Friday

18th Oct 2019

Stakeholder

An open China brings opportunities to Europe

  • More than 3,000 companies from over 130 countries and regions have signed up for participation in China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai, China (Photo: Bernd Thaller)

Sixty years ago, the first major World Fair after World War II was held in Brussels, whose grandeur could still be conveyed by its iconic building, the Atomium.

Sixty years on, China International Import Expo (CIIE), the first world expo dedicated to expanding import, will be opened in Shanghai, China.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

More than 3,000 companies from over 130 countries and regions have signed up for participation.

As Chinese ambassador to the EU, I am glad to see the great interest from Europe.

EU commissioner for health and food safety Vytenis Andriukaitis, and leaders from the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Croatia, Hungary and Malta will attend.

The United Kingdom, Hungary and Germany are among the "Guest of Honour" countries. Some 15 EU member states have set up country pavilions. More than 800 EU enterprises will demonstrate their products to global customers.

Some are asking why China decided to host an import expo.

To put it simply, the CIIE is what China's development calls for, and what the world needs.

Opening up

In the past 40 years, China has become the world's second largest economy and the largest trader in goods. China has contributed more than 70 percent to international poverty alleviation and over 30 percent to global annual growth.

Opening up holds the key to such achievements.

As China is transitioning from high-speed growth to high-quality development, opening up remains a sure way to go.

Since the start of this year, Chinese government has rolled out a number of measures to cut import tariffs, ease market access, raise the quality and standard of free trade zones, and explore the building of a free trade port.

Starting from 1 November, tariff cuts on another 1,585 items just took effect, bringing China's average tariff rate to 7.5 percent.

The CIIE is another major action that China takes to open wider to global markets.

As unilateral and protectionist actions are wreaking havoc, commitment to economic globalisation and free trade needs to be reaffirmed by all.

The CIIE aims to offer a new platform for global economic and trade cooperation, which allows countries to introduce their products to the huge Chinese market. It is a strong testimony to China's firm commitment to free trade and multilateral cooperation.

China's opening-up has and will continue to bring opportunities to Europe.

In the past 40 years, China-EU trade has surged from $3.1bn to $616.9bn, up by nearly 200 fold.

For 13 years, China has been the EU's second largest trading partner. China is the second largest export destination for European automakers, the biggest market for Airbus, and a major buyer of European machinery, pharmaceuticals and agricultural produce.

In the next 15 years, China is foreseen to import foreign goods and services worth $30 trillion and $10 trillion respectively, which holds out great business prospects for European enterprises.

A recent World Bank report reveals that China's global ranking on ease of doing business has improved significantly from 78 to 46. This trend of improvement will keep on.

Mutual benefits

The benefits of cooperation are mutual.

The involvement of European multinationals in the Chinese market has given a boost to China's modernisation. There are numerous successful examples, like the Daya Bay nuclear power station, Shanghai maglev train, SAIC Volkwagen, Airbus Tianjin, just to name a few.

Likewise, Chinese investors in Europe have contributed positively to local employment and growth.

They have been welcomed by European market, and hopefully by European policymakers as well.

I have noticed that some European friends are asking if the CIIE will become a milestone in China's opening up.

I appreciate the great expectations that are placed on China.

Please rest assured that China's reform and opening-up is like a giant vessel that keeps sailing along the set course at a positive and sound pace.

Along the way, Europe is a welcome partner that China is always ready to work with.

Author bio

H.E. Ambassador Zhang Ming is head of the Chinese Mission to the EU.

Disclaimer

This article is sponsored by a third party. All opinions in this article reflect the views of the author and not of EUobserver.

ASEM: Global Partners for Global Challenges

As anti-globalisation and protectionist sentiments threaten to come back, it is more important than ever for ASEM members to come together, think in the long term, and take coordinated actions to resist unilateralism and uphold multilateralism.

EU and China perform tricky diplomatic dance

EU and China relations kicked off 15 years ago after signing a strategic partnership. Trade has increased dramatically but human rights and other issues remain tricky as the two seek to defend international law and international trade.

Openness for greater prosperity, innovation for a better future

Reform and opening-up is a great process that has seen China and the world achieve development and progress together, with more than 700 million Chinese people lifted out of poverty, China's president Jinping told the Boao Forum for Asia.

Analysis

China's 2019 growth outlook

As China's growth seems to be slowing, some observers see the country amid what the New York Times called a "severe downturn". As they mistake China's secular deceleration with cyclical fluctuations, they miss the rapid increase in Chinese living standards.

Digital 'Iron Curtain' makes no sense in 5G era

5G technology is a product of global innovation and cooperation. Drawing an Iron Curtain would therefore have an impact on all: Chinese, Europeans, Americans, and others alike.

News in Brief

  1. Macron: Nato's inability to react to Turkey a 'mistake'
  2. EU: US can expect counter measures after tariff move
  3. Almost 7,500 people forcibly returned to Libya in 2019
  4. Puigdemont released after responding to arrest warrant
  5. Commission: Facebook's Libra needs international approach
  6. Italian PM: denial of accession talks a 'historic mistake'
  7. Catalan president blames clashes on 'infiltrators'
  8. US imposes €6.7bn new tariffs on European products

Stakeholders' Views

This EUobserver section provides a platform for EU stakeholders to communicate positions, views and activities.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersBrussels welcomes Nordic culture
  2. UNESDAUNESDA appoints Nicholas Hodac as Director General
  3. UNESDASoft drinks industry co-signs Circular Plastics Alliance Declaration
  4. FEANIEngineers Europe Advisory Group: Building the engineers of the future
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNew programme studies infectious diseases and antibiotic resistance
  6. UNESDAUNESDA reduces added sugars 11.9% between 2015-2017
  7. International Partnership for Human RightsEU-Uzbekistan Human Rights Dialogue: EU to raise key fundamental rights issues
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersNo evidence that social media are harmful to young people
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersCanada to host the joint Nordic cultural initiative 2021
  10. Vote for the EU Sutainable Energy AwardsCast your vote for your favourite EUSEW Award finalist. You choose the winner of 2019 Citizen’s Award.
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersEducation gets refugees into work
  12. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNICEFChild rights organisations encourage candidates for EU elections to become Child Rights Champions
  2. UNESDAUNESDA Outlines 2019-2024 Aspirations: Sustainability, Responsibility, Competitiveness
  3. Counter BalanceRecord citizens’ input to EU bank’s consultation calls on EIB to abandon fossil fuels
  4. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue takes place in Ashgabat
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNew campaign: spot, capture and share Traces of North
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersLeading Nordic candidates go head-to-head in EU election debate
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Secretary General: Nordic co-operation must benefit everybody
  8. Platform for Peace and JusticeMEP Kati Piri: “Our red line on Turkey has been crossed”
  9. UNICEF2018 deadliest year yet for children in Syria as war enters 9th year
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic commitment to driving global gender equality
  11. International Partnership for Human RightsMeet your defender: Rasul Jafarov leading human rights defender from Azerbaijan
  12. UNICEFUNICEF Hosts MEPs in Jordan Ahead of Brussels Conference on the Future of Syria

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us