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China seeks to share development opportunities with the world through CIIE
From People's Daily

The second China International Import Expo (CIIE), a major initiative that China takes to expand imports and open its market to the world, manifests the country's resolve to support economic globalization and lift the level of trade liberalization and facilitation.

Photo taken on October 29, 2019 shows the mascot of the CIIE at a transfer station of Shanghai metro. (Photo by Wang Gang)

The second CIIE, slated to take place in Shanghai from Nov. 5 to 10, expects the attendance of guests of political, business and academic circles from more than 170 countries and regions, and representatives of global organizations.

The expo carries the expectations of the world towards the Chinese market, global exhibitors, government officials, representatives of international organizations, experts and scholars told People's Daily.

"As a guest of honor country, Greece looks forward to the upcoming expo very much. We expect to display our huge investment potential at the expo," Kostas Fragogiannis, Greek Deputy Minister for Economic Diplomacy and Openness told People's Daily.

China plays an important role in propelling global economic growth through advancing joint construction of the Belt and Road, said the Greek deputy minister.

In recent two years, the two countries eyed frequent economic and trade exchanges, and Greek exports to China increased fast and steadily. In 2018, the trade volume between China and Greece reached $7.064 billion, growing by 36.3 percent year on year.

Veronika Nikishina, member of the Board of the Eurasian Economic Commission, said the CIIE has become a representative platform for countries to strengthen economic and trade relations, and it conveys a clear signal to the world that the Chinese government is supportive of open and balanced international trade relations.

The second CIIE and the second Hongqiao International Economic Forum serve as a valuable opportunity for governments and enterprises of various countries at a time when trade protectionism is on the rise, Nikishina said, adding that the vigorous manufacturing industry of China is an indicator of a healthy and steady Chinese economy.

New Zealand dairy brand Theland is a beneficiary of the spillover effects of the first CIIE. At the first CIIE, the company released a milk brand and it became a hit even after the event. Now, the monthly sales volume of the milk has grown by 35 times.

"At the first CIIE, we established strategic cooperative relations with well-known Chinese enterprises and extended our sales channels to small cities and towns, bringing our business onto a fast track of development in China," said Sheng Wenhao, chairman of the board of Theland New Cloud, who expressed that Theland hopes to cooperate with more Chinese companies at the second CIIE.

Aerial picture shows the new Lingang area of the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone. (Photo by Ji Haixin)

Gary Clyde Hufbauer, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, believes that the second CIIE will cement economic and trade relations between China and countries around the world and boost global trade.

The Chinese government has mulled measures to expand opening-up in such areas as intellectual property rights (IPR) protection, technology transfer, and attracting foreign investment, he said.

These measures indicate that China is vigorously pushing forward multilateralism, trade facilitation and investment liberalization. As the country pushes ahead with reform and opening-up, it is bound to embrace a bright economic prospect, Hufbauer said.

Arnaud Ribadeau Dumas, President of Greater China and Instruments Global Division of Essilor, a French-based international ophthalmic optics company, said the Essilor booth received nearly 10,000 visitors during the first CIIE, and provided visual screenings to 3,000 people.

"The CIIE is a platform where China shares it development opportunities with the world. The country has provided a broad space for foreign-invested companies to develop," he said, pointing out that the CIIE showcases China's resolve to build a more inclusive, open and friendly market for all transnational corporations.

Thomas Delabriere, general manager of Greater China and North Asia of KIND, a strategic cooperative brand of global manufacturer of confectionery Mars Inc, said the CIIE is a great opportunity that China creates for countries around the world to carry out reciprocal cooperation with each other.

The CIIE plays a significant role in fostering a more open trade and investment environment, introducing new products, enhancing technological and cultural exchanges, and promoting sustainable development, he added.

Beate Trankmann, Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in China, said that the CIIE is an important platform to strengthen economic cooperation and boost global trade.

The CIIE allows countries to exchange technological solutions, share knowledge and best practices, deepen mutual understanding and cooperation, and achieve sustainable development. The hosting of the CIIE indicates that sustainable trade and investment is conducive to the implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, especially for the least developed countries to achieve their development goals.

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