China's higher-level opening-up offers new opportunities for global businesses

By Sun Yuning
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, November 9, 2021
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The Yangshan Deep Water Port in Shanghai, Oct. 23, 2021. [Photo/]

The annual China International Import Expo (CIIE) kicked off in Shanghai last week. Nearly 3,000 business exhibitors from 127 countries and regions have attended the exhibition, with the number of participating countries and companies surpassing the previous year.

Since 2018, the expo has developed into a powerful platform for international procurement, investment promotion, cultural exchanges, and inclusive cooperation, serving as "an international public good for the world to share."

Over the past three years, more and more businesses worldwide have taken part in the CIIE. As a result, statistics show that the volume of trade deals signed in the letters of intent during the expo between 2018 and 2020 surpassed $201.6 billion. Such an increase in cooperation deals has expanded China's imports. It also demonstrates that an increasing number of international enterprises are exploring the Chinese market and enjoying the opportunities brought about by China's development. 

While the World Openness Index has been decreasing over the past decade, China has decided to open its market further and share the benefits of its rapid development with the entire world to promote economic globalization and support a multilateral trading system. Hosting the CIIE is a vital move of China to fulfill its commitment. 

The world is still facing the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has left many economies sluggish and global supply chains disrupted. In response to these crises, China stepped up efforts to fill the gap between supply and demand worldwide. As the only major economy registering positive trade growth in goods last year, China has made significant contributions to keeping global industrial and supply chains stable and boosting world economic recovery. 

China joined the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001. Since then, the country has committed to economic reform and pursuing all-around opening up. Over the past two decades, China has adopted concrete measures and policies to open wider and allow global businesses to tap into its vast market potential. 

In the 14th Five Year Plan period (2021-25), China aims to pursue a higher level of opening up and high-quality development, and it will further reduce the negative list for foreign investment and market access restrictions. Such a favorable legal and policy environment will ensure international businesses get easier access to the Chinese market.

China's development cannot be successful without the international community's support, and the world's economy cannot prosper without China's participation. China has entered its new development stage where its development priority lies in people's happiness and growing needs for a better life. In this regard, offering opportunities for global enterprises will benefit both China and the world.

Dr. Sun Yuning is an adjunct research fellow with the China Center for Contemporary World Studies (CCCWS). His research interests include international relations and party politics.

This article was written in Chinese and translated by Gong Yingchun.

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