Xi pledges to open Chinas markets wider to an impatient world

Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing will attend the opening ceremony of the trade fair and tour the Singapore commercial pavilions

Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing will attend the opening ceremony of the trade fair and tour the Singapore commercial pavilions

President Xi Jinping renewed a pledge to increase China's imports, lower trade barriers, and strengthen protection of intellectual property rights (IPR) while also lashing out at countries who point their fingers at Beijing's policies without doing anything to improve their own business environment.

He told VOA, "We were waiting today for President Xi to inform the world about the reform that will take place in the coming days, but what we wanted to hear, (such as) the complete steps on implementing the reform and a clear timetable, did not appear".

In an interview with Xinhua on Thursday, the head of trade at Standard Bank Vinod Madhavan said the shift to consumption-led growth in China comes at an opportune time for Africa.

China is under pressure from Trump and elsewhere to wind back its US$423 billion goods trade surplus with the world, and Xi has already pledged that the country will import US$24 trillion dollars of goods from overseas over the next decade and a half.

The Nov 5-10 China International Import Expo (CIIE), brings thousands of foreign companies together with Chinese buyers in a bid to demonstrate the importing potential of the world's second-biggest economy. With India's exports of $13.33 billion, the trade balance is highly in favor of China. They also are struggling to revive confidence in a stock market that has tumbled 25 percent this year to become the world's worst performer.

Chinese President Xi Jinping says China's initiative to expand imports is not a makeshift, but long-term consideration of embracing the world and future while promoting common development, ARY News reported.

Experts say the week-long expo is also a message by China that, as the buying power of its 1.4 billion people grows, trading partners will need to work with Beijing if they want a piece of that import market.

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While in China, President Uhuru is expected to sign a horticulture trade deal which will allow Kenya to export fresh produce such as avocados, cashew nuts and mangoes to China.

China's shift to an import model is "going to be a huge pain for a lot of businesses, but it's also going to make a good opportunity for a lot of consumers", he said.

Thousands of foreign companies are taking part in the expo.

Tomorrow, President Kenyatta is scheduled to deliver a keynote address at the official opening of the expo. "It is important therefore to correct the trade imbalance and enable a fairer share of trade".

Top officials of the government-owned company met President Uhuru Kenyatta in Shanghai, China, during which they confirmed plans to set up business in Nairobi. China wants Shanghai to be one of the world's leading global financial centers by 2020.

China ranks 59th out of 62 countries on openness to foreign direct investment, according to an Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development ranking. While it's widely predicted that the Democrats will win a majority in the House of Representative after Tuesday's midterm elections, it's unlikely to change the administration's tough trade negotiation with China.

VOA News reported this story.

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