A reporter asks a question during a news conference with Ministry of Commerce officials on Sunday. [Xinhua]
The first China International Import Expo, one of the country's concrete measures to further open up, would facilitate economic globalization and trade liberalization, Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan said on Sunday.
Preparation for the CIIE has progressed in a smooth and rapid manner, while the number of countries and exhibitors signing up for the event has grown beyond expectations, Zhong said at a news conference during the 13th National People's Congress.
The upcoming expo would "not be a solo for China but a chorus comprising all countries," Zhong said.
It illustrates China's determination to open wider to the world, as economic globalization has suffered setbacks, the multilateral trading system has been challenged and protectionism has gradually risen, Zhong added.
The CIIE is set for Nov 5 to 10 at the National Exhibition and Convention Center in Shanghai. It will comprise the Country Pavilion for Trade and Investment Area for national exhibits and the Enterprise and Business Exhibition Area, where companies in many different sectors will have exhibits.
More than 60 economies have registered for the Country Pavilion for Trade and Investment, including developed and developing countries, as well as the least developed countries, according to Zhong. Companies from 120 countries and regions registered with the Enterprise and Business Exhibition, and the exhibition area will be 20 percent bigger than expected, he said.
The CIIE will be conducive to the flow of international trade and the recovery of the world economy, experts said.
Wei Jianguo, vice-president of the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, said the expo is a "responsible action," given that companies the world over want to expand their businesses in the Chinese market and seize opportunities created by the country's fast development.
"China seeks balanced trade with other countries, rather than a trade surplus," Wei said. "The expo shows China's commitment to facilitating mutual benefit and a win-win partnership with other countries and regions."
Expo organizers said thousands of enterprises have signed up to attend, including nearly 100 that are Fortune 500 firms and leading enterprises.
Fortune 500 firms such as Robert Bosch GmbH and Daimler AG have expressed their desire to attend the expo.
"China International Import Expo will be one of the most important events in our cooperation with the Chinese business community in 2018. I am sure that this will be an event of global significance," said Gennady Chizhikov, the president of the Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, according to Xinhua News Agency.