he second China International Import Expo (CIIE) was held in Shanghai from November 5-10, during which attendees agreed intended deals worth US$71.13 billion, 23 percent higher than at the first expo, said Sun Chenghai, deputy director of the CIIE bureau.
Proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping, the CIIE aims to promote global economic exchange and free trade. At the opening ceremony, Xi delivered a speech, in which he affirmed that China will continue to open its market and improve its business environment, and that the country has promising economic prospects. Xi also called on countries to join to build a shared world economy and fight against protectionism and unilateralism.
Sun said at the concluding press conference that the second CIIE was marked by the concentration of high-level government and business delegations who discussed important issues in forums, including the business environment, artificial intelligence (AI), reform of the World Trade Organization (WTO), e-business and a shared world economy, which Xi has always advocated. Sun said that the Expo’s forums have become a high-level platform to exchange advanced and innovative ideas.
5G technology was available and AI robots served guests at the expo. It attracted more than 3,800 businesses from 181 countries, regions and international organizations, which released 391 new products, technologies and services, Sun said.
Foreign media reports were positive about the Expo, believing that it shows China’s strong determination to open its door wider and support free trade. Japan’s Mainichi Shimbun, for example, called the Expo “China’s economic diplomacy” and Singapore’s The Straits Times praised the expo for being helpful in reducing the trade deficits many countries have with China.
Reuters reported that nearly 200 American businesses participated in the second CIIE, 18 percent more than in 2018. The Consumer News and Business Channel said that US businesses were concentrated in pharmaceuticals and healthcare, industries that hope to explore the potential in the huge Chinese market.
China is already preparing for next year’s CIIE, with 115 businesses already signed up to attend, Sun said.