Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan hosted a banquet on Sunday evening in Shanghai to welcome distinguished guests from around the world, who will attend the first China International Import Expo (CIIE) opening Monday.
Xi and Peng took group photos with foreign leaders and their spouses.
On behalf of the Chinese government and the Chinese people, Xi extended a warm welcome to foreign leaders and other guests.
Shanghai is the largest economic center of China and is at the frontier of China's reform and opening-up. It has witnessed the historical course of China's opening-up and cooperation since modern times and has written a splendid chapter of China's 40 years of reform and opening-up, Xi said.
The CIIE is hosted by China but for the world, Xi said, stressing that it is not an ordinary expo, but a major policy for China to push for a new round of high-level opening-up and a major measure for China to take the initiative to open its market to the world.
The CIIE will make Shanghai a more shining city, he said.
In the next six days, a total of 172 countries, regions and international organizations from the five continents will showcase their development achievements and international image to the world, he said.
More than 3,600 companies from different countries will hold discussions and seek common development with purchasers from China and overseas. Guests will also exchange views about major issues concerning international economy and trade and global economic governance, Xi said.
This will be a grand event with great expectations, set to create fruitful results for friends from various countries, he said.
"I believe that, with strong supports and joint efforts of all sides, the CIIE will surely become a high-level international expo which will provide a new platform for deepening international economic and trade cooperation, advancing the joint development of the Belt and Road, and promoting economic globalization, and make greater contribution to boosting the well-being of all people and building a community with a shared future for humanity," Xi said.
Guests from various countries wished the first CIIE a full success.