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Expo a catalyst for rebuilding global consensus on cooperation, multilateralism

Xinhua | Updated: 2023-11-05 09:17

Over the past five years, the annual China International Import Expo (CIIE) has become a symbol of China's high-level opening-up and an emblem of its ongoing endeavors to build an open global economy.

The sixth CIIE, scheduled for Nov. 5-10 in Shanghai, has attracted attendees from 154 countries, regions and international organizations, including the least developed, developing and developed nations.

Approximately 200 companies have committed to participating for the sixth consecutive year.

In the Country Exhibition, among the 69 countries participating, 16 are the least developed countries. Various agricultural and handicraft products from them will be showcased.

The exhibition area of the expo will be around 367,000 square meters, and 289 Global Fortune 500 companies and industry-leading enterprises are poised to attend the expo, both exceeding the previous levels.

The increased participation of countries and multinationals in the expo signals the world's strong confidence in China's economy, which saw a 5.2-percent gross domestic product (GDP) growth in the first nine months of the year.

The event's expansion also reflects a global eagerness to explore China's enormous market, driven by robust demand and significant consumption potential resulting from China's success in reducing poverty and nurturing one of the world's largest middle-class cohorts.

For example, China is by far the largest EV market in the world. In 2022, more than 60 percent of global electric car sales took place there, and more than half of all EVs on the road worldwide are currently in China.

This explains why many global companies are choosing to launch their latest and blockbuster products at China's import expo, many of which are tailored to better meet Chinese consumers' needs.

"The CIIE prompts us to identify export opportunities that align with China's demands, ultimately benefiting Thailand," said Phumtham Wechayachai, deputy prime minister of Thailand.

That's not all. The import expo has gone beyond being a mere trade fair. It has served as a window for the world to closely observe and better understand China's new development paradigm, where domestic and overseas markets reinforce each other, with the domestic market as the mainstay.

China has stressed that making the domestic market the mainstay does not mean the country will develop its economy with the door closed, a fact affirmed by the expo.

The expo exemplifies how the new paradigm works. By giving full play to the potential of the domestic market, both domestic and foreign markets can be better connected and utilized to realize robust and sustainable development.

Moreover, the CIIE has become an international public good for the world to share, acting as a major platform for international procurement, investment promotion, cultural exchanges and open cooperation.

"The CIIE offers exciting new platforms for global businesses and partners to strengthen ties, exchange ideas steeped in innovation, and forge lasting relationships with one another," Josie Zhang, president of Burberry China, said.

As the world is still recovering from the pandemic and headwinds against globalization remain strong, the event has demonstrated China's dedication to making the pie of the global market even bigger, strengthening the global mechanisms for benefits sharing and exploring new ways of international cooperation.

The expo is a catalyst for rebuilding global consensus on pursuing an open world economy, enhancing win-win cooperation and promoting true multilateralism.

It is "a bright spot for activating world trade and economic globalization" in a "more open world seeking to break stereotypes of unipolarity," Abu Bakr al-Deeb, an advisor to the Cairo-based Arab Center for Research and Studies, said.

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