China’s International Import Expo in Review

The China International Import Expo (CIIE), the country’s first state-sponsored import promotion fair, concluded in Shanghai on Saturday. The CIIE appears to have been a boon for foreign sellers,,,

...over its six days, Chinese state-owned and private firms signed about $58 billion in contracts and agreements with international companies. But the event, as a diplomatic venture, provided little clarity on how China would resolve its dispute with the US or manage its economic relations with other western economies.

The CIIE, along with the economic and trade forum that accompanied it, underscored the vast uncertainty that dominates the lead-up to this week’s APEC meetings in Papua New Guinea and the G20 summit that convenes later this month in Buenos Aires, where US President Donald Trump and China’s President Xi Jinping are scheduled to meet on the sidelines. While the US and Chinese bureaucracies are now cranking up for the resumption of talks, many insiders say that protracted discussions may be a best-case outcome.

The CIIE, nonetheless, was marked by domestic Chinese media as a milestone in China’s development agenda and the country’s economic transformation from investment-led and export-oriented growth to “high-quality development” driven by consumption and industrial upgrades. The Expo dominated a week that included the Zhuhai Air Show, the World Internet Conference in Wuzhen, the first Bloomberg New Economy Forum in Singapore, which saw China’s Vice President Wang Qishan stress the need to open communication channels with Washington, and the US midterm elections.

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