Hongqiao hub seen boosting CIIE platform

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Jin Liqun, president of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), delivers a keynote speech at the sub-forum on Building Hongqiao International Opening-up Hub & Hub Conference 2023 of the sixth Hongqiao International Economic Forum in Shanghai, east China, Nov. 6, 2023. [Photo/Xinhua]

The Hongqiao International Opening-Up Hub in Shanghai, the permanent venue of the China International Import Expo, is deemed a world-class platform deepening regional collaborative innovation, government officials and experts said during the ongoing sixth CIIE.

With integrated development seen rising in the Yangtze River Delta, the hub empowers technological innovation and regional coordination and boosts the construction of a modern industrial system nationwide, they said.

Jin Liqun, president and chairman of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, said on Monday that technology and digital infrastructure will become key drivers of sustainable growth in the coming decades. As Hongqiao is becoming an increasingly important hub not only for Shanghai and the Yangtze River Delta but also for the world, the hub will play a key role in trade, transportation, innovation and the nation's pursuit of high-quality development.

Jin made the comments during the Hongqiao International Economic Forum, which is part of the CIIE.

Construction of the hub, which covers 7,000 square meters, was approved by the State Council, China's Cabinet, in 2021. According to the construction plan, the project will be fully completed by 2035.

Additionally, the National Development and Reform Commission issued measures in July to further develop the hub, aiming to make the hub more influential.

According to local authorities of the Shanghai Hongqiao International Central Business District, which is part of the hub, the Hongqiao hub collected tax revenue of over 34 billion yuan ($4.67 billion) in the first nine months, surging 54.3 percent year-on-year. The total amount of goods traded in the hub recorded a growth of 27.4 percent on a yearly basis to 55.4 billion yuan.

With efforts in the past two years, the completed areas of the Hongqiao hub have started operating, playing their due roles in facilitating cooperation during the CIIE and serving as a strategic link between multinational corporations and China.

"The CIIE creates a platform for high-level opening-up and an important window for MNCs to showcase leading innovations and ideas," said Anna Van Acker, senior vice-president of MSD and president of MSD China.

MSD is a United States-based multinational pharmaceutical company.

"Thanks to the profound impact of the CIIE, MSD has joined hands with partners across the ecosystem to contribute to the development of healthcare in China, building upon our powerful innovative portfolio to accelerate our journey toward the Healthy China vision," added Van Acker.

Yu Jinyi, vice-president and head of specialty care and respiratory at GSK China, said: "The expo is a platform to showcase the Chinese government's firm support of trade liberalization and economic globalization and further opening of the Chinese market to the rest of the world. We want to leverage this platform to bring more innovative medicines and vaccines to the Chinese market."

Medical aesthetics player Allergan also appreciates the opportunities brought by the expo.

"Since our first time at the CIIE, we have used the expo as a window to the industry, not only to exhibit the main therapeutic areas and products that represent the market but also to use the CIIE as a link and platform for all parties to jointly demonstrate continuous innovation and formalized development," said Ethan Qiu, general manager of Allergan Aesthetics China.

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