The third CIIE held during the COVID-19 pandemic has greater global significance and value.
Since the global financial crisis in 2008, the world economy has been recovering slowly. The “economic miracle” created by China after 40+ years of reform and opening up has made it more obvious for people to see China’s contributions to the world economy. The Chinese government’s major economic decisions and strategic deployments will directly affect the development and trend of the world economy. For example, China International Import Expo, the world’s first expo with import as the theme, is the largest platform and an effective carrier for the Chinese government to match supply and demand of global products. It plays an important role in promoting economic globalization, matching global supply and demand, and satisfying Chinese consumers’ demand for high-quality products, which has been evidenced by the fruitful results of the two sessions successfully held in 2018 and 2019.
However, at the beginning of 2020, the sudden outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic brought profound and dramatic impacts to the international political landscape, global economic operation system, and psychology of people worldwide. Unilateralism, deglobalization, populism, etc. have suddenly become rampant, sending the world into a “turbulent period of changes unseen in a century,” and creating a huge crisis for the development of the global economic chain, industrial chain, capital chain, technology chain, and talent chain. During the prevention and control of the pandemic, under the strong leadership of the CPC Central Committee, China gave full play to the superiority of the socialism with Chinese characteristics, adhered to the principle of putting people first, took a lead in making major strategic achievements in the battle against the pandemic in the shortest time, provided assistance to other countries within its capacity, and acted as a responsible major country. Meanwhile, it advocated new development concepts of building a community of common health for mankind and a community with a shared future for mankind, which was praised and commended by the United Nations, World Health Organization and the international community. Currently, the pandemic is still spreading widely in Western countries. In particular, many wrong actions taken by the American government to politicize pandemic prevention and control measures have brought greater certainties and destablizing factors to world economy, industrial chain, technological innovation and international trade, resulting in more sluggish and pessimistic world economic outlook. In this new context, the Chinese government has resolutely fulfilled its global commitment that China will never close its door but only open up wider. While adopting regular prevention and control measures, it has planned and deployed at an early time, and successfully held the third China International Import Expo as scheduled at a higher level and with a larger scale, achieving the goal of “continued success in the years to come”. There is no doubt that it gives a boost and confidence to the global market, injects new development impetus into overcoming the impacts of the pandemic on world economy in all aspects, and provides new development opportunities for global enterprises. Besides, it will surely become a golden opportunity to promote global economic recovery in the post-pandemic era, and a consistent approach for China to firmly support and uphold economic globalization.
The third CIIE has become an important window and the largest platform for China to build a new development pattern with the domestic and international markets boosting each other.
Since the outbreak of pandemic, in order to successfully cope with trends of deglobalization and increasing uncertainties of the global political and economic structure, the meeting of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee put forward a major strategy to build a new development pattern with the domestic and international markets boosting each other for the first time. By gathering high-quality resources worldwide, expanding opening up, stabilizing the supply chain and industrial chain, and increasing spillover effects, the third CIIE will serve as an important window, the largest platform and the strongest driver, and play a big role in the formation of the new development pattern. Besides, it will help build Shanghai, its host city, into a center in the domestic market and a strategic link between the domestic and international markets under the new development pattern, and enhance the level of urban development. First, high-quality brand resources worldwide should be gathered to the largest extent to build an important platform and strategic hub connecting the international and domestic markets. Import is a strategic link in promoting development of the domestic and international markets, and can be used to connect the domestic and international markets. It’s imperative for the third CIIE to make full use of China’s large domestic market and potential of domestic demands. With the most convenient import channels, the most considerate enterprise services, and the most efficient supporting measures, it focuses on the key links and aims to consolidate, replenish and strengthen the industrial chain, centers on the fields including integrated circuits, artificial intelligence, modern equipment, biotechnology, green products, etc., and brings together as many excellent enterprises, the latest products, first-class services and best cultures worldwide as possible, so as to collectively display the world’s high-quality products and services, attract more products debuted worldwide and exhibited for the first time in China, promote domestic and foreign enterprises to negotiate cooperation, build an important link between the domestic and international markets, and inject strong new impetus into the development of economic globalization and the efforts to build a community with a shared future for mankind. Second, efforts should be made to maximize the spillover effect and build a “new engine’ and “accelerator” to promote the domestic economic cycle and high-quality development. In addition to trade in services, automobiles, consumer products, technical equipment, medical equipment, medicines, health care, food and agricultural products, the third CIIE has added some new themes including old-age care, rehabilitation, energy and chemical industry, energy conservation and environmental protection, public health, household cleaning and personal protection, organic food, pre-packaged food, smart travel, non-bank financial services, etc. This will surely better meet the Chinese people’s demands for high-quality products and services, and inject new impetus into promoting high-quality economic development and creating a high-quality life. The key is to use the CIIE platform to deepen, expand and innovate the spillover mechanisms, carriers and channels of the effects created by the CIIE, give full play to the advantages of the new round of new infrastructure construction, utilize a combination of offline and online methods, leverage national government service platforms such as the one website for all, achieve cross-regional connection between production, consumption, services and logistics, and bring high-quality imported products and services across the world to enterprise users and homes of residents in inland regions such as the Yangtze River Delta, Midwest China, Northeast China. With these measures, we can make more goods exhibited at the CIIE enter the domestic market, promote optimization and upgrading of domestic cross-regional supply and industrial chains, and turn CIIE a “new engine” and “accelerator” to promote the domestic economic cycle, unleash and create more economic dividends.
Tao Xidong,Director and Researcher of Social Governance and Construction Research Office, Institute of Sociology, Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences