By Shi Guang
All eyes are on Shanghai, as the dynamic city is currently hosting the first ever China International Import Expo, which opened on Monday. Reflecting that consumption has overtaken exports and investment as a growth driver－contributing over 60 percent of the economic growth in China－it is a channel for the world to come into China.
The expo is not an ordinary event, but marks China’s new round of advancing high-level opening-up as well as the country’s taking significant steps to open its market to the rest of the world, Chinese President Xi Jinping said when addressing a banquet that he and his wife, Peng Liyuan, hosted in Shanghai to welcome foreign guests attending the event.
Xi delivered a keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the China International Import Expo in Shanghai on Monday. Xi said the expo will help deepen international trade and economic cooperation, promote Belt and Road construction and advance economic globalization. It will make positive contributions to enhancing the well-being of people around the world as well as building a community with a shared future for mankind, he added.
According to President Xi, economic globalization is an irreversible historical trend and provides strong momentum for the world economic development. Therefore, he urged global leaders to resist trade protectionism and unilateralism in a clear-cut stand as the world is facing the challenge of rising anti-globalization. Xi stressed that countries need to maintain openness in a bid to pursue a connected, fair, transparent and inclusive world economy and improve people’s livelihood across the world.
He also emphasized that innovation is the strongest driving force of the global economy. Countries should pursue an innovation-driven strategy and take the opportunity of the technology revolution and promote digital economy, artificial intelligence and nanotechnology. Xi also outlined China’s plan to further expand the reform and opening up, promising that China will not close its door to the world and it will only become more and more open.
Xi announced that China’s imported goods and services are estimated to exceed 30 trillion U.S. dollars and 10 trillion U.S. dollars, respectively, in the next 15 years. China has been the world’s second largest merchandise importer for nine consecutive years. “China will stimulate the potential for increased imports, continue to broaden market access, foster a world-class business environment, explore new horizons of opening up, and promote international cooperation at multilateral and bilateral levels,” Xi said.
Copyedited by Liao Bowen (Center for Sino-Indonesia People-to-people Exchange Studies, BFSU)