Im­port expo opens in Shang­hai

CIIE to fur­ther open­ing-up pol­icy, pro­mote in­ter­na­tional co­op­er­a­tion

Global Times US Edition - - FRONT PAGE - By Huang Lan­lan and Yu Xi in Shang­hai

Or­ga­niz­ers of the China In­ter­na­tional Im­port Expo (CIIE), which runs in Shang­hai from Mon­day to Sat­ur­day, wel­come prod­ucts, tech­nolo­gies and ser­vices from all over the world to the fast-grow­ing Chi­nese mar­ket amid a global eco­nomic down­turn and ris­ing pro­tec­tion­ism.

China’s lat­est flag­ship event is be­lieved to be the world’s first-ever na­tion- al ex­hi­bi­tion on the theme of im­ports.

Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping will at­tend the open­ing cer­e­mony of the CIIE and the Hongqiao In­ter­na­tional Eco­nomic and Trade Fo­rum, Vice Min­is­ter of Com­merce Wang Bing­nan said at a press con­fer­ence held in Shang­hai on Sat­ur­day.

The expo pro­vides a stage for peo­ple from dif­fer­ent coun­tries and re­gions to strengthen com­mu­ni­ca­tion and co­op­er­a­tion es­pe­cially when the global econ­omy faces se­vere chal­lenges from pro­tec­tion­ism and uni­lat­er­al­ism, Zhang Yan­sheng,

chief re­search fel­low of the China Cen­ter for In­ter­na­tional Eco­nomic Ex­changes, told the Global Times.

“The Shang­hai expo is ex­actly what China can show to the world: China is open and ready to work with the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity on the global stan­dard,” for­mer UN sec­re­tary-gen­eral Ban Ki-moon told the Global Times on Sun­day.

“I hope the expo will also be a great oc­ca­sion where the im­por­tance of free trade and lib­er­al­iza­tion of the mar­ket can be learnt,” he re­marked.

Ex­tra open­ness

China is tak­ing open­ing-up to a higher level, Wang said at the Sat­ur­day press con­fer­ence.

The expo, a cru­cial step in vol­un­tar­ily fur­ther open­ing the Chi­nese mar­ket, gath­ers global com­pa­nies in a 270,000-square-me­ter busi­ness ex­hi­bi­tion area.

Ex­hibitors in­clude high-tech, in­tel­li­gent equip­ment, med­i­cal equip­ment, au­to­mo­bile, ac­ces­sories, food and con­sumer good com­pa­nies. More than 200 are For­tune 500 com­pa­nies and in­dus­trial cham­pi­ons.

Nearly 180 US com­pa­nies will at­tend the expo, mak­ing the US No.3 among all par­tic­i­pat­ing coun­tries, Wang said. “It fully shows the Chi­nese mar­kets’ at­trac­tive­ness to US com­pa­nies,” he said.

“The pur­pose of the CIIE is to pro­mote an open mar­ket and free trade, which will bring ben­e­fits to ev­ery busi­ness en­tity par­tic­i­pat­ing in the global mar­ket,” Rachel Duan, se­nior vice pres­i­dent of GE and pres­i­dent & CEO of GE China, told the Global Times in an email on Sun­day.

“We be­lieve that it will help drive the de­vel­op­ment and up­grade of the in­dus­tries in which GE does busi­ness.”

Vladimir Makat­saria, chair­man of John­son & John­son China, told the Global Times in an email in­ter­view on Sun­day that as the coun­try tran­si­tions to­ward a new era, “we are strength­en­ing our part­ner­ship with China by con­tin­u­ing to lay down strong roots through on­go­ing in­vest­ment in our in­no­va­tion and man­u­fac­tur­ing fa­cil­i­ties to fur­ther im­prove the health of the Chi­nese pub­lic.”

US com­pa­nies’ ac­tive par­tic­i­pa­tion in the expo “shows their will­ing­ness to fur­ther ex­pand in the China mar­ket,” said Zhang, the re­search fel­low at the China Cen­ter for In­ter­na­tional Eco­nomic Ex­changes.

Many for­eign com­pa­nies are also grad­u­ally chang­ing their strat­egy to sell high-end ser­vices in­stead of lowend prod­ucts to China, Zhang noted.

In­ter­na­tional stage

The ground­break­ing event has at­tracted more than 3,000 en­ter­prises from more than 130 coun­tries and re­gions, Wang said at the con­fer­ence.

It in­volves all the Group of Twenty (G20), Brazil, Rus­sia, In­dia, China and South Africa (BRICS) mem­bers, 58 coun­tries and re­gions along the routes of the Belt and Road ini­tia­tive and many other de­vel­op­ing coun­tries, Sun Cheng­hai, deputy di­rec­tor of the China In­ter­na­tional Im­port Expo Bureau, said at the press con­fer­ence.

More than 30 un­der­de­vel­oped coun­tries, in­clud­ing Ethiopia, South Su­dan, Tan­za­nia and Zam­bia, will also par­tic­i­pate in the expo, Sun said.

Po­lit­i­cal lead­ers, heads of in­ter­na­tional or­ga­ni­za­tions, global busi­ness ex­ec­u­tives, ex­perts and schol­ars from more than 130 coun­tries and re­gions will also be present at the open­ing cer­e­mony, he said.

Themed “Un­leash­ing new vigor in global trade, cre­at­ing a new pat­tern for open and win-win co­op­er­a­tion,” the Hongqiao fo­rum, as part of the CIIE, con­tains three par­al­lel ses­sions on Mon­day af­ter­noon.

The ses­sions will fo­cus on trade, in­no­va­tion and in­vest­ment, Wang said. Guests will dis­cuss top­ics such as new so­lu­tions for pro­mot­ing eco­nomic glob­al­iza­tion and re­viv­ing in­ter­na­tional trade and in­vest­ment. Lu Wen’ao con­trib­uted to this story

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