China embraces wider opening up as stage set for 2nd import expo
The second China International Import Expo is set to open in Shanghai on Tuesday, exemplifying China's commitment to wider opening up and shared prosperity.
At the expo, 24 countries will make their first appearances in the country exhibitions, accounting for over one-third of the 64 countries that will host country exhibitions.
Covering 330,000 square meters, business exhibitions at the second expo have attracted more than 3,000 companies from over 150 countries and regions.
Platform for common prosperity
A total of 192 U.S. enterprises will attend the event, up 18 percent from the previous year. Their exhibition area covers around 47,500 square meters, the largest among all participating countries, according to Ren Hongbin, assistant minister of commerce.
CIIE is "a big platform for enterprises to show their most advanced products and technologies," said Yoke Loon Lim, president of the Dow for Greater China.
Frank Rodriguez, adviser to Panama's minister of commerce and industry, said some 40 Panamanian companies will attend this year's CIIE, almost doubling the number for the previous year.
"We want to keep propping up Panamanian products for entry into China's market, such as high-quality tropical fruits," said Rodriguez, recalling that Panamanian pineapples attracted a lot of interest in the Chinese market last year.
"CIIE has provided a big platform to help emerging economies and developing countries to participate for their own benefits, easing the global development imbalance," said Wang Lei, professor at the Beijing International Studies University.
During the first CIIE, deals for intended one-year purchases of goods and services worth US$57.83 billion were reached, and more than 90 percent of the contracts were completed in the past year.
The number of new products and technologies which will debut at the second CIIE is expected to surpass last year, said Sun Chenghai, vice director of the CIIE Bureau.
With the theme of "New Era, Shared Future," the second CIIE is a climax of China's efforts in 2019 to pursue high-quality opening up and work with other countries to build an open world economy.
This year, China has rolled out revised negative lists for foreign investment market access, issued an overall plan for the new Lingang area of the Shanghai pilot free trade zone, and introduced a new regulation on optimizing the business environment.
According to the latest World Bank report, China's ease of doing business ranking rose to 31 this year from 46 last year, and it is also among the 10 economies that improved the most on the ease of doing business after implementing regulatory reforms.
Hosting the CIIE demonstrates China's commitment to promoting shared prosperity and mutual benefits with its partners, said Malaysian International Trade and Industry Deputy Minister Ong Kian Ming.
While the second CIIE is slated to take place from Nov. 5 to 10, visitors and enterprises have shown a lasting passion for it.
Country exhibitions will be extended for eight more days in response to citizens' overwhelming enthusiasm toward the expo, according to organizers.
A total of 115 companies from all around the globe have already signed up for the third CIIE so far. Those early birds have taken around 60,000 square meters of the exhibition area for next year's event, said Sun.
The world economy has been inspired by the strong momentum of China's imports and its determination to open up its market and break the bottleneck of global trade, said Li Jun, a researcher with the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation under the Ministry of Commerce.