Import expo opens in Shanghai
CIIE to further opening-up policy, promote international cooperation
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.
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.
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