Chinese President Xi Jinping announced Monday the opening of the China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai, the world's first import-themed national-level expo.
More than 3,600 companies from 172 countries, regions and international organizations will showcase their products and international image at the expo, bringing more than 5,000 new products to China.
President Xi called the expo a "trail-blazing" move in the history of international trade development. Some people have described the significance of the expo as "an excellent platform for exploring markets in China", "looking forward to sharing China's development dividend", and "unparalleled importance to test product innovation and technological development".
Indeed, the great attraction of the expo lies in the precious business opportunities in the Chinese market. For multinational companies, how can the Chinese market facilitate their transformation to becoming a "global player"? On the surface, it is because of the huge scale of China's market, but on a deeper level, Chinese consumers' yearning for a better life means an inestimable consumption potential and a valuable "China opportunity".
According to data from the National Bureau of Statistics, from 2013 to 2016, the average annual contribution rate of China's final consumption to the growth of world consumption was 23.4 percent (based on the constant dollar price).
In the next 15 years, China's imported goods and services are estimated to exceed $30 trillion and $10 trillion, respectively. China's market has developed into an important force for the growth of world consumption, and this potential will be further released via the CIIE.
Some people describe the expo as "China's stage and world’s chorus". Indeed, participating in the expo is not only an opportunity for enterprises to enter the Chinese market and expand exports to China, but also an opportunity for countries to promote the development of multilateral economic and trade relations, integrate into the global industrial chain and value chain, and achieve complementary advantages and win-win results.
Against the backdrop of the rise of unilateralism and protectionism, the special significance of the expo lies in building an inclusive and cooperative platform to fully reflect the interests of all participants in world trade, thus promoting economic globalization towards a more open, inclusive, balanced and win-win direction.
To China itself, this is also a great opportunity. On one hand, importing high-quality goods and services will provide greater supply for domestic consumers to meet the growing needs of the people for a better life; on the other hand, the introduction of advanced foreign technology, standards and management experience can also promote the upgrading of domestic industries and enhance the competitiveness of Chinese enterprises.
Since the beginning of the year, China has announced a series of measures to further open up. From the introduction of a new version of the negative list of foreign investments to a reduction in import tariffs on automobiles, pharmaceuticals and commodities, from the establishment of the Hainan free trade pilot zone to the holding of the first China International Import Exposition, China has demonstrated its firm determination to expand opening up to the outside world at a higher level and promote high-quality development with high-level opening up.
Meanwhile, China is also taking steps to expand financial opening-up, continue to advance opening-up in the service sector, deepen opening-up in agriculture, mining and manufacturing, and accelerate the opening-up process of telecommunications, education, medical treatment and culture.
China will not close its door to the world and will only become more and more open, as President Xi said. Through 40 years of reform and opening-up, China has embraced the world, and the world has benefited from China's opening up. Today, China continues to open its doors at home and welcomes all countries to share China’s opportunity.