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Import expo shows economy further opening up

By Mike Bastin | China Daily | Updated: 2022-11-04 06:45
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The Fifth China International Import Expo, to be held in Shanghai from Saturday to Thursday, is expected to help boost China's high-quality economic development, widen opening-up, and achieve win-win results for both importers and exporters.

Stable and relatively high growth, the International Monetary Fund's recent announcement reducing global growth forecast to 2.7 percent for 2023 while maintaining China's growth at 4.5-5 percent, accompanied by rising demand for both imports and exports with only modest inflationary pressure, have developed the perfect environment for Chinese businesses.

This year's CIIE lays special emphasis on "I" for International. It will be bigger than the previous expos with more industrial sectors represented across companies. And it stresses that "China is open for business".

By overcoming the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Chinese economy has highlighted its robust and resilient nature. It has not only recovered faster and more consistently than most other economies, but also realized positive growth and further integrated with the global economy.

Yet the more tangible and irrefutable evidence of the Chinese economy further opening up has been provided by the Bank for International Settlements survey. The survey's findings show the Chinese currency is gaining in both usage and credibility across the world. The renminbi has become one of the major currencies with which business is conducted in international markets, and expanded by the largest margin in recent years.

Specifically, the survey's results indicate the renminbi is now the fifth most traded currency globally, up from the eighth place in 2019. It ranks alongside the US dollar, the euro, British pound and the Japanese yen in terms of foreign trade.

The survey should not be taken lightly, because the Bank for International Settlements is an international financial institution owned by 65 central banks whose main remit is to nurture global monetary and financial cooperation.

In addition, the BIS survey's findings appear consistent with the latest data from the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, an organization which provides a network that enables financial institutions to send and receive information about financial transactions in a secure, standardized and reliable environment.

SWIFT data show the renminbi accounted for around 2.4 percent of global payments in September, up from 2.3 percent from a month earlier, indicating the further opening-up of the Chinese market.

The CIIE is expected to build on these data and findings.

Of course, the fifth import expo will focus on the growth of industrial sectors related to digital technology and sustainable development, for example, the renewable energy sector. The fact is, China is open to businesses across the sectors that to the Western world may appear less open, with the Chinese financial service sector being a case in point given its record overseas investment levels and a transparent business environment.

Perhaps this year's expo will showcase the amazing business and investment opportunities across China's rapidly growing entertainment and fashion sectors. For instance, Chinese fashion designers and fashion brands continue to be lauded at major international fashion shows. One such fashion brand is MARRKNULL, a unisex ready-to-wear brand founded by Mark Wang and Tim Shi in 2016.

Indeed, the overseas business and investment community will see that the fifth import expo reflects an open mindset in terms of global business cooperation and collaboration.

It is true, however, that at the macroeconomic level, China's dynamic clearance policy to prevent and control the spread of the novel coronavirus has attracted polarizing views. But even a cursory glance at China's economic achievements will make it clear that without such a firm, decisive approach, the Chinese economy would not have recovered so quickly and impressively. In fact, China's dynamic clearance, painful in the very short term, should be applauded, because it bolsters the international business and investment communities' confidence in the Chinese economy.

In short, this year's CIIE is like a beacon for the global business and investment community. It will provide yet another opportunity for them to witness the modernization and technological advancement that underpins the Chinese market, and the further opening-up of the Chinese economy.

While the global economy struggles to recover from the impacts of multiple shocks including the pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the Chinese economy is further opening up and creating opportunities for all.

The author is fashion marketing and branding programme leader at the University of Southampton, United Kingdom.

The views don't necessarily reflect those of China Daily.

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