Chinese President Xi Jinping, on Tuesday, called for greater cooperation among countries to remove barriers to global trade and build an open word economy, amid rising in protectionism in some western nations.
Speaking at the opening of the China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai, China, President Xi said the global cooperation has become imperative as countries are inter-connected with each other, and integration of their economy is the order of the day.
“We need to promote development through opening-up and deepen exchanges and cooperation among us. 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. We need to continually bring down trade barriers, optimize global value and supply chains, and jointly foster market demand,” he said.
The expo, which was initiated last year, was to increase foreign products’ access to Chinese markets as the country makes efforts to narrow the widening trade disparities with its partners.
President Xi restated China’s commitment to open its market wider and import more high-quality goods and services from around the world.
“We will take steps to promote balanced development of both imports and exports, of trade in goods and services, of two-way trade and investment, and of trade and industry,” Xi added.
While calling for removal of barriers that hamper the flow of knowledge, the Chinese leader stressed the need to tighten the protection of intellectual property.
French President Emmanuel Macron urged China to address clear differences between the treatment of China’s state-owned firms and the private sector.
He also sought greater access of European firms to Chinese markets, saying “We need a greater openness of China and its domestic market.”
Macron called for an end to the lingering US-China trade war, which continues to affect the global economy. “No one wins a trade war,” he said, adding that the multilateral trade system is a legacy that we must uphold together.
The six-day import expo, themed, “New Era, Shared Future”, involves 64 countries, three international organizations and 3,000 companies participating in exhibitions covering a total area of 30,000 square meters.