China to kick off its first International Import Expo

China to kick off its first International Import Expo

The world's first import-themed national-level expo will be a concrete action to open up China's market and cast a firm vote of confidence in free trade when protectionism threatens global growth.

As the first China International Import Expo (CIIE) nears, officials and entrepreneurs around the world aim to seize the opportunity to explore the Chinese market, voicing greater confidence in China's further opening up.

Foreign governments and businesses were hoping Chinese President Xi Jinping would use the opening of China's first global import expo to make specific announcements about reforms for trade and investment.

Last week, Trump threatened to expand tariffs on all Chinese imports, worth US$517bn a year ago, if his talks with Xi at the G20 summit in Argentina in late November fail.

"The Chinese side is ready to have discussions with the US on issues of mutual concern and work for a solution on trade acceptable to both sides", Wang told the forum, making it clear, however, that China will hold its ground and will not agree to a disadvantageous deal. Wang pledged that China will import $24 trillion worth of goods in the next 15 years.

Security guards stand on duty near an entrance to the China International Import Expo in Shanghai, November 5, 2018.

"All countries should strive to improve their business environment and solve their own problems", Xi told the inaugural China International Import Expo, which featured more than 3,600 companies from 172 countries, regions and organizations.

In a speech that lasted more than half an hour, President Xi promised that he will cut tariffs.


President Xi Jinping on Monday will open a Shanghai import fair intended as a signal by China that its markets are open despite mounting criticism to the contrary and the worsening trade war with Washington. He said the nation would increase purchasing of imported goods and lower tariffs.

Jinhua also suggested that Micron had orchestrated the export restrictions.

As a result of the pressure, Kenya has secured a commitment from President Xi Jinping that China will fast-track trade negotiations to open up its market for Kenyan exports. He did say, however, that stimulus already announced was being seen in the economy.

"In particular the foreign equity caps are going to be raised in the education and medical service sectors, where there is both huge interest among foreign investors and shortage in domestic supply", he said.

Organisers of the expo say more than 3,000 foreign companies from 130 countries, including the U.S., are present.

He also sought to allay concerns about the continued slowdown of Chinese economy, saying that there is every reason to be fully confident about it.

Cabinet Secretaries Peter Munya (Trade and Industry), James Macharia ( Transport and Infrastructure), and Monica Juma (Foreign affairs) are among part of the President's delegation to the Expo.

A handful of countries are being represented by a single exhibitor selling one product. "Global trade and investment are driven by the need of countries for mutual exchange and complementarity", he added.

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