9.8 per­cent in 2017. In fact, the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment has spared no ef­forts to im­prove the busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment. A fore­run­ner of China’s re­form and open­ing up, Shang­hai is­sued an ac­tion plan to quicken the pace to build an open eco­nomic sys­tem, which clar­i­fied and de­tailed mea­sures for fur­ther open­ing fi­nan­cial and man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tors.

All in all, “never- end­ing” refers to the con­stant re­form and devel­op­ment of China.

How to de­sign a ‘never-end­ing’ expo with en­dur­ing in­flu­ence has been a ma­jor con­sid­er­a­tion of or­ga­niz­ers.

May 4, 2018: An au­to­mated con­tainer ter­mi­nal at Qing­dao Port in eastern China’s Shan­dong Prov­ince. China is an ac­tive par­tic­i­pa­tor, stead­fast de­fender and im­por­tant con­trib­u­tor to the mul­ti­lat­eral trad­ing sys­tem. China will never close its door but open it even wider to the world. by Guo Xulei/ Xin­hua

China (Shang­hai) Pi­lot Free Trade Zone has ex­plored a new chan­nel and ac­cu­mu­lated ex­pe­ri­ence for China’s fur­ther re­form and open­ing up, as well as its con­struc­tion of a new sys­tem of open econ­omy. cour­tesy of Pudong New Area In­for­ma­tion Of­fice

Jan­uary 27, 2016: China’s first MIG re­tail store spe­cial­iz­ing in im­ported prod­ucts opens in Shenyang, cap­i­tal of Liaon­ing Prov­ince. VCG

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