Visitors take pictures in front of a CIIE promotional display in Shanghai, on Nov 10, 2020. (Photo/Xinhua)
The China International Import Expo is a good initiative and demonstrates China's commitment to global trade and win-win cooperation, said Kirida Bhaopichitr, a senior Thai economist.
"China's hosting of the CIIE is a welcome initiative and a win-win situation for both sides, China and the world," Kirida, director of the Economic Intelligence Service under the Thailand Development Research Institute, a leading think tank, told Xinhua in a recent interview.
The expo "gives a lot of supply chain linkages to companies in Southeast Asia," allowing them to be able to connect with manufacturers in China and become a supply chain for them, which also helps Chinese businesses as they try to become more global and expand production in Southeast Asia, Kirida said.
"China's commitment to global trade will help us prosper together in the future," she said, adding that "we are looking to do more trade with China."
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread and weigh on the world economy, trade remains an important growth engine for developing countries, especially the Association of Southeast Asian Nations countries, who are still facing challenges domestically to open their borders, she said.
Underlining the importance of the Chinese market for ASEAN countries, she said China's further opening up and importing more goods from these countries are very important for their economic recovery in the post-pandemic era.
Despite adverse impacts from the pandemic, bilateral trade between China and ASEAN maintained solid growth. China and ASEAN became each other's largest trading partner for the first time in 2020, while bilateral trade in yuan-denominated term surged 21.1 percent year-on-year in the first three quarters of this year, according to the data from Chinese customs.
The 4th CIIE is scheduled to be held offline in Shanghai from Nov 5 to 10, with more than 200 exhibitors and over 500 purchasers participating in the expo this year. As the first dedicated import exhibition globally, the CIIE has yielded fruitful outcomes from the past three expos.
Kirida, who used to work in the World Bank on regional issues in East Asia, expressed concerns over a growing disparity between developed countries and developing countries in terms of economic recovery.
Higher vaccination rate enables developed countries to reopen first and grow their economies much faster, and they should offer more support to developing economies at least in the supply of COVID-19 vaccines, she said.