The world's first import-themed national-level expo, the China International Import Expo (CIIE) is aimed at supporting trade liberalization and economic globalization, as well as opening the market to the world, helping countries around the world to strengthen economic and trade exchanges and world economic growth. Held annually in Shanghai autumn, it features exhibitions of multiple countries and businesses as well as the Hongqiao International Economic and Trade Forum. The Expo is co-hosted by the Ministry of Commerce of China and the Shanghai Municipal Government, and is partnered with the World Trade Organization, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development and United Nations Industrial Development Organization.
This year’s exhibition took place at the National Exhibition and Convention Center in Shanghai from November 5-10. The exhibition hall showcased advancements in technology, automobiles, equipment, medical instruments and medical care, service trade, food and agriculture. Attendees included French President Emmanuel Macron, Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic and Chinese President Xi Jinping, who gave the keynote speech at the opening ceremony.
In his speech, President Xi emphasized the importance of international cooperation in achieving global goals and providing impetus to economic globalization. President Xi pointed out that cooperation is essential to this end, as countries become increasingly interconnected and solutions to problems lies in the spirit of equality, mutual understanding and accommodation, not in measures such as protectionism and unilateralism. The free flow of innovation and technology, he stated, is also essential to an open world economy, while international cooperation is crucial to safeguarding the international order and the basic principles of the multilateral trading system.
In order to fulfill its role in the international community, Xi emphasized that China will continue to “open up its market, optimize its opening-up structure, improve its business environment and deepen multilateral and bilateral cooperation”. He expanded upon this point in his closing, noting that China’s Belt and Road is a perfect example of the cooperation through the principles of “extensive consultation, joint contribution, and shared benefits, the philosophy of open, green, and clean cooperation, and a high-standard, people-centered, and sustainable approach.”
Operating around the theme “Opening-up and Innovation for Win-win Cooperation”, this year’s Expo had around 60 renowned speakers from political, business and academic circles all over the world, delivering speeches in five parallel sessions on business environment, artificial intelligence, WTO reform, e-commerce and China’s 70-years development. A total of USD71.13 billion worth of tentative deals were reached for one-year purchases of goods and services during the second CIIE, up 23% from last year. Over 300 activities, including policy analyses by different ministries and the presentation of reports published by the WTO and the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), were held during the expo. The Business Exhibition showcased more than 3,800 foreign companies, and at least 390 new products, technologies or services made their global or regional debuts in this year’s CIIE. Separately, the Country Exhibition of the Expo was attended by 64 nations and three international organizations -- the World Trade Organization, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization and the International Trade Center.
As the Expo’s second year highlighted important developments and innovations in business, international organizations, and economic cooperation, participants and observers alike look forward to next year’s gathering as an opportunity to facilitate further collaboration.