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November 7, 2021

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CIIE is more than commodities

THE ongoing CIIE has a distinctly Chinese message, and it’s about open, inclusive and green development, according to researchers at a recent panel in Shanghai.

“The CIIE is more than simply an expo of commodities,” said Tang Yunyi, a researcher from the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences.

“Over the past four years, it has evolved from an exposition to a window and a platform, leading to a huge number of policy breakthroughs, which then spilled over into the full process of Chinese import and export trade, resulting in the streamlining of processes and systematic openness.”

Zhao Beiwen, research professor and deputy director of the Institute of World Economy, Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, said that the CIIE as an import expo is closely linked with China’s opening-up strategy.

For a long time since China’s opening-up, China’s trade had been exports-led.

A huge volume of exports led to favorable balance of trade, and then there was growing emphasis on imports as well.

It was in this context that CIIE came into being, which represents a strategic readjustment of China’s overall external trade policy, Zhao said.

By proposing to participate in building an open world economy that is innovative and inclusive, the CIIE, since its inception in 2018, has tapped into China’s volition to build an open, new economic system in close connection with global economic development, thus representing a major shift in China’s foreign trade strategy.

Thanks to this shift, China has gradually achieved a balance in its imports with exports, and services with goods.

Zhao said that the CIIE would also go a long way to improving the business environment. Thanks to the expo, consumers will have access to the latest, cutting edge commodities from all over the world.

The CIIE, with the convergence of global commodities, technologies and culture in Shanghai, where they are displayed and exchanged, is a platform that helps distribute goods to the whole country and whole world.

For instance, during the expo, there will be a huge number of participants from Belt and Road countries.

By accessing the global marketing network of the CIIE platform, they can give their otherwise “invisible” goods global exposure. This makes the CIIE a platform for China to share its economic and trade development dividends with the rest of the world.

Zhan Yubo, research professor from the Institute of Economics, Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, said the expo has already been instrumental in achieving consumption upgrades.

Zhan observed that as Chinese consumption of imported goods becomes more general, the CIIE, in conjunction with similar events in the country, manages to introduce foreign goods to China, which would then be distributed to smaller cities through the well-developed e-commerce network.

Zhan said since China’s WTO entry in 2001, the country has well-developed exports systems and volumes. By comparison, there is still considerable development potential in terms of the import trade.

Zhang Wenbo, a research assistant professor from the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, discussed the CIIE from the green perspective, stressing CIIE’s commitment to inclusive, green development.

Since China’s WTO entry, China had grown by nine times in its trade volume, while its unit GDP energy consumption has almost halved.

Zhang attributed the achievements to China’s mindset for open exchange and coordinated communication, which results in close combination of global and Chinese experiences.

Through the import expo the world can gain intimate knowledge of Chinese achievements in ecological civilization and experience, said Zhang.


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