Executive Intelligence Review


Opening China International Import Expo, Xi Encourages More Openness, Cooperation

Nov. 5, 2018 (EIRNS)—In his keynote speech opening the China International Import Expo (CIIE), President Xi Jinping announced that China was open for business. Bringing together business leaders, scholars, and heads of state and government in Shanghai, the Expo is the first of its kind in having foreign companies exhibit their wares, rather than Chinese companies exhibiting Chinese products. It was a clear signal that China was taking a further step in its “reform and opening-up” and putting out the welcome mat to those firms wishing to sell goods or set up businesses in China. “Under the theme of ‘New Era, Shared Future,’ the CIIE will help friends from around the world to seize opportunities presented by China’s development in the new era and offer a platform for us to deepen international business cooperation for shared prosperity and progress,” Xi said.

The Chinese President forecast $40 trillion in imports of goods ($30 trillion) and services ($10 trillion) over the next 15 years, and continued strong Chinese economic growth. He said 11.7 million “new urban jobs” had been created from January-September 2018.

Xi was no doubt also sending a clear message to the United States that China was willing to take greater measures in opening its markets to U.S. products in order to resolve the trade conflict. While 180 U.S. companies are taking part in the Expo, the U.S. made the symbolic step of not sending any official delegation. Many other nations’ leaders, however, did attend and numerous official delegations were participating.

“China will unswervingly follow a win-win strategy of opening-up, adopt high-quality policies to advance trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, and move toward nationwide opening-up that coordinates the coastal and inland areas and connects the eastern and western regions,”

Xi told the delegates.

“China will remain a strong advocate of openness at the global level, and will continue to act as a stable engine of global growth, a big market with enormous opportunities and an active supporter of global governance reform.”

Xi announced five new measures China would take to expand its opening-up policy. It would stimulate the potential for increased imports by lowering tariffs, increase people’s income and spending power, and facilitate customs clearance. It would also continue to broaden market access, opening up the service sector to foreign investment as well as investment in the agricultural, mining and manufacturing sectors, as well as more opening for foreign involvement in the education and medical sectors. China would foster a “world-class business environment,” including stricter controls on international property rights. China will also open more pilot free trade zones, including one with Japan and South Korea. Xi also announced measures to expand the Shanghai free trade zone and to transform Shanghai into one of the top financial centers of the world.

President Xi also had a message for those critics in the U.S. and elsewhere, who want to undermine China’s successful development course. He stated that “other countries” should also deal with their own domestic problems:

“They should not just point fingers at others to gloss over their own problems. They should not hold a ‘flashlight’ in hand doing nothing but to check on the weakness of others and not on their own.”

In spite of the current wave of troubles, Xi said,

“To use a metaphor, the Chinese economy is not a pond, but an ocean. The ocean may have its calm days, but big winds and storms are only to be expected. Without them, the ocean wouldn’t be what it is. Big winds and storms may upset a pond, but never an ocean. Having experienced numerous winds and storms, the ocean will still be there! It is the same for China. After going through 5,000 years of trials and tribulations, China is still here! Looking ahead, China will always be here to stay!”

he said, meeting with a rousing ovation and applause.

Xi pointed again to the Belt and Road Initiative as a new model for win-win relations between nations.