Xi Jinping Attends the Opening Ceremony of the Second China International Import Expo (CIIE) and Delivers a Keynote Speech

On November 5, 2019, the second China International Import Expo (CIIC) kicked off at the National Exhibition and Convention Center (Shanghai). President Xi Jinping attended the opening ceremony and delivered a keynote speech titled "Openness and Cooperation for a Shared Future", stressing that all countries should have a more open mindset and take more open steps, and work together to build an open world economy through cooperation, with innovation and for mutual benefits. He reiterated, China will open its door only wider to the world, and stay committed to opening-up to promote reform, development and innovation. This will bring about opening-up at an even higher level.

At around 9:30 a.m., Xi Jinping and foreign leaders walked into the venue together.

Amidst warm applause, Xi Jinping announced the official start of the second CIIC. Xi Jinping delivered a keynote speech.

Xi Jinping pointed out, a year ago in this same place, the inaugural China International Import Expo was successfully held. Today, we are happy to be joined by even more friends in the second Expo. I trust that you will all find your participation in the event worthwhile and rewarding. At last year's Expo, I announced the initiatives China was to take in the five areas of further opening-up and spelt out three specific steps for Shanghai to open wider to the world. One year on, these initiatives and steps have been by and large put in place.

Xi Jinping stressed, economic globalization represents the trend of history. Like the world's great rivers, the Yangtze, the Nile, the Amazon and the Danube - they all surge forward in relentless flow, and nothing can stop their mighty movement, not the current of undertows or hidden shoals or rocks beneath the water. Of the problems confronting the world economy, none can be resolved by a single country alone. We must all put the common good of humanity first. We must have a more open mindset and take more open steps, and work together to make the pie of the global market even bigger. We need to strengthen the mechanisms for sharing benefits globally, and explore new ways of international cooperation. The goal is to give more impetus to economic globalization and remove impediments as much as we could.

Xi Jinping proposed the following:

First, let us work together to build an open world economy through cooperation. In the face of the probability of differences and frictions, the right solution lies in consultation and cooperation. All problems could be settled in the spirit of equality, mutual understanding and accommodation. We need to promote development through opening-up. We need to "join hands" with each other instead of "letting go" of each other's hands. We need to "tear down walls", not to "erect walls". We need to stand firm against protectionism and unilateralism.

Second, let us work together to build an open world economy with innovation. Countries need to step up cooperation in innovation. We need to facilitate integration of science and technology with economic growth, and increase the sharing of innovation results. We need to support our businesses in technical exchanges and cooperation on their own accord. This is a way to unleash the potential for innovation. We need to tighten the protection of intellectual property. The least desirable is for us to stifle the flow of knowledge, or to create or even widen the technology divide among us.

Third, let us work together to build an open world economy for mutual benefits. We need to work together to safeguard the international order underpinned by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, uphold the core values and basic principles of the multilateral trading system, and promote trade and investment liberalization and facilitation. We need to increase support for the Least Developed Countries so that the benefits of development will reach more countries and peoples.

Xi Jinping emphasized, standing at a new historical starting point, China will open its door only wider to the world. China will stay committed to opening-up to promote reform, development and innovation. This will bring about opening-up at an even higher level.

First, China will continue to open up its market. China's middle-income population is the biggest in the world. The huge Chinese market points to a potential that is simply unlimited. The Chinese market is such a big one that you should all come and see what it has to offer. China will foster a more robust domestic market and give greater importance to import. We will continue to lower tariffs and institutional transaction costs, develop demonstration zones to promote import trade by creative means, and import more high-quality goods and services from around the world.

Second, China will continue to optimize its opening-up structure. China will continue to encourage bold trials and experiments in pilot free trade zones and quicken the development of the Hainan Free Trade Port. China will continue to implement integrated regional development strategies for the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, the Yangtze River Economic Belt, the Yangtze River Delta region, and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, and draw up a new national strategy for environmental protection and high-quality development in the Yellow River basin. The purpose is to seek greater synergy of opening-up among different parts of the country.

Third, China will continue to improve the business environment. China will continue to remove major constraints on economic development, gear up reforms regarding key links and areas, and modernize the system and capacity for governance as an institutional support for high-standard opening-up and high-quality development. China will continue to foster an enabling business environment that is based on market principles, governed by law, and up to international standards. We will give foreign investments greater market access to more sectors, shorten the negative list further, and improve institutions for investment promotion and protection and for information reporting. China will improve the legal framework of intellectual property protection.

