China pledges to expand market access at annual trade fair amid foreign criticism

China pledges to expand market access at annual trade fair amid foreign criticism

China’s Premier Li Qiang addressed a trade fair in Shanghai on Sunday, stating that China will continue to expand market access and increase imports. This comes in response to criticism from European companies who are seeking more tangible improvements in China’s business environment. Li emphasized that China is committed to opening up its economy and aims to reach a cumulative import value of $17 trillion within the next five years.

Li stated, “No matter how the world changes, China’s pace of opening up will never stall, and its determination to share development opportunities with the world will never change.” He also mentioned that China will promote the coordinated development of trade in goods and services, protect an international business environment, and relax market access, including lifting restrictions on foreign investment in manufacturing.

The China International Import Expo, launched by President Xi Jinping in 2018, aims to promote China’s free trade credentials and address criticism of its trade surplus. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has limited participation in the past three years. The European Chamber of Commerce in China criticized this year’s event, calling it a “political showcase” and urging authorities to take more concrete measures to restore confidence among European businesses.

China’s imports have declined this year due to the slowdown in the economy. However, recent data suggests that the downtrend may be starting to ease. Li highlighted examples of businesses that have benefited from the expo, including an Afghan carpet maker and a Japanese pharmaceutical firm. He also mentioned that out of the approximately 3,400 companies participating this year, over 200 have been repeat attendees for the past six years.

Countries like Australia and the United States have sent large delegations to the event, with companies such as Micron Technology, Nestle, Burberry, and L’Oreal participating. Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, during his visit to China, emphasized the importance of dialogue and cooperation between the two countries.

Last year, the fair saw $73.52 billion worth of intentional deals being signed, a 3.9% increase from the previous year. Li also announced that China will actively promote its application to join the Comprehensive Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), along with Taiwan, Ukraine, Costa Rica, Uruguay, and Ecuador. The CPTPP is a trade pact between 11 countries aimed at reducing trade barriers. China’s application is next in line to be considered by the 12 members of the pact.

In conclusion, Premier Li Qiang’s speech at the trade fair in Shanghai emphasized China’s commitment to expanding market access and increasing imports. Despite criticism from European firms, China remains determined to open up its economy and share development opportunities with the world. The China International Import Expo serves as a platform to promote free trade and address trade surplus concerns. China’s application to join the CPTPP is also a significant step towards further integration into the global trading system.

About News Team

Hi, I'm Alex Perez, an experienced writer with a focus on lifestyle and culture news. From food and fashion to travel and entertainment, I love exploring the latest trends and sharing my insights with readers. I also have a strong interest in world news and business, and enjoy covering breaking stories and events.

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