Xi called for a more constructive approach to an open global economy and hit out at “protectionism”. He said China would accelerate efforts to reopen its economy after largely bringing Covid-19 under control. “With a population of 1.4 billion and a middle-income group exceeding 400 million, China is the world’s largest market with the greatest potential.China is expected to import an accumulated over U$22 trillion worth of goods in the next 10 years”, said Xi during the inauguration of the event.

Though the exhibition is focussed on buying foreign goods, critics say it does little to address structural issues with China’s export-dominant trade practices, such as weak intellectual property protection and the lack of a level playing field for foreign businesses in China. The Chinese President said China would reduce its catalog of restricted goods and technology imports, treat all companies registered in the country equally and sign more high-quality trade agreements with other countries.

The China International Import Expo (CIIE) takes place November 5 – 10 in Shanghai.

Sources: BBC/Reuters