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China International Import Expo will boost world trade

By Chen Yingqun | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-05-22 12:18

The China International Import Expo, starting in 2018, will be an important means for countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative to gain access to the huge Chinese market.

Zhang Jianping, director of the Institute of Western Asian and Africa Studies under the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation of the Ministry of Commerce, said that in the past five years, exports to China have been boosting many countries' economic development.

"China has a large middle class and will become the world's biggest consumer market in a few years," he said. "If we increase imports from other countries, it will help many nations involved in the Belt and Road Initiative share in China's rapid growth."

It was on May 14, during the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing, that China announced it would host the import expo starting from 2018.

Zhang said that imports from countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative would help increase their economic growth, create jobs and also balance trade between the nations.

Zhang said that when Chinese companies go overseas, whether for investment or trade, they will not only take Chinese equipment and products but also find things in the destination countries that Chinese consumers might need.

"So it will be beneficial for both sides," he said.

Li Jun, vice director of the Institute of International Trade in Service, under the same academy, said that trade in services now accounts for about 15 percent of all trade with the countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative - and is growing by double digits every year.

For example, in the tourism sector, from 2015 to 2017 there were 110 million visits both ways between China and Belt and Road countries. These kinds of exchanges, he believes, will not only benefit trade but help people from different cultures understand each other.

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