The China International Import Expo (CIIE), which was held Nov 5-10 in Shanghai, brought together some 3,600 foreign firms from some 150 countries, as well as 18 heads of state. It was a clear signal that China is taking a further step in its “reform and opening up” process and welcomes non-Chinese companies firms to come and sell their goods or set up businesses in China.
As China Daily noted, China already has a market of 300 million middle class consumers, and the number should double within a decade or two. That will be “twice that of the United States and threefold that of the European Union”, the daily wrote, and benefits the entire global economy.
In opening the expo, called “New Era, Shared Future”, Chinese President Xi Jinping noted that it was designed to help friends from around the world seize the opportunities presented by China’s development and promote shared prosperity and progress.”
Over the next 15 years, according to President Xi, China is expected to import over $30 trillion in goods and $10 trillion in services, which will favor win-win cooperation. During the event, it was later announced, over $57 bn worth of deals had been signed.
Xi announced five new measures China would take to expand its opening-up policy: stimulate the potential for increased imports and increased purchasing power of the people; continue to broaden market access, by facilitating foreign investments in the service sector as well as the agricultural, mining, and manufacturing sectors; foster a “world-class business environment,” including stricter controls on international property rights; open more pilot free-trade zones to foster innovation; and promote international cooperation, including through the G20, the SCO, and the BRICS.
Xi Jinping also touched on one of his favorite themes, namely the need for all countries to pursue innovative growth, as innovation “is the premier engine for development”. Indeed, China has made impressive progress in scientific, medical and technological research over the past years – which is not primarily due to “stealing” accomplishments from abroad, as many would have us believe. Xi echoed a fundamental tenet of Lyndon LaRouche’s political economy, stating the “the well-being of humanity is the biggest driving force for scientific innovation”.
An EIR Special Report outlines many of the great infrastructure projects that should be undertaken in the context of the Belt and Road Initiative, and beyond.