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CIIE: Openness and Cooperation Write a New Chapter for World Economy-Ambassador Zhou
2019/11/07

On November 7, 2019, Nigerian leading newspaper Leadership published an article written by Ambassador of China to Nigeria Dr. ZHOU Pingjian. The full text goes as follows:

From November 5 to 10, 2019, the Second China International Import Expo (CIIE) is being held in Shanghai. This grand event witnessed in-depth integration of China into the world and win-win cooperation between China and countries across the globe.

The first CIIE held in Shanghai last year achieved great success, reaching deals worth of $57.8 billion. During the bilateral meetings between President Xi and leaders of various countries, 98 initiatives were agreed upon, of which 23 have now been completed, 47 are making good progress, and 28 are on track of steady implementation. The CIIE’s unprecedentedly large scale, high-end expo and fruitful outcomes have been universally acknowledged by the international community.

The second CIIE, building on the success of the first one, is larger in scale, better in quality, more innovative and high-end, thus holding a promising future. 181 countries (regions), international organizations, over 3,800 exhibitors and more than 500,000 purchasers have attended the expo, covering such areas as manufacturing, trade, services, e-commerce and cross-border platforms. The number of participating enterprises and the number of the participating world top 500 and industry-leading enterprises have both exceeded the first CIIE.

The popularity of the CIIE reflects the confidence of enterprises around the world in China’s determination to constantly deepen its efforts at all-round opening-up. With the implementation of a major series of favorable policies and measures aiming at promoting opening-up at a higher level, China has constantly optimized its institutional environment. By further lowering its overall tariff level, broadening market access, shortening the negative lists for foreign investment, and promoting transparent market rules, China has endeavored to make it more convenient for various companies around the world to share its development opportunities. On October 24, the World Bank released its Ease of Doing Business Report 2020, which ranks China 31st, up by 15 places from last year's ranking of 46th. The rise of China’s consumer market has been universally regarded as an important pillar of the steady and sustained economic growth of the country, and the primary focus of foreign enterprises to continue investing in China.

After more than four decades of rapid development through reform and opening-up, China is not only “the world’s factory”, but also a global market. China has become the largest industrial country, the largest trader in goods, and the largest holder of foreign exchange reserves in the world. With 1.4 billion Chinese people and 400-million middle income population, China will soon become the world's largest consumer market. In the next 15 years, China's imports of goods and services will exceed $30 trillion and $10 trillion respectively. More importantly, China always pursues the policy of opening-up and has become the largest trading partner of more than 100 countries, providing a huge market and immeasurable opportunities for the world.

A confident and strong China will keep open to the world and promote a more open world. The Chinese economy is not a pond, but an ocean, as President Xi said during the first CIIE. He also pointed out that China's initiative to expand imports is not a choice of expediency, but a future-oriented step taken to embrace the world and promote common development. Recently the IMF lowered its global growth forecast for 2019 to 3 percent in its latest World Economic Outlook report, the lowest since the international financial crisis. One of the main reasons is the uncertainties of global trade. It should be noted that against the background of rising trade protectionism and anti-globalization, to host a better import expo not only demonstrates China's firm determination to open wider to the outside world, but also boosts global trade demands and add new impetus to the world economy.

Openness and operation have always been the hallmark of contemporary China. The successful CIIE shows that China will never cease the process of reform and opening-up in the new era. The Communist Party of China has just concluded the fourth plenary session of the 19th Central Committee. A decision has been made to further uphold and improve the socialist system with Chinese characteristics and to modernize the country's system and capacity for governance. That included a host of significant measures to deepen reform and opening-up. China will adhere to its fundamental state policy of opening-up and stay committed to opening-up to promote reform, development and innovation. China welcomes all countries, especially Nigeria and other developing countries in Africa, to get onboard the express train of China's economic development.

China-Nigeria trade and economic cooperation has been growing vigorously and achieved fruitful outcomes, with the scale and areas expanding and the models more diversified. The CIIE has become a new important opportunity for Nigeria to expand its exports to China.

As President Xi said, “The CIIE, an event to be held on an annual basis, will feature good performance, good results and continued success in the years to come.” To open its door wider to the world and bring about opening-up at an even higher level, China will continue to open up its market, optimize its opening-up structure, improve the business environment, deepen multilateral and bilateral cooperation, advance Belt and Road cooperation.

China is ready to work with various countries around the world to share opportunities, boost common development, and promote the joint construction of a community with a shared future for mankind, so as to bring peace and development to the whole world.

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