China embraces greater opening-up as 2nd CIIE kicks off
Dialogue with Yang Rui

More than 3,000 businesses and enterprises from around the world are gathering in Shanghai for the second China International Import Expo (CIIE).

They'll showcase their most representative and innovative products at this major event.

The CIIE not only boosts the import of goods and services but promotes the upgrading of foreign investment and highlights China's huge market potentials. What should we expect from this year's expo? Will China's opening-up policies provide greater impetus for international companies to increase investment in the world's second-largest economy?

As overseas exhibitors who attend the CIIE for the second consecutive year, Pavlos Kontomichalos, the CEO and founder of the Greek Hellas Group, and Jay Kunkel, executive vice president of DRiV, an American supplier, shared their views and expectations for this year's CIIE.

Kontomichalos believes the CIIE is a "great strategic initiative" of President Xi Jinping, which echoes with the country's more "opening-up" policy and brings China much closer to other nations. He thinks last year's expo was a good start, and this year's event will be larger in terms of scale and more focused.

Jay Kunkel said the expo accelerated the entry of foreign brands into more inland regions in China, especially the country's third- to fifth-tier towns and cities.

"This event allows companies to come in and have more direct access. The combination of the CIIE introducing the tier-three to five cities where the next step of development is coming, and coupling that with China's lead in e-commerce, it's a very potent combination going forward."

Kunkel emphasizes the critical role the CIIE has played for foreign investment as the front door of the Chinese market.


It's also worth mentioning that amid the long-running China-U.S. trade tensions, U.S. participation remains under the spotlight for this year's CIIE. More than 190 U.S. enterprises attend the event, taking up the largest exhibition area among all participating countries. 

Professor Tu Xinquan, from the University of International Business and Economics, thinks the U.S.' greater presence at this year's CIIE is evidence of U.S. businesses' undamped passion for tapping into the Chinese market and expanding cooperation despite the prolonged turbulence in trade relations with China.

"American companies are still very interested in the Chinese market; they don't want to decouple with the Chinese market… one thing that hasn't changed is the two countries need each other, companies of the two counties want to do trade with and invest in each other."


Dialogue With Yang Rui is a prime time daily English talk show on CGTN. The 30-minute talk show covers a wide range of domestic and international topics, providing a balanced and critical perspective on current affairs and analysis within the framework of cross-cultural and multi-disciplinary comparisons. 

Schedule: Monday-Sunday

Time (GMT): 0330, 1130, 1930

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