The sixth China International Import Expo opens at the National Exhibition and Convention Center (Shanghai), Nov. 5, 2023. (Photo by Wang Chu/People's Daily Online)

By Yu Yichun, Zhao Yipu, People’s Daily

Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a letter to the sixth China International Import Expo (CIIE) on Nov. 5.

Xi said China will always be an important opportunity for global development, firmly advance high-standard opening up and continue to make economic globalization more open, inclusive, balanced and beneficial to all.

International personages participating in the expo told People’s Daily that Xi’s letter once again demonstrated to the world China’s firm determination to expand opening up and promote common development, and charted the course for the CIIE to better promote win-win cooperation.

First held in 2018, the annual expo has leveraged the strengths of China’s enormous market, fulfilled its platform function for international procurement, investment promotion, people-to-people exchanges and open cooperation, and made positive contributions to creating a new development pattern and promoting world economic development, Xi said in the letter.

Zimbabwe’s Deputy Minister of Industry and Commerce Roy Bhila told People’s Daily that the CIIE, a world-class economic and trade fair, plays a positive role in deepening global economic and trade cooperation, promoting enterprise innovation and advancing global development.

American multinational conglomerate 3M Company has participated in the CIIE for six consecutive years. It has introduced multiple innovative products to the Chinese market through the expo.

Edward Kaleta, senior vice president of 3M Company, told People’s Daily that the CIIE is an open and cooperative platform, and China’s policy of opening up has brought tangible benefits to companies around the world.

Bruno Chevot, president of Danone China, North Asia and Oceania, noted that China’s efforts to build a new development pattern and promote high-quality economic development have brought positive impacts on global economic cooperation and trade development, and provided constant opportunities for foreign-invested enterprises in China.

“President Xi’s letter conveyed to the world China’s commitment to win-win cooperation, showing the country’s determination to maintain the high-level opening up. This has further strengthened our confidence in deepening our presence in the Chinese market,” said Mike Hwang, president of Amorepacific China. Having participated in the CIIE for six consecutive years, the company has witnessed the increasing openness of China, Hwang said.

“President Xi’s emphasis on China’s firm commitment to high-level opening up has filled Danish businesses with confidence in developing in the Chinese market,” said Michelle Chen Moeller, consultant for global market development at Confederation of Danish Industry.

China is an important trade partner of Denmark, and over 20 Danish food companies participate in this year’s CIIE, seven of which exhibit for the sixth consecutive time and five for their debut.

“Seeing the immense opportunities and unlimited potential of the Chinese market, more and more Danish companies are participating in the CIIE,” Moeller said.

As one of the first foreign pharmaceutical companies to enter the Chinese market, Pfizer has witnessed the rapid development of the Chinese market and pharmaceutical industry, president of Pfizer Global Biopharmaceuticals Business China Jean-Christophe Pointeau said.

According to Pointeau, China has continually worked to improve the drug review and approval process, boosting more innovative products to reach the market. He added that the active participation of American companies in the CIIE reflects the positive impact of the expo in promoting openness and cooperation.

“The letter from President Xi has convinced us that China’s door will always remain open to the outside world. All economies should actively participate in the process of economic globalization, promoting development through openness and seeking win-win cooperation,” noted Richard Kozul-Wright, director of UNCTAD’s globalization and development strategies division.

Given the sluggish recovery of the world economy, both developed and developing countries need a more open Chinese market and the new opportunities brought by China’s new development, he said.

Xi said in his letter that he hopes the CIIE will better serve as a window for fostering a new development pattern that creates new opportunities for the world through China’s further development, and as a platform of high-standard opening up that allows China’s enormous market to be shared by the world.

He also expressed the hope that the expo will play a greater role in providing shared international public goods and services that facilitate an open world economy and let the world benefit from win-win cooperation.

This struck a chord with Michael Gelchie, chief executive officer of Louis Dreyfus Company, a Netherlands-based agricultural merchant and processor. He told People’s Daily that the company has been continuously deepening its cooperation with Chinese partners over the past 50 years of its development in China, noting that China plays a significant role in the global economy and has enormous market potential.

“We hope to actively integrate into the Chinese market and jointly explore cooperation opportunities,” he added.

“Last year, when we participated in the expo for the first time, we experienced the positive spillover effect of the CIIE, where exhibits turned into commodities. This year, we have expanded our booth area by five times,” said Jin Fangqian, vice-president of Gilead Sciences and general manager of its China operations.

He said that China is committed to providing a more stable and high-quality business environment for foreign companies to create more market opportunities, which has further strengthened the confidence of foreign enterprises in expanding their presence in the Chinese market.


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