Tuesday, 18 December, 2018

Xi Pledges to Open Chinese Market

The China International Import Expo, slated to be held annually will run for six days from Nov 5 to 10 China's Xi promises market opening as import fair begins
Rhonda Young | 05 November, 2018, 17:54

"We are encouraged to hear from President Xi the reaffirmation of China's support of global trade, and China's plan to further open itself to the world", said Robert Aspell, president of Asia Pacific for the USA agribusiness company Cargill, which is an exhibitor at the CIIE and has already made a decision to participate in the second expo.

In his remarks, Mr Xi said he would stimulate imports, lower tariffs, ease customs clearance procedures and implement harsh punishments for intellectual property infringements - a key complaint of the US.

Foreign business groups, too, have grown tired of Chinese reform promises, and while opposing Trump's tariffs, have longed warned that China would invite retaliation if it didn't match the openness of its trading partners. However, the comments were short on specifics.

"Now that it is the world's second-largest economy, China can afford to open its doors all the way", Jarrett said.

In apparent reference to the Trump administration's protectionist moves, Xi said "economic globalization is facing setbacks, multilateralism and the free trade system is under attack, factors of instability and uncertainty are numerous, and risks and obstacles are increasing".

Twelve countries were named "guests of honour" at the trade fair, including the UK, Russia, Canada, Germany, Mexico, Brazil, Egypt, Hungary, Indonesia, Pakistan, South Africa, and Vietnam.

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Ma, who recently took back an earlier pledge to create a million jobs in the USA - blaming the trade war launched by Donald Trump - made the comments in a panel discussion at the massive expo in Shanghai.

Xi spoke Monday at the China International Import Expo, which is being attended by 3,600 companies and foreign leaders including Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev of Russian Federation.

Tomorrow, President Kenyatta is scheduled to deliver a keynote address at the official opening of the expo.

"It is important for us therefore to correct the existing trade imbalance to enable a fair share of the benefits of trade", he said.

"For my understanding, it's the greatest challenge for China".

International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde speaks at the opening ceremony of the first China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai on November 5, 2018.

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Of that total, China imported about $130bn of goods from the United States.

China ranks 59th out of 62 countries on openness to foreign direct investment, according to an Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development ranking.

Both are seen as eyeing new ways into China.

China is under pressure from Trump and elsewhere to wind back its US$423 billion goods trade surplus with the world, and Xi has already pledged that the country will import US$24 trillion dollars of goods from overseas over the next decade and a half.

Microsoft founder Bill Gates will join a business forum on Monday, but the touchy optics of attending the expo amid trade rancour resulted in few big-name American CEOs attending.

Trump, however, has in recent days raised hopes of a resolution to the trade spat, saying he was optimistic a deal could be reached soon.

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