By Guo Jiping
The opening ceremony of the 3rd China International Import Expo (CIIE) was held on Nov. 4 as scheduled in Shanghai, attracting many old and new friends.
Foreigner enterprises’ full preparation for the expo that is attracting increasing attention from across the globe demonstrates the strong momentum for economic globalization and the world’s aspiration for cooperation featuring openness, inclusiveness, innovative growth, and mutual benefit.
The holding of the expo as scheduled in this extraordinary year brings hope to the global economy that is still struggling for recovery amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The event has become a bright card for China in promoting openness and cooperation, showing that China will never cease the process of reform and opening-up.
Facing unprecedented changes in the world unseen in a century, China is entering a new stage of development with the expansion of imports, opening-up measures for investment, consumption upgrading, booming innovation, and interconnectivity.
Grasping new development opportunities, China has built several platforms for international cooperation and rolled out a series of major measures for further opening-up. These demonstrated the country’s sincerity to share its development opportunities with the rest of the world, and its far-reaching influence in advancing the establishment of a new development pattern. These also reflected a universally recognized fact that China’s development is an integral part of the lofty cause of human progress.
Data about the 3rd CIIE is particularly eye-catching. Six exhibition sections and four special subsections were set up based on global hotspots and industry development trends, with some exhibition sections surpassing their planned area.
The average exhibition area for the Fortune Global 500 companies and industry leaders, including dozens of enterprises applying to take part in the event for the first time, increased by 14 percent from last year.
Many enterprises debuted their new products, technologies and services, and nearly 100 enterprises signed up to participate in the expo in the next three consecutive years.
The exhibition section of Medical Equipment & Health Care Products was particularly popular, and a special subsection for public health and epidemic prevention and control was added for the first time, with the area expanding 6 times over the planned area.
When many large international exhibitions were suspended amid the raging pandemic, how is the expo enjoying such extraordinary popularity around the world? Where do China’s confidence and determination to overcome difficulties and hold the 3rd CIIE as scheduled come from?
The holding of the CIIE as scheduled is inseparable from the major strategic results China has made in epidemic prevention and control. China has always put people first and valued people’s lives most, built a solid line of defense against the epidemic, and taken the lead in controlling the epidemic.
Against the backdrop of the normalized epidemic prevention and control, the preparation for the expo was advanced in an orderly manner. Integrated services at the entrances and exits of the venue for the CIIE enable automatic and accurate matching of people’s certificate information and their health information, ensuring scan-and-go body temperature monitoring and traceability of their information.
The cold-chain food exhibits were put in storage in batches and transferred together for exhibition, while various departments worked together to strengthen unified management and control of the exhibits during the whole process.
With rich anti-epidemic experience and adequate response measures, China reassures the exhibitors from various countries.
The expo cannot be held as scheduled without the Chinese economy’s strong resilience and vitality. In the first three quarters of the year, China’s economic growth shifted from negative to positive, and indicators such as consumption, industrial production and import and export continued to improve. The World Economic Outlook of the International Monetary Fund also predicted that China would be the only economy in the world to show positive growth in 2020.
In the midst of the global economic downturn, the economic recovery of China became a bright spot, boosting exports from other regions, the Financial Times said in an article, lauding the country’s economy.
Xiao Weike, senior director of CBRE Group, a worldwide commercial real estate services and investment firm, said the company is willing to take the CIIE as an opportunity to seize new opportunities in China’s economic recovery and its accelerated opening-up and transformation.
The holding of the expo as scheduled also manifests foreign enterprises’ confidence in China’s commitment to unswervingly expanding opening-up in an all-round way.
In the first nine months of this year, 26,367 new foreign-funded enterprises were established in China. During the period, the country received 718.81 billion yuan ($107.2 billion) in foreign investment, up 5.2 percent year on year, and foreign enterprises’ profits used for reinvestment registered a year-on-year growth of 25.5 percent by USD.
Several foreign investment projects have been launched, including U.S. automaker Tesla’s gigafactory in Shanghai, the engine project of U.S. engine manufacturer Cummins in Hefei, east China’s Anhui province, and the chemical project of Swiss-headquartered petrochemical manufacturer Ineos Group in Ningbo, east China’s Zhejiang province.
Besides, multinationals such as ExxonMobil, BMW, and Toyota have scaled up investment and optimized their layout in the country.
The strengths of China’s mega-sized market and the huge potential of domestic demand are becoming more resilient and sustainable driving forces for the growth of the Chinese economy and the global economy.
The holding of the expo as scheduled will not only yield tangible cooperation results, but also bring inspiration to all countries in the world to work together to overcome difficulties. While making coordinated efforts to curb the spread of the epidemic and promote economic and social development, China has also successively held global economic and trade events, sending a positive signal to the world that the country adheres to economic globalization and advances an open world economy.
China’s holding of the CIIE as scheduled demonstrated the country’s responsibility as a major country and its positive attitude to accelerate the global economic recovery with actions, said Fabrice Megarbane, president and CEO of L’Oréal China, who participated in the CIIE for the third consecutive year.
As a Chinese saying goes, boundless is the ocean where we sail with favorable wind. The CIIE, an event to be held on an annual basis, will feature good performance, good results and continued success in the years to come, Chinese President Xi Jinping said at the opening ceremony of the first CIIE.
The expo is from China, but it also belongs to the world. China is trying to inject more certainties to the world in a period of turbulence and change with its actions.