Holding export expos is a common phenomenon around the world, as each and every country wants to boost its exports and enhance its foreign exchange. However, China is unique in holding the “China International Import Expo” (CIIE), an event of epic proportion with over 3,000 overseas companies taking part this year.
The second CIIE opened on 5 November 2019 in Shanghai. Chinese President Xi Jinping, also General Secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and Chairman of the Central Military Commission, attended the opening ceremony and delivered a keynote speech. He also met with other world leaders attending the CIIE.
In his keynote speech, President Xi reaffirmed that China would keep on with its policy of opening up, continuing to strive for a more open China. He pointed out five measures to promote opening-up:
-- Continue to expand market opening up;
-- Continue to optimize the framework of opening up;
-- Continue to improve business environment;
-- Continue to deepen multilateral and bilateral cooperation;
-- Continue to jointly build the Belt and Road.
President Xi was confident that China, a country bound to have even brighter economic development prospects, will provide other countries with more opportunities in terms of the market, investment and growth. He announced that China would further ease market access for foreign investment and shorten its negative list. China will improve the business environment to make it more market-oriented, law-based and internationalized. It is evident that China strongly believes in free and fair trade and promotes globalization.
The CIIE has two roles. On the one hand, China wants to help the rest of the world enter the Chinese market. Visionary leadership has provided an enabling environment and conducive policies, which may help some countries narrow down their trade deficit with China.
On the other hand, China is one of the biggest importers of many goods. Of course, many countries will try to capture the Chinese market by providing better quality and competitive prices. It will benefit China to import the best quality at an affordable price. It will be another “win-win” situation for China as well as for the rest of the world.
I believe the second CIIE will open a new chapter of further development in China. It will become a hub of international trade and the world will focus on Shanghai.
A sizeable delegation from Pakistan has participated in this year’s CIIE, bringing with them a wide range of Pakistani products. Chinese entrepreneurs have shown a keen interest in Pakistani products. By importing more from Pakistan, the CIIE can help to narrow Pakistan’s deficit with China.
The CIIE is a positive step with a clear message that China promotes globalization. It is expected that the rest of the world will also benefit from free and fair trade practices.
The opinions expressed in this article belong solely to the author, and not necessarily to People’s Daily Online.
About the author: Zamir Ahmed Awan is a senior fellow with the Center for China and Globalization (CCG) and a sinologist at the National University of Sciences and Technology in Pakistan. E-mail: [email protected]