SINGAPORE — The upcoming China International Import Expo (CIIE) will bring hope and confidence to the global economy, an associate professor at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy of the National University of Singapore has told Xinhua.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the global economy has been experiencing unprecedented hardships not seen since the Great Depression of the 1930s, Gu Qingyang noted.
As projected by the International Monetary Fund earlier this month, the global economy is expected to contract by 4.4 percent in 2020.
“The grim situation is largely attributable to the inefficient demand worldwide,” Gu said.
The helplessness and hopelessness in achieving economic recovery prevail in many parts of the world, as business owners are unsure of when the pandemic will be over, and are also trying hard to maintain the operation of their enterprises and keep employees” jobs.
Against such a background, Gu said, the hosting of the third CIIE in Shanghai early next month is of special importance, as it will shed a ray of hope over a gloomy sky, particularly since China is believed to be the only major economy to register positive growth this year.
The CIIE will also help stimulate China’s domestic demand, which will result in more business opportunities both for domestic and international enterprises. In other words, the CIIE will be beneficial not only to Chinese enterprises but also to those overseas, serving as a shot in the arm for the latter during hard times, Gu said.
Moreover, he believes that the CIIE will help promote two-way investment, as it further explores the information and market channels through which goods and capital can transfer.
If inspired by positive feedback from Chinese customers and lured by the huge Chinese market, overseas enterprises might go further by investing in China, the professor said.
At the same time, imports of foreign products such as advanced machinery would promote Chinese consumption, facilitating Chinese products and investment entering the global market, he said.
In Gu’s opinion, the CIIE is like “an invitation” from China to establish a healthy economic relationship between itself and the rest of the world, in accordance with market rules for the free two-way flow of goods and capital.
Confronted with rising elements of trade protectionism and unilateralism, Gu said, the CIIE, as a state-level platform, also demonstrates China’s adherence to globalization in favor of exchanges and win-win cooperation.
While global industrial and supply chains have undergone disruption in the wake of the pandemic and a rising anti-globalization sentiment, the CIIE will certainly help re-dress the situation, no matter whether items showcased at the CIIE are intermediate products or end products, Gu pointed out.
With over 40 years of reform and opening-up, China has formed a relatively complete industrial system, and should look forward to merging more actively with the international industry and supply chains, according to Gu.
By shifting into high value-added industries such as the development of the service trade and riding on information technologies, Gu said, China will not only bring its comparative advantages into fuller play, but also make greater contributions to global economic growth.
Ever since 2006, China has been the top driving force behind the growth of the global economy. Thanks to China’s success in containing the spread of COVID-19, and its relatively strong momentum in economic recovery, the nation will make a greater contribution to the global economy this year, Gu said.
As the world’s second largest importer, China’s outstanding economic performance will cement domestic demand and consequently transfer into the rise in demand for products from international manufacturers and providers through the means of international trade, he said.
In conclusion, Gu said China is on track to serve as an important supporting pillar for global economic recovery amid the COVID-19 pandemic.