CIIE - Expo a global confidence booster

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.

(Source from China Daily )