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Home / Business / The 4th China Intl Import Expo

Dual-circulation strategy provides positive impact

By HE WEI in Shanghai | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2021-11-06 08:44
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Tourists admire views at the Bund in Shanghai in September. [PHOTO BY WANG GANG/FOR CHINA DAILY]

The dual-circulation development pattern allows the world to capitalize on China's vast market opportunities and China to contribute its original innovation to benefit global consumers, according to officials and business representatives attending the fourth China International Import Expo on Friday in Shanghai.

China's consumption market, which boasts huge potential, resilience and vitality, provides ample space for all businesses to thrive, said Wang Shouwen, vice-minister of commerce.

"We will firmly deepen reform, expand opening-up and connect the domestic and international markets in a more efficient manner," Wang told a parallel session on new consumption trends and dual-circulation during the fourth Hongqiao International Economic Forum on the sidelines of the CIIE.

The value of China's imported consumer goods nearly doubled to $226.8 billion last year from 2012, thanks to efforts such as free trade zones, cross-border e-commerce and hosting consumption-themed fairs.

Wang, who also serves as Deputy China International Trade Representative, identified a four-pronged strategy to further advance consumption-upgrading traditional consumption sectors, promoting online-and-offline integration, coordinating consumption development in both urban and rural areas, and facilitating domestic and international circulation to enhance higher-level opening-up.

Italy is enjoying "a very favorable moment" in terms of trade with China, building on already "excellent bilateral economic relations", said Luca Ferrari, Italy's ambassador to China.

Ferrari said bilateral trade in the first nine months jumped 31.5 percent year-on-year, and is expected to reach a record of over 50 billion euro ($57.72 billion) by year end.

"China is undoubtedly at the top of Italy's internationalization strategies. We believe that there is great untapped potential still to be explored, taking advantage of the opportunities offered specifically by the dual-circulation paradigm," he said.

The CIIE injects huge growth momentum for the still-lackluster world economy through enlarged imports, said Wu Guoding, an associate researcher on global governance at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

He said the CIIE is not only an avenue for companies from various countries to display their products, but also a global economic and trade governance platform for countries to discuss ways to bolster the world economy.

"In fact, the success of the CIIE not only champions the multilateral trade framework-it also bolsters the development of multilateral trade," Wu said.

Shanghai is on the cusp of becoming a global leading consumption city, as it doubles as both a shopping hub with a strong cultural heritage and a rule-based metropolis that provides streamline business operations for foreign enterprises, said Fabrice Megarbane, president of L'Oreal North Asia Zone and CEO of L'Oreal China.

"Dual circulation brings the best of the world to China. Meanwhile (we are seeing) inspirations being born in Shanghai and benefiting the rest of the world," Megarbane said.

This year the company has upgraded Shanghai to be the headquarters for its North Asia Zone, with the hope that "we can further activate the vitality of the Japan and South Korea markets, and unleash the potential of the North Asia market as a whole", he added.

For fast-moving consumer goods conglomerate Unilever, China is the very pivot for generating globally applicable original ideas and then turning these native prototypes into tangible products.

For instance, toothpaste brand Regenerate, which helps restore enamel, is a brainchild of its Shanghai-based R&D center-one of the company's six R&D facilities worldwide-following a decade of in-house research.

Today, this toothpaste, which debuted in France seven years ago and has since been a great seller, is making waves in China via the fourth CIIE and cross-border e-commerce channels, truly a testimony to the dual-circulation paradigm.

According to Zeng Xiwen, vice-president of Unilever, the Shanghai center encompasses all three core functions including the most important one-"fundamental research"-which targets forward-looking innovation that is visionary and industry-leading.

"Shanghai shoulders enterprising and creative undertakings in our global R&D network," Zeng said. "One significance of the CIIE is that it provides a channel to maximize exposure among our stakeholders, paving the way for the localized production of high-quality products in the future."

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