SHANGHAI – The first China International Import Expo (CIIE) kicked off yesterday in Shanghai, providing a new platform for businesses from around the world to showcase their products in the vast Chinese market.
The expo, held under the theme ‘New Era, Shared Future’, seeks to further open the Chinese market to the world.
The six-day event brings together more than 3,600 businesses from 172 different countries.
Showcased are a wide variety of products and technologies that foreign companies hope will attract interest from Chinese buyers.
During his keynote address at the opening ceremony, Chinese President Xi Jinping said the CIIE is the world’s first large-scale, national-level event promoting global free trade and economic cooperation.
“China’s initiative to expand imports was not taken on a whim. It was a premeditated decision to embrace the world and the future,” Mr Xi said.
He said globalisation is an irreversible historical trend that provides strong momentum for global economic development.
Mr Xi also took the opportunity to urge all countries around the world to adopt openness and a win-win approach to development, instead of isolation and confrontation.
“All countries should be committed to opening-up and should fully oppose protectionism and unilateralism,” he said.
He pointed out that all participating countries should uphold the principles of inclusive development and shared benefits in order to realise their development goals.
“China will not close its door to the world and will only become more and more open,” Mr Xi stressed.
He added that China will be pushing forward a multilateral and bilateral cooperation agenda in pursuit of development.
China has now become the second largest importer in the world, spending $20 trillion a year purchasing overseas goods.
“Import of goods and services are estimated to exceed $30 trillion and $10 trillion respectively in the next 15 years,” Mr Xi said.