President will address first-of-its-kind international exhibition in Shanghai
President Xi Jinping’s attendance at the first China International Import Expo shows the country’s determination to expand its opening-up policy as the event injects more growth momentum into economic globalization, senior commerce officials said on Monday.
The Ministry of Commerce announced that the president will deliver the keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the expo on Nov 5 in Shanghai and visit country pavilions with foreign leaders.
Xi will meet heads of state and government during the expo, which runs to Nov 10, Vice-Minister of Commerce Fu Ziying said at a news conference.
Government officials, business leaders and heads of international organizations from about 150 countries and regions will participate in the expo, said Fu, who also is China’s international trade representative.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang announced on Monday that leaders from 18 countries, including Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, will attend the expo.
As the world’s first import-themed national exhibition, the expo will include goods exhibitions and business forums.
Eighty-two countries and three international organizations will participate in the section for country pavilions, according to the Ministry of Commerce. “The expo will help advance economic globalization,” Fu said.
According to exhibitor registration data, about 5,000 exhibits will be shown in China for the first time via the expo platform.
Consumers and companies will be able to experience global quality and bargain prices without going abroad, fully enjoy the benefits of globalization, better meet the needs of upgrading domestic consumption and promote high quality economic development in China, said Wang Bingnan, vice-minister of commerce.
Experts said China’s huge demand for imported products and services will provide a historic opportunity for global companies to enter its massive market for the long run.
“Many foreign companies also hope that through the expo, they will have better exposure in China and find more partners to help them distribute their products and services not only in top-tier cities, but also further into lower-tier cities and county-level markets, as well as markets related to the Belt and Road Initiative,” said Li Gang, vice-president of the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation in Beijing.
Because the government has lowered its value-added tax on imports as well as taxes on vehicles, auto parts, medicines and consumer goods this year, the import expo will help seal more goods and service trade deals between Chinese and global companies, said Sang Bai-chuan, a professor of international trade at the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing.
Zhou Jin contributed to this story.