BUENOS AIRES, Nov. 6 (Xinhua) -- The ongoing China International Import Expo (CIIE), the biggest trade fair of its kind, is of "fundamental importance" for Latin America, Argentine public policy expert Patricio Giusto said on Tuesday.
Giusto underscored the potential trade impact of the six-day event, which features more than 3,600 exporters from 172 countries, regions and international organizations presenting their products and services to over 400,000 Chinese and foreign buyers.
The CIIE "is of fundamental importance, especially for countries like Argentina and others in Latin America, offering an impressive horizon of opportunities to broaden and expand exports to China," Giusto, head of the consulting firm Diagnostico Politico (Political Diagnosis), said.
According to China's customs authority, bilateral trade between China and Latin America and the Caribbean has been dynamic, amounting to some 260 billion U.S. dollars in 2017, up 18.8 percent year-on-year.
Businesses have flocked to the fair, drawn by China's huge and increasingly more affluent consumer market, Giusto said.
The import expo, which champions multilateralism, free trade and globalization, has also garnered the support from major international trade and lending agencies such as the World Trade Organization and the International Monetary Fund.
This initiative is important, "especially at a time when rising nationalism and protectionism threaten to disrupt global growth," he added.
"The future challenge for our countries is how to continue to increase the participation of the private sector in this unique fair that China offers the world," he added.
"The benefits of opening up are clear in the case of China, consolidated as the world's second-largest economy and having made extraordinary achievements in economic development, technological innovation and combating poverty and pollution, among others," Giusto said, lauding China as a global model.