There are several reasons why the first China International Import Expo (CIIE), held in east China's Shanghai, is a landmark. As the first China-oriented import expo, it has conveyed China's resolve to continue opening up. The international community had doubts if China would continue with the policy which began four decades ago, especially at a time when some developed countries are rebuking globalization and pursuing trade protectionism. There were worries that China would follow in their footsteps.
However, China's leaders have reiterated their determination to deepen reform and opening up on many occasions to address the international community's concerns. The slogan of the expo—New Era, Shared Future—indicated it was a platform to enable the international community to seize the development opportunities presented by China in the new era, and that it was an engine to deepen economic and trade cooperation for common prosperity and progress.
At the inauguration of the expo, President Xi Jinping said China would lower import tariffs further, facilitate customs clearance, and reduce institutional costs. China's door, he emphasized yet again, will never be closed but will only open wider. It is estimated that the volume of China's imported products and services will exceed $30 trillion and $10 trillion respectively in 15 years.
The expo also demonstrated the international community's confidence in the future of free trade and globalization. Participants from over 170 countries, regions and international organizations came to take part and they included over 400,000 Chinese and foreign buyers. The extensive participation was a barometer of the international community's desire to embrace globalization and free trade.
The CIIE also complemented the Belt and Road Initiative, which envisions building a community of a shared future for humanity. The participating countries facilitated economic cooperation and discussed open trade and innovation. The expo was not the sole effort of China but an orchestra for the world community to work in tandem and create harmony.
The CIIE will serve as an example for countries that are keen to resolve their problems on their own. All countries are bound to face obstacles in the course of their social and economic development. Should they examine their problems first or should they blame them on other countries? How a nation reacts in such a situation shows the wisdom of its policymakers.
The Chinese Government has chosen to promote China's economic growth through economic transformation and upgrading. Holding the CIIE is an effort to satisfy Chinese consumers' demand for higher-end products, and will have a positive influence on international society.