SEOUL, Nov. 6 (Xinhua) -- The China International Import Expo (CIIE), the world's first import-themed national-level fair, showed China's contribution to build an open world economy, a South Korean expert said.
"China is shifting from the world's factory to the world's market. China is supporting an open market. The CIIE has a significant meaning to determine whether the world moves toward an open, or a closed, market," Hwang Jae-ho, a professor of international studies at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies in Seoul, said in an interview with Xinhua Monday.
The CIIE opened in Shanghai on Monday, bringing together more than 3,600 companies from 172 countries, regions and international organizations as well as over 400,000 purchasers from China and overseas.
"China held an expo of import, not export. The CIIE shows what contribution China would make to lead the world toward an open market," said Hwang who noted that the CIIE provided an opportunity for the world to confirm the sincerity of China going toward an open market.
The inaugural import-themed fair came at a time when the waves of protectionism and unilateralism are threatening global growth.
The professor said the United States recently revealed its tendency of protectionism, though it claimed to advocate a market economy, and significantly weighed down on its trading partners.
He noted that China should get over this situation, in which the opening-up is in conflict with the moves of closing, saying that if it is overcome well, it can pave the way for mutual benefit to all by going through the trust-building process.
"The CIIE had a great start," said the South Korean expert who noted that China made efforts for an open market that would contribute to the world's economic order.
He said the CIIE should be held every year going forward to let the world realize China's sincerity toward an open market and eliminate some of misunderstandings the Western countries might have.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of China's reform and opening up, and has seen a flurry of concrete measures taken by the country to open its doors wider.