Fourth, China will continue to deepen multilateral and bilateral cooperation. China supports necessary reforms to the WTO so that the multilateral trading regime can be more authoritative and effective. I hope the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreement will be signed and enter into force at an early date. China will be happy to conclude high-standard free trade agreements with more countries. We will speed up negotiations on a China-EU investment agreement, a China-Japan-ROK FTA, and a China-Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) FTA. We will stay actively engaged in cooperation within the United Nations, the G20, APEC, and BRICS to move economic globalization forward.

Fifth, China will continue to advance Belt and Road cooperation. China will follow the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, the philosophy of open, green and clean cooperation, and a high-standard, people-centered and sustainable approach to promote high-quality Belt and Road cooperation.

Xi Jinping pointed out, looking forward, China will follow the new development approach and the strategy of innovation-driven development, and redouble our efforts to foster new growth drivers by shifting the growth model, improving the economic structure, and creating new growth momentum. We believe such efforts will not only bring China high-quality development but also new growth opportunities for the global economy. I have faith in the bright prospects of China's economic development.

At last, Xi Jinping stressed, China's development, viewed through the lens of history, is an integral part of the lofty cause of human progress. China will reach out its arms and offer countries in the world more opportunities of market, investment and growth. Together, we can achieve development for all. Let us all work together and contribute to an open global economy and to a community with a shared future for mankind.

During Xi Jinping's speech, the attendee burst into warm applause many times.

Afterwards, French President Emmanuel Macron, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness, Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic, Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio and WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo delivered speeches respectively. Speaking highly of China's hosting of the second CIIC, they believed that it showcases the Chinese leaders' foresight and sagacity, and China's openness and inclusiveness as well as its determination and sincerity to promote economic globalization, free trade and investment cooperation with concrete actions.

Emmanuel Macron said, China's reform and opening-up has achieved remarkable achievements over the past 40 years. It is the greatest event in human history and has become one of the important turning points in the contemporary international order. China's success is attributed to its own efforts and to economic globalization. China is both a beneficiary of and a contributor to globalization. The ancient Silk Road is continuing today, linking Europe and China more closely. China's success story shows that China needs to be open to the world and the world needs to be open to China as well. Openness is also a choice for Europe. All countries highly appreciate and are eagerly looking forward to China's measures to broaden its opening-up. In globalization, countries are facing the problem of uneven development. Resort to unilateralism, protectionism, the use of tariffs and the law of the jungle cannot solve the problems facing the current world. This is not a choice of France, nor a choice of Europe. There will be no winners in trade war. China's interests as an important trading partner of all countries, as well as multilateralism, free trade and the multilateral trading regime should be safeguarded. The European Union regards China as an important cooperation partner and is willing to work with the Chinese side to maintain strong multilateralism and contribute to building a more balanced international order in the spirit of mutual respect, mutual trust, and mutual benefit and win-win results.

All foreign leaders present said, China is an important engine of economic globalization and a stable factor in international trade. The achievements of China's opening-up to the outside world strongly prove that, under the new historical background in the 21st century in which countries become much inter-dependent and share a common destiny, only opening-up, active cooperation and mutual benefit and win-win results, rather than self-isolation, the practices of beggaring thy neighbor and pursuing one's own interests at the cost of others, can realize respective development and the sustainable development of the global economy. China's further opening-up to the outside world will create more development opportunities for the world. All parties are willing to seize the opportunity of China's development and opening-up, strengthen exchanges and cooperation, and jointly build the Belt and Road Initiative to embrace a brighter future.

Prior to the opening ceremony, Xi Jinping posed for group photos with foreign leaders, and met with representatives of entrepreneurs from Fortune Global 500 companies, representatives of foreign think tanks and media for the forum "China's 70-Year Development and the Building of a Community with a Share Future for Mankind", and foreign ministers and heads of delegations for the Informal WTO Ministerial Meeting in a warm atmosphere.

Ding Xuexiang, Li Qiang, Yang Jiechi, Hu Chunhua, Huang Kunming, Wang Yi, Zhao Kezhi, He Lifeng, and others were present.

Hu Chunhua presided over the opening ceremony.

The second CIIC, held from November 5 to 10, attracted 181 countries, regions and international organizations as well as more than 3,800 companies.

The Hongqiao International Economic Forum was held on the same day, attracting over 4,000 guests from political, academic and research communities across the world.