Im­port expo to im­prove trade bal­ance

Global Times US Edition - - EDITORIAL -

The China In­ter­na­tional Im­port Expo (CIIE), the world's first im­port-themed na­tional expo, kicks off on Mon­day. More than 3,000 en­ter­prises from some 130 coun­tries and re­gions will ex­hibit their prod­ucts, tak­ing this as a premier op­por­tu­nity to en­ter or ex­pand their pres­ence on the Chi­nese mar­ket.

But there are still fault-find­ing re­ports about the event. Some say sar­cas­ti­cally that no state leader or gov­ern­ment head from the G7 will at­tend the expo. Some even link the CIIE with the China-US trade war in spite of the fact that China an­nounced the CIIE in May 2017 at the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive on In­ter­na­tional Co­op­er­a­tion, be­fore the trade war hadn’t started.

Why do these me­dia al­ways want to dig out some po­lit­i­cal ends from the CIIE, which is in any way a good thing for global trade as well as the ex­ports of Western coun­tries?

CIIE is be­ing held to serve en­ter­prises and ex­porters world­wide, not Western lead­ers. Ja­pan ranks first in terms of the num­ber of par­tic­i­pat­ing com­pa­nies, fol­lowed by South Korea, the US, Aus­tralia, Ger­many and Italy. This fully demon­strates how much pas­sion com­pa­nies from de­vel­oped coun­tries hold to­ward the expo and her­alds the expo’s suc­cess.

If more coun­tries and re­gions with a trade sur­plus can host im­port ex­pos, that will pro­mote global trade bal­ance. Those with a trade deficit should not blame oth­ers, but en­cour­age their en­ter­prises to grasp ev­ery op­por­tu­nity to pro­mote their prod­ucts. Some­times the prob­lem lies in in­for­ma­tion asym­me­try and an im­port expo can pro­vide a plat­form for sup­pli­ers and buy­ers to com­mu­ni­cate at a low cost.

China has long had a trade sur­plus and too much of it is not help­ful for the coun­try. More im­ports of high-qual­ity prod­ucts can help Chi­nese to up­grade their con­sump­tion and ad­vance the pro­duc­tion. The in­her­ent drive for host­ing CIIE is to trans­late part of China’s for­eign ex­change re­serve into so­cial progress.

China started very early by hold­ing trade fairs in Guangzhou and later be­came a lead­ing ex­porter in the world. Now we are hold­ing the im­port expo in the hope of pro­mot­ing our im­ports.

Tan­gled in a trade war with the US, China could have shut US com­pa­nies out of the expo as a way of pres­sur­ing, but it has acted the other way around. By con­trast, the US now thinks ev­ery­thing about the Chi­nese econ­omy is wrong and what­ever China does is a trick. The two coun­tries dif­fer in their vi­sions.

We be­lieve that the CIIE, if held reg­u­larly, will help China en­hance the qual­ity of its im­ports and bal­ance its im­ports and ex­ports. China doesn’t need to care what the out­side world thinks of the expo, nor should it in­ten­tion­ally en­hance the vol­ume of trans­ac­tions as a proof of kind­ness.

As long as the Chi­nese mar­ket grows larger, CIIE will at­tract more at­ten­tion and will be re­mem­bered in world trade his­tory as a pos­i­tive event.

Il­lus­tra­tion: Liu Rui/GT

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