Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers a keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the first China International Import Expo in Shanghai, east China, Nov. 5, 2018.
At the opening ceremony of the expo on November 5, Chinese President Xi Jinping announced that the country will further its opening-up initiative in five ways: stimulate the potential for increased imports, continue to broaden market access, foster a world-class business environment, explore new horizons for opening up and promote international cooperation at the multilateral and bilateral levels.
Chinese President Xi Jinping and foreign leaders tour the first China International Import Expo’s Country Pavilion for Trade and Investment in Shanghai on November 5 (XINHUA).
To balance its foreign trade and pursue high-quality development, China has activated a new round of opening up, with expanding imports given top priority.
From November 5 to 10, the first China International Import Expo (CIIE) was held in the National Exhibition and Convention Center in Shanghai, attracting more than 400,000 domestic and overseas purchasers, with roughly 5,000 products making their debut at the expo. In the years to come, the CIIE will be held on an annual basis.
The list of products traveling across borders and on display was all-encompassing, ranging from the largest: a 200-ton planer type milling machine, to the smallest: a cardiac pacemaker the size of a tablet; and from the most luxurious: an Italy-made helicopter with a price tag of 200 million yuan ($28.85 million), to the most common: Iberian ham. Besides tangible goods, various services also found their way to the expo, including logistics, tourism and smart home solutions, among others.
“The CIIE demonstrates China’s consistent position of supporting the multilateral trading system and promoting free trade. It is a concrete action by China to advance an open world economy and support economic globalization,” Xi said.
The CIIE is the world’s first import expo held at the national level and an innovation in the history of global trade. Xi’s views on openness, free trade and globalization received extensive applause from attendees. Initiatives by Chinese Government for opening their markets were appreciated by various Governments such as UK, Australia etc as this will bring lot of trade opportunities across the world and finally brining balance in Globalization process. China is really thinking globally now realized by many and very positive step in right directions.
In the past, the focus has been more on the country’s exports, but now the first CIIE signaled that China welcomes overseas products in its own market, which marks a further step toward opening up, said Annette Tabbara, Plenipotentiary of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg to the Federation and the European Union and for Foreign Affairs.
Shows the booth of the Pacific Island Countries at the first China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai, east China. The first CIIE is held from Nov. 5 to 10 in Shanghai. (Xinhua/Liu Dawei).
Trade creating wealth
Among the experts and entrepreneurs present at the expo, most agreed that free trade can generate wealth for people around the world and is an indispensable element to ensuring peace and prosperity.
This is a moment for China to take a leadership role in multilateralism, referring to the Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road (Belt and Road) Initiative as one example of China’s pushing forward openness.
Almost one in three workers in the world relies on the success of ICC member businesses to ensure their prosperity, and looking through the eyes of ICC members and those who work for them, they want free trade to continue.
“Today, globalization is facing substantive difficulties, and an open mindset and continuous innovation are necessary to deal with the current difficulties.
China’s cabinet, pointed out that the ultimate purpose of international trade is to benefit as many people as possible. To this end, efforts should be made in three ways: First, an open, inclusive and stable international environment for trade and economy needs to be put in place, which makes the existence of a multilateral trading system necessary. Second, concerted efforts should be made to ensure that businesses and people from less developed countries can be integrated into trade. On this front, consideration should be given to the gap between developed and developing countries and preferential treatment should be made available for the latter. Third, the best use of technological progress needs to be made; innovation in business models and technologies should be fully leveraged in areas like Africa and the Pacific islands.
To benefit more people, should be cautious with the employment of protectionist measures such as tariffs.
Visitors experience driving a passenger jet at the Boeing Company booth during the first China International Import Expo in Shanghai on November 6 (XINHUA)
A huge market
As the world’s largest opening-up platform focused on imports, the CIIE was extremely popular among enterprises around the world.
The Chinese market accounts for 20 percent of our sales. Today, our largest market outside of the United States is Germany.
We expect China to equal what we are selling in Europe, an Indianapolis-based global industrial automation company that designs and produces interactive computer controls, software and computerized machine systems for metal cutting and metal forming industries.
Visitors view the booth of Belarus at the first China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai, east China, Nov. 6, 2018. The first CIIE is held from Nov. 5 to 10 in Shanghai. (Xinhua/Sadat).
The parts that Chinese workers are making today are very sophisticated. They require advanced solutions. Typically, a highly trained operator is needed to run a sophisticated machine tool.
But for Hurco machines, anyone can work as an operator after receiving 15 minutes of training, which makes it more likely to be widely used in the ongoing upgrading of China’s manufacturing industry.
U.S. food and agricultural giant Cargill arranged chefs to cook its quality beef at its booth, attracting streams of visitors. During the first CIIE, the company signed cooperative agreements worth more than $2.4 billion with Chinese partners, covering beef, grain, food ingredients, cotton and iron ore.
The Chinese market is very important to Cargill in the past seven years, Cargill’s investment in China has doubled.
As far as Cargill is concerned, the first CIIE helped us strengthen ties with our stakeholders and gain a better knowledge of the Chinese market, that the company will continuously scale up its investment in China and join hands with its Chinese partners in providing local consumers with safe, healthy food in a sustainable way.
As supply-side structural reform keeps deepening in China, the country’s home appliances industry is restructuring under the influence of digital and intelligent technologies. Against such a backdrop, Whirlpool Corp., a U.S. multinational home appliances manufacturer, opened a smart factory in Hefei, east China’s Anhui Province, which went into production in November 2017.
Chinese people’s power of consumption has been growing recently. To fulfill demands arising from consumption upgrading, some new and advanced products should be developed to match specific demands.
A recently unveiled refrigerator named Frozen Age is one example.
A special compartment is designed to store skincare products like masks, with the temperature in different compartments can be adjusted to accommodate different types of foods stored.
Whirlpool Asia has always competed with its Chinese rivals on a fair playing field, while local governments are willing to offer help when operating businesses in China like in the building of the Hefei-based factory.
With excellent technologies and customized products, we are confident that Whirlpool Asia will manage to grasp the eruptive growth of China’s kitchen appliances market in the future.
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