The Daily Update - China Continues to Open its Markets

At the opening of the China International Import Expo (CIIE), China’s President Xi Jinping pledged to cut import tariffs and continue to broaden market access for foreign companies. Xi says he now expects China to import USD10tn worth of services and US30tn worth of goods over the next 15 years, a step up from the USD24tn worth of goods that Xi estimated China would import last year. The trade fair attracts about 3,000 companies and interested parties from around the world, all looking for a slice of China’s huge consumer market.

In a speech Xi said China would continue to open its cultural, education and telecommunication sectors whilst enhancing the protection of foreign companies' interests and increasing punitive enforcement for infractions of intellectual property rights. In what looked like a swipe at the Trump administration, Xi believed the CIIE showed China's desire to support global free trade, adding that countries of the world must pursue open policies and oppose protectionism. He believes that ‘economic globalization is facing setbacks, multilateralism and the free trade system is under attack, factors of instability and uncertainty are numerous, and risks and obstacles are increasing’.

The event has attracted leaders from 18 countries, however, interestingly this will be the first time India will participate. According to Indian officials, the world’s largest democracy is looking to reduce the USD51bn trade deficit with its close neighbour. The move follows informal meetings that have been ongoing since April between the Chinese President and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on how to bring down the annual trade deficit. Anil Kumar Rai, the Consul General of India's Consulate in Shanghai, believes that the event will help showcase products and areas that India are strong in, such as IT and pharmaceuticals, as well as helping export more agricultural products to China.

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