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CIIE helping build an open global economy

China Daily| Updated: November 10, 2023

The ongoing 6th China International Import Expo, which comprises national exhibitions, business exhibitions, the Hongqiao International Economic Forum, professional supporting activities and cultural exchanges, continues to play a pivotal role in promoting an open and interconnected global economy.

As the first national-level exhibition focused primarily on imports, the CIIE, right from the first edition, has been attracting participants from across the globe. In the past five exhibitions, the cumulative projected transaction was nearly $350 billion. In the sixth one, more than 3,400 companies from across the world are participating in the ongoing event.

The CIIE has adopted a "Four-in-One" approach, which includes exhibitions, forums, cultural exchanges and diplomatic events, and promotes international procurement, investment, cultural exchanges, and win-win cooperation.

With its continuously expanding global influence, the CIIE has been helping build a new development paradigm, and has become a platform for facilitating the integration of the Chinese and international markets.

In particular, the CIIE has been playing a vital role in expanding China's imports. At the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation on Oct 18, President Xi Jinping said China supports the building of an open world economy and outlined China's economic expectations for the next five years (2024-28). For example, China's trade in goods and services is expected to add up to $32 trillion and $5 trillion, respectively, in the period between 2024 and 2028. In comparison, the country's trade in goods was $26 trillion in the past five years. This indicates China aims to significantly increase its imports in the future.

The CIIE also creates opportunities for high-quality global product makers to further explore the Chinese market. Among them nearly 300 are Fortune Global 500 companies, and industry leaders, which is a record high in terms of numbers.

That the CIIE has become a significant platform for promoting trade was evident in the General Administration of Customs decision to introduce 17 measures to make the process of taking part in the CIIE more convenient. The measures cover the entire process from access to exhibition, customs clearance for exhibits to post-exhibition norms.

In particular, one of the new measures allows the entry of animal- and plant-based products from countries and regions where there is no ongoing animal- or plant-related epidemic as long as the risks are deemed manageable. The measure significantly broadens the range of products that can be displayed in the CIIE, facilitating the entry of foreign products that have not yet accessed the Chinese market.

Products such as Ecuador's dragon fruit, Brazilian beef, and the latest French meat products from 15 French pork exporters have been exhibited at the CIIE, increasing the chances of these products entering the Chinese market in the near future.

The CIIE also allows overseas small and medium-sized enterprises from other countries to explore the Chinese market. For instance, nearly 50 overseas official agencies in the food and agricultural sector will organize small and medium-sized enterprises from abroad to participate in exhibitions in China.

To support this initiative, the organizers of the food exhibition pavilion at the ongoing expo organizers have built a new "SME Trade Matchmaking Zone" spread over 500 square meters. The expo has invited professional buyers from domestic e-commerce platforms, supermarkets, and restaurants to directly interact with the participating SMEs, facilitating collaboration between the two sides.

As a platform promoting openness, the CIIE has become a crucial window on the Chinese market. This helps foreign companies explore new ways to make profit by entering the Chinese market, which is a testament to China's commitment to further open up the Chinese economy to the outside world. The major initiatives announced at the previous five editions of the CIIE, such as the ongoing upgrading of free trade pilot zones and the accelerated development of the Hainan Free Trade Port, have all been implemented. These actions show China is confident of building an open world economy.

China will continue to take measures to shorten the "negative list" for foreign investment in non-free trade zones while working on a "negative list" for cross-border services trade, which would further open up the economy.

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