Monday, 12 November, 2018

Xi to trumpet China's 'open' markets at trade forum

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Lloyd Bates | 07 November, 2018, 13:24

Chinese President Xi Jinping announced the opening of the world's first import-themed national-level expo in Shanghai on Monday, calling it a "trail-blazing" move in the history of worldwide trade development. But that did not happen, and some saw the measures Xi rolled out Monday as falling short of expectations. "We are building the future infrastructure of commerce to realize a globalized digital economy where trade is possible for every country around the world", said Daniel Zhang, CEO of Alibaba Group.

The Chinese leadership has urged them to actively make contracts, as Washington has put pressure on Beijing to curb China's trade imbalance by increasing imports, sources close to the matter said.

On the issue of intellectual property rights, President Xi said that he will devise new regulations to defend and protect intellectual properties.

China is taking solid steps to expand financial opening-up, continue to advance opening-up in the service sector, deepen opening-up in agriculture, mining, manufacturing, and accelerate the opening-up process of sectors including telecommunications, education, medical treatment and culture, Xi said.

"It seems like what (Xi) is actually doing is saving up all of his goodies to trade away with Trump as opposed to doing anything unilateral", said Scott Kennedy, a Chinese economic expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

India exported pharmaceutical products worth $15.6 billion in 2017-18 but exports to China was only $41 million, a share of 0.2%.

"I would like to encourage more firms to establish joint ventures with Kenyan entrepreneurs and to increase the content of locally produced goods and services in their projects and industries", he said in Shanghai where he gave a keynote address at the inaugural China International Import Expo.

China's middle class is almost as large as the entire population of the United States.

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The China International Import Expo (CIIE) is a "trail-blazing" move in the history of international trade development.

Organisers of the expo say more than 3,000 foreign companies from 130 countries, including the USA, are present. Some countries, such as Kenya, even have national pavilions at the event to help attract interest in their products and to boost ties.

Xi spoke to about 3,000 business and government representatives who gathered for the event.

In a day full of meetings, President Kenyatta also held talks with Chinese investors eyeing opportunities at the Lamu Port.

"Trade and economic cooperation remain the anchor and propeller of a steady and healthy China-US relationship which is in essence mutually beneficial". The CIIE is scheduled to start in Shanghai Monday.

The president also announced China's decision to launch a science and technology innovation board at the Shanghai Stock Exchange and experiment with a registration system for listed companies.

The US is asking China to cut its massive trade surplus, stop theft of American intellectual property and make sweeping changes to its trade and investment practices that it says treat US firms unfairly.

It proves that China means business in further promoting win-win and balanced trade.

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