Date : Thurs, November 7, 2019
Source : cnbc.com
Author : Evelyn Cheng
SHANGHAI — On Tuesday, Chinese President Xi Jinping mentioned that global frictions should be resolved in as peaceful ways as possible such as through discussions, and encouraged cooperation and togetherness instead of separation.
President Xi spoke at the China International Import Expo. It was the first ever event launched last year November during a bid to promote and build up the China as a buyer of the world’s goods. On the other hand, the European Chamber of
Commerce in China expressed scepticism this week with regards to last year’s China International Import Expo.
Also, only a minority of members from the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai mentioned that they were intending to take part in this year’s China International Import Expo. Xi’s commentary during the opening ceremony of
the Expo on Tuesday in specific did not mention the U.S., with which China is engaged in a trade dispute.
However, the Chinese leader highlighted attempts and efforts to reach free trade agreements with the EU, Japan, South Korea and other international bodies as well.
“Distances between countries are getting shorter, and interactions among countries are growing, hence the possibility of differences and frictions,” President Xi had spoken so, according to an official translation of his Mandarin-language remarks.
“The right solution lies in consultation and cooperation. All problems would be settled in the spirit of equality, mutual understanding and accommodation,” he said.
China has been primarily been portrayed as a manufacturer and now depicting China as an importer is in contrast to the longstanding perception. It also helps to aid China in ongoing trade talks with the U.S.
One of the mutual sticking points of the dispute is the U.S. trade deficit with China is that Beijing has voiced that it will increase purchases of American farm products as both countries seek some sort of temporary resolution in the midst of the tension.
The world’s second-largest economy is also trying to rely more on domestic consumption amid a slowdown in its growth rate. In September, Imports in U.S. dollar terms fell by 8.5%, more than expected. Exports had also dropped by a disappointing 3.2%. According to a list on the event website, John Deere, General Motors, Tesla, Ford, Honeywell International, GE and Thermo Fisher Scientific are among the companies attending this year’s import expo.
According to China’s Ministry of Commerce, american companies will have the largest exhibition space of any country at this year’s expo. The ministry confirmed that 192 U.S. companies will attend, up from 174 last year.
34 individuals from different sectors had been surveyed by the Shanghai Chapter of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China. They had been surveyed in last year’s CIIE. According to the survey, 50% of those surveyed closed deals in 2018 — but 47% of them were never executed.
“This lack of follow-through suggests pressure to create a positive public image of this event by promoting hasty signatures, rather than creating a sound environment for European companies to expand in China in the long-term,” the survey report said.
In the 2019 China business report, the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai said that more than two-thirds of its members did not feel that participating in the expo was very important or fruitful. A possibility for the lack of interest was that many members manufacture in China, the chamber said, keeping in view that this year, only a quarter of its members intend to participate
President Xi’s remarks on Tuesday was a push back against the concept that China was slow to follow through on its commitments. The Chinese leader noted that of 98 initiatives discussed with global leaders at last year’s expo, 23 have been completed, 47 are making progress and 28 are on track for implementation.
He also stressed on China’s efforts to facilitate the business environment for foreign companies within China itself.
While President Xi did not use the expo as an opportunity to announce new initiatives, similarly as last year, he specifically pointed out on the foreign investment law, set to take effect on January 1. “We need to join hands with each other instead of letting go of each other’s hands “Xi said.
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