原创 中国日报评论部 CHINADAILY
With many economies forced to a standstill due to the novel coronavirus outbreak, the opening of the third China International Import Expo on Wednesday in Shanghai sends a strong signal that the world's second-largest economy will do its best to stoke global trade at this trying moment.
As the largest fair of its kind, the CIIE is testament to the determination of the country to continue opening up.
Many proposals that President Xi Jinping gave in his opening speeches at the previous two expos, including that countries should join hands, not let go, and they should dismantle walls, not build walls, have proved their prescient pertinence over the past two years.
The expo comes hard on the heels of the Fifth Plenum of the 19th Communist Party of China Central Committee during which the leadership's proposals for the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) and the long-term social and economic development goals to 2035 were reviewed and approved.
Xi, who headed the document's drafting team, explained the proposals at the meeting and he is expected to offer a road map for the country's further opening-up and reaffirm the country's resolve to fight against unilateralism, protectionism and hegemonism in the video speech he will deliver at the expo's opening ceremony on Wednesday.
His remarks should further consolidate the international community's confidence in China's recovery and future development path, providing a shot in the arm for multilateralism that is badly needed at this challenging time.
The rise of protectionism and the ongoing pandemic have highlighted the importance, indispensability and inclusiveness of the Chinese market for multinational corporations. And the expo is far more than being merely symbolic. It is an operational platform to connect foreign companies with the Chinese market. The intended transaction volume produced by last year's expo was $71.13 billion, up 23 percent from the first expo.
As China is one of the few major markets that has generally tamed the novel coronavirus, it represents a precious opportunity for foreign companies. More than 70 percent of the Fortune 500 companies and major players from different industries, including many newcomers, are coming to Shanghai for the expo, and some of them have already signed up for the event for the next three years, with the expo being the platform of choice for many to launch new products and showcase new technologies.
Many foreign business leaders, including those from the United States, have had to plan their trips long before the expo, as those entering the country must quarantine for 14 days, take their temperature twice a day during the quarantine period and undergo multiple nucleic acid tests. But despite these inconveniences, attending the expo is still worth it, as some of them said.
By hosting the expo in these difficult times, China is demonstrating its resolve to keep the global economy on track.
Article from China Daily Wechant official account
Despite the uncertain global economic situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, this year's China International Import Expo was a big success in terms of deals reached at the event and the level of participation, said organizers.
So far, $72.62 billion of intended deals have been made at the third CIIE, an increase of 2.1 percent year-on-year, demonstrating foreign companies' continued confidence and interest in the Chinese market.
In his keynote speech delivered at the opening ceremony of the third CIIE, President Xi Jinping said that, in the three years since its inception, the event has enabled exhibits to become traded goods and exhibitors to spot more investment opportunities.
The six-day CIIE, which ended on Tuesday, has also grown into an important platform for industry leaders to make product debuts, according to Sun Chenghai, deputy director of the CIIE Bureau.
A total of 411 new products, technologies or service items that were debuted on the Chinese mainland or globally were featured at this year's CIIE.
The medical equipment and healthcare products exhibition area accounted for 120 technology and product debuts, said Sun.
Minneapolis-headquartered medical device company Medtronic Inc demonstrated more than 70 technologies at this year's CIIE, among which nearly one-third were displayed in China for the first time.
According to Yu Jing, vice-president of Medtronic Restorative Therapy Group's China business, the company will not only speed up the introduction of more innovative products on the Chinese market but also provide localized products and solutions. As a result, Medtronic will be able to upgrade its overall industrial chain in China, including research and development, production and services, she said.
Consumer goods covered the largest exhibition area this year, at 90,000 square meters. The food and agricultural products exhibition area accommodated the most exhibitors, attracting 1,264 companies from 93 countries.
In addition, the world's top seven carmakers all attended the show, and up to 80 percent of Fortune Global 500 companies and industry leaders that participated in previous expos returned to Shanghai this year.
French cosmetics giant L'Oreal Group has participated in all three editions of the CIIE. Fabrice Megarbane, president and CEO of L'Oreal China, said the holding of this year's CIIE was unaffected by the pandemic, and it received an unprecedented positive response from consumers, which proved that the pandemic cannot stop people's pursuit of a better quality of life.
"We have confirmed our attendance at the CIIE next year, in the hope of reaching more consumers and seeking more collaboration via the exhibition," he said.
Nearly 400,000 professional visitors had signed up for this year's show, and its total exhibition area was almost 360,000 sq m, an increase of 30,000 sq m from a year earlier.
Sun pointed out that the third CIIE was the largest exhibition attracting participants from the biggest number of countries that China has held since the epidemic control and prevention situation was normalized.
"The CIIE is delivering on China's commitment to further open up so that countries all over the world can benefit from the nation's huge market. It has also helped to expand domestic consumption and support the country's dual circulation strategy," said Sun.