China International Import Expo (CIIE) underway in Shanghai until November 10 opens a new phase of openness for China with the aim to strength multilateral trade with regions and nations across the globe while improving the role of institutions and economic and political agreements that are devoted to promote world development.
"Globalization is irreversible", said President Xi Jinping at the opening ceremony on Monday.
In front of country leaders, global authorities and entrepreneurs, Xi has stressed the importance of CIIE as a trade and business platform host in China, but not only for China. The first-ever import fair in China is an innovative and proactive way to improve global business and promote new business models and connections. Hence institutions such as World Trade Organization (WTO), United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) are among the supporters.
There cannot be a better host to an import exhibition than China. The country is celebrating this year its 40 anniversary of reform and opening-up, a process that helped shift its economic structure from an agrarian nation to a global trade power, not to mention the fact that China is now the second-largest world economy and responsible for more than 30 percent of global economic growth.
All those steps, including a massive urbanization and a robust increase in people's income, create opportunities for trade partners. As President Xi has said, the service sector would be an important winner at this time. And talking about China, the president has highlighted the need the country has for medical and educational services - an objective advice for investors. Consumers are willing to buy world-class products. It is a market that roughly accounts for nearly 1.4 billion people.
President Xi's speech was clear and objective. While addressing the challenges the global economy is facing, the president was stressing the need to improve innovation and to stick on multilateralism to achieve a better and shared future to the humankind. He named multilateral organizations, such as BRICS and G20, which Brazil is also part of. For a country like Brazil, the biggest in Latin America, CIIE is a precious opportunity. China is Brazil biggest trade partner since 2009, on a trade balance that brings superavit to but the Latin Americans, Chinese barely know Brazilian brands. Part of this is the result of the long geographical and cultural differences between those two countries. And part could be explained because of a business culture in Brazil that relies heavily on domestic market and on the neighboring nations from South America, a little on United States and on the European Union. Asian markets are pretty much unexplored by the Brazilians, including China.
CIIE and its grandiosity could bring energy and confidence to the Brazilian companies, presenting a friendly environment, face to face meetings with possible local partners and showing them what other countries are doing in Chinese markets. In this sense the expo also is a huge stage and opportunity for benchmarking. Counties, associations and entrepreneurs could exchange views and experiences with each others. It is a unique chance to build connections, knowledge and even new business. And the best news, as President Xi has said, is that the expo will be held every year. The future would be more and more shared.
Janaína Camara da Silveira holds a Master's in Economy and is an expert on Sino-Brazilian relations working on analysis at Radar China.