CIIE underlines globalization key for global prosperity
Under the theme, "New Era, Shared Future", the second China International Import Expo kicked off amid a growing tide of unilateralism and protectionism policies pursued by some countries.
With the participation of more than 170 countries and international organizations at the CIIE, China provided compelling evidence that trade multilateralism under the principles of globalization is the key foundation of achieving economic prosperity to the world and humanity.
In his speech during the opening ceremony of the second CIIE, Chinese President Xi Jinping put forward a set of proposals to foster the multilateral trading system and prop up a world economy through cooperation and opening-up to accomplish the peoples' interests.
"Let us work together to build an open economy through cooperation," Xi said, adding that the right solution for differences and frictions among countries "lies in consultation".
Since the US started to levy tariffs on Chinese imports in early 2018, Beijing warned of the consequences of unilateral policies, not only on the two countries but also global economic growth.
Last month, The International Monetary Fund said that world GDP rate in 2019 stood at 3 percent, declining from 3.2 percent since the US-China trade war began last year.
Global growth would face another downturn by 0.8 percent in 2020 if the trade dispute remains between the world’s two largest economies, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said in an interview with CNBC.
During the IMF and World Bank’s 2019 meeting, the governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, said global growth has decelerated from 4 percent to 2.9 percent in the past two years. Carney expressed his concerns over the dip of world trade for more than a year amid uncertainty regarding global growth due to worries about trade wars and protectionism.
Xi described a prescription to remedy the ominous situation in the current world economy. He urged policymakers to engage in promoting free trade and removing the hurdles undermining the globalized system.
"We need to work together to enhance trade and investment liberalization and make economic globalization more open, inclusive, balanced, and beneficial to all," Xi said in his speech. The Chinese leader also called for safeguarding the international order underpinned by the principles of the UN Charter.
The IMF warned of tariffs imposed by the two major economies on billions of dollars of each other’s goods and said, if continued, would trigger another financial crisis like the one that erupted in 2008.
In the beginning of the Sino-American trade dispute, Xi cautioned that no winner would emerge from this war, affirming that China would focus on further opening-up to the world.
In his CIIE speech, the Chinese president reaffirmed that China would open its doors to the world, vowing to increase foreign imports, especially in high-quality goods and services from all countries. Xi also said, "China will continue to lower tariffs and transaction costs".
While visiting the French pavilion at the CIIE, President Emmanuel Macron asserted the importance of a free and open economy to the world and humanity, sharing the same views proposed by Xi.
Macron said French companies are eagerly looking forward to seizing the opportunity of entering the Chinese market. In this regard, Xi and Macron agreed to enhance further cooperation in areas of the large-scale projects and the bilateral opening-up of their markets under the umbrella of globalization.
Like France, which has a strong presence in the second edition of the CIIE, Egypt’s display includes products of 23 major firms participating in this significant event. The Egyptian pavilion encompasses companies for agricultural and food industries, handcrafts, paint materials, and some services.
Trade between Egypt and China exceeded $13.8 billion in 2018, with $12-billion in Chinese exports to Egypt and $1.8-billion Chinese purchases of Egyptian goods. Egypt seeks to narrow the trade deficit with China by doubling exports, which will include some light industries in the coming period.
CIIE is one of the platforms designed to give a boost to countries willing to take advantage of the enormous Chinese market. Under the principles of trade multilateralism, the Chinese government earmarked $10 trillion for importing products and services in the next five years. Definitely, the world needs such policies to put the economy on its normal and right track.
The author is the head of Foreign Affairs Department at Al-Gomhuria newspaper.
The opinions expressed here are those of the writer and do not represent the views of China Daily and China Daily website.