Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday addressed the opening ceremony of the fifth China International Import Expo (CIIE), calling on all countries to work together toward a bright future of openness and prosperity.
"We should commit ourselves to openness to meet development challenges, foster synergy for cooperation, build the momentum of innovation, and deliver benefits to all," Xi said via video, noting that the world today is confronted with accelerated changes unseen in a century as well as a sluggish economic recovery.
"China is ready to work with all countries to practice true multilateralism, build more consensus for openness, jointly overcome the difficulties and challenges confronting global economic growth, and make sure that our commitment to openness will bring about broad prospects for global development," said Xi.
The import expo, inaugurated in 2018, aims at expanding China's opening-up and turning the country's vast market into enormous opportunities for the world.
With its vast market and continued efforts in advancing opening-up, the opportunities China has to offer are unprecedented.
The country has been the world's second-largest importer for 13 consecutive years. It is the export market of 210 countries and regions and the main export market of 60 countries and regions, according to China's commerce ministry.
In the first half of this year, China's imports accounted for 10.6 per cent of the world's total.
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China will work with all countries and all parties to share the opportunities in its vast market, and will step up efforts to cultivate a robust domestic market, upgrade trade in goods, develop new mechanisms for trade in services, and import more quality products, Xi said.
He added that the country will steadily expand institutional opening-up with regard to rules, regulations, management and standards, put into full effect the new Catalogue of Encouraged Industries for Foreign Investment, and further develop the national integrated demonstration zone for greater openness in the service sector.
China announced this week that 29 more national demonstration zones for import promotion and innovation will be set up, bringing the total number of such demonstration zones to 43 across the country.
"Skechers has been developing in China for 15 years, and once again we see the bright future from China's deepening reforms, which brings us a firm determination to increase our investments in China," said Willie Tan, who is in charge of Skechers' China, the Republic of Korea and Southeast Asia markets.
Deepened international cooperation
China has long been a firm supporter of economic globalization and has worked hard to promote international cooperation when unilateralism and protectionism are on the rise.
In his remarks, Xi said China will engage fully and deeply in WTO reform negotiations, promote trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, and enhance international macro-economic policy coordination, with a view to jointly fostering new drivers for global growth.
China will endeavour actively to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement (DEPA) to expand the globally-oriented network of high-standard free trade areas, Xi said.
The country will also firmly support other developing countries and assist them in growing faster, and promote the building of a community with a shared future for mankind, Xi added.
The expo, designed by Xi, is the world's first import expo held at the national level, an innovation in the history of global trade.
Since its debut, the platform for international procurement, investment promotion, cultural exchange, and open cooperation has now evolved into a public good for the world.
The expo is a glowing representation of China's continuous commitment to expanding high-level opening-up and achieving high-quality development, said Shiseido China CEO, Kentaro Fujiwara.
"Through the Expo, we are able to experience the connection between China and the global market, the mutual promotion of innovation and development, and the opportunities brought by greater inclusivity and openness," he said.
Statistics showed that exhibitors to the previous four editions of the expo launched more than 1,500 new products, technologies and services, with a total of 270 billion US dollars’ worth of tentative deals reached.