Commentary: China's import expo creates a sense of certainty for uncertain world

Source: Xinhua| 2020-11-10 14:02:29|Editor: huaxia

by Xinhua writer Jiang Li

SHANGHAI, Nov. 10 (Xinhua) -- Uncertainty is one of the most worryingly prominent features of this age filled with mounting crises and challenges.

The raging coronavirus pandemic still has no end in sight almost a year after its massive outbreak, while the journey to stop the hemorrhage of the global economy and start the healing is as perilous as it is unpredictable.

When global certainty has descended to a painfully low level and is in dire need of a strong boost, China, the world's second largest economy and the top trading nation, is sending out a message of hope as it hugs industry giants and start-up companies worldwide at the third China International Import Expo (CIIE).

As the import fair is drawing to a close on Tuesday, exhibitors worldwide have over the past five days not only reaped new trade deals and potential opportunities for cooperation, but also renewed their confidence in China and its market that will grow ever more open despite excruciating pandemic panic and the ensuing recession.

This sense of certainty is inspired by China's convincing ability to pull through such a kind of unexpected and unprecedented crisis as the COVID-19 pandemic through decisive and effective actions.

With the global coronavirus caseload topping 50 million, the painful reimposition of lockdowns in many parts of the world, which would further complicate their recovery plans, testifies to the utmost importance of such an ability to marshal strength and ride out stormy seas.

The resilience of China's economy and the vitality of the Chinese market also emit a soothing sentiment. According to a report in October from the International Monetary Fund, the global economy is projected to contract sharply by 4.4 percent in 2020, while China's economy is expected to grow by 1.9 percent, expected to be the only major world economy to register positive growth in this pandemic-hit year.

In addition, China's foreign trade of goods has emerged from the woes of the pandemic and is gaining momentum. China's customs data shows that the country's foreign trade expanded 4.6 percent year-on-year in October, accelerating from an increase of 0.7 percent in the first three quarters.

Most importantly, the sense of certainty the CIIE has delivered stems from China's unswerving pledge to promote openness and win-win cooperation, and to share development dividends.

"Our aim is to turn the Chinese market into a market for the world, a market shared by all, and a market accessible to all. This way, we will be able to bring more positive energy to the global community," Chinese President Xi Jinping said in his keynote speech via video at the CIIE opening ceremony late Wednesday.

And over the decades, Beijing has made many rounds of promises to liberalize market access, lower tariffs, improve the business environment, and level the playing field for both domestic and foreign firms, and has faithfully kept those promises.

In two years' time, the CIIE, an epitome of China's determination to build an open economy, has grown into a brand-name platform for global enterprises to tap the Chinese market.

Over the weekend, up to 861 cooperation intentions were reached at this year's CIIE business matchmaking sessions, both online and offline, attended by 674 exhibitors and 1,351 buyers from 64 countries and regions, according to figures released by the CIIE bureau on Sunday.

And ahead of this year's exposition, nearly 100 exhibitors already signed to attend the CIIE over the next three years. The early booking serves as a vote of confidence in the world's largest import-themed expo and the booming Chinese market.

When Beijing first proposed to hold the CIIE back in 2017, it was meant to bolster free trade, spur two-way investment and energize economic globalization at a time when the world economy was snailing on the path of recovery amid emerging currents of protectionism and isolationism.

Today, those daunting global challenges have only multiplied and turned even rougher, rendering the world's collective efforts to promote certainty more important than ever. This is why China insists on holding the CIIE as planned even when the pandemic is still festering.

The world today is indeed overclouded by chaos and uncertainty, yet that does not mean the human race's future will be defined by them. So long as all countries can identify one another as partners and work together, a better, shared future for all is well within reach. Enditem