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Critical role played by supply chains in focus ahead of expo

By ZHONG NAN | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2023-11-27 23:58

A smart vehicle is showcased at the China International Supply Chain Expo in Beijing, which will run from Tuesday through Saturday.LI JUN / CHINA NEWS SERVICE

Expo: Nation's efforts to help  address supply chain issues

China's efforts to advance its industrial system will effectively bolster the global industry and supply chains, empowering both international and domestic businesses to capitalize on a multitude of market opportunities and boost their willingness to invest, said the head of China's top foreign trade and investment promotion agency.

Speaking ahead of the first China International Supply Chain Expo in Beijing, which will run from Tuesday through Saturday, Ren Hongbin, chairman of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, said that China is firmly committed to upholding the public good aspect of industry and supply chains to fully support multilateralism.

"China is not only a beneficiary and defender of the integrated development of the global supply chain but is also an active explorer and builder of a new global supply chain system," he said.

He stressed that the role of global manufacturing and supply chains will continue to be crucial. A new wave of scientific, technological and industrial transformation is imminent, and this will require major adjustments in the global innovation landscape and economic structure, he said.

Covering a total exhibition area of 100,000 square meters, the CISCE features five major supply chain service areas — smart vehicle, green agriculture, clean energy, digital technology and healthy life. The global gathering is expected to attract the participation of 515 domestic and foreign companies, as well as institutions.

Ren stressed that the scarcest resource in the world today is the market, and the size of the market determines the depth of division of labor, which in turn determines the level of industrial development. With a population of over 1.4 billion and a middle-income group of over 400 million, China's "magnetic attraction" for foreign investment is constantly strengthening, he said.

Lin Meng, director of the Modern Supply Chain Research Institute at the Beijing-based Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, said that China's endeavors to build a modern industrial system will improve the world's capacity to address potential supply chain disruptions in the future.

"This will ensure the seamless operation of the global economy in the face of challenges and uncertainties," said Lin.

Backed by the most complete industrial categories and the most comprehensive supporting system according to United Nations standards, China's manufacturing industry has ranked first in the world in terms of scale for 13 consecutive years, accounting for nearly 30 percent of the global share, making the country the "world factory" in the global supply chain, according to information released by the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade.

Moreover, China's high-end industries, such as electronics and electrical equipment, are increasing their footprints in the global business landscape. Its new energy industries, such as photovoltaics, are already world leaders.

Emphasizing the substantial risk posed by industrial decoupling to global economic recovery, Zhao Ping, dean of the academy at the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, underscored China's attractiveness to multinational corporations. The country offers a comprehensive supply chain support system, well-developed infrastructure, a vast market and effective government policies that foster innovation, she said.

With China ascending the value chain, it has evolved into more of an exporter than an importer of intermediate goods utilized by manufacturers in other regions. This development enhances connectivity and, consequently, boosts the competitiveness of global supply chains, according to a report released by banking and financial services group HSBC earlier this year.

Honeywell International Inc, which has set up a large booth at the CISCE's pavilion of clean energy chains, expects to leverage the expo as a platform to promote cooperation and to work with more industry partners to build a supply chain ecosystem with resilience, agility and sustainability.

China's decarbonization goals provide opportunities for technological innovation and application for businesses in the supply chain to strengthen sustainable development practices, said William Yu, president of Honeywell China.

Similar views were expressed by Eddy Chan, vice-president of FedEx Express and president of FedEx China. "The CISCE plays a pivotal role in expanding international trade. Through the grand event, we aim to demonstrate our differentiated services and solutions in network and capacity development, fortifying import supply chains, unlocking opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises, and catalyzing cross-border e-commerce and other business forms," he said.

The company announced a new flight service between Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and Guangzhou, the capital of South China's Guangdong province, on Nov 1, facilitating swift connections between Vietnam and other markets in Asia, Africa and Europe.

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