2019-11-05 04:53:57

Chinese President Xi Jinping announced five measures Tuesday aimed at promoting a more open domestic economy. His remarks came during the opening ceremony of the second annual China International Import Expo (CIIE), ongoing in Shanghai until Sunday.

“China will continue to improve its business environment to become more market-oriented, law-based, and internationalized,” Xi said, adding that the country will further cut tariffs and institutional costs, cultivate more special trade zones, and expand imports of high-quality products and services from other countries.

In its Doing Business 2020 report released last month, the World Bank ranked China 31st out of 190 economies, up from 46th last year and 78th in 2017.

In the same report, the World Bank included China on a list of the top 10 “improvers” in terms of ease of doing business, citing the country’s successful efforts to reduce red tape. The report evaluated 10 areas for its overall list including starting a business, obtaining construction permits, registering property, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, and trading across borders, among others.

Closely following the release of the Doing Business report, this year’s CIIE is hosting representatives from 155 countries and regions as well as from 26 international organizations. Nearly 4,000 companies have brought their latest innovations to display in an exhibition space covering some 360,000 square meters.

“CIIE is a significant platform where cutting-edge technologies shine. Compared to last year, the medical equipment and health care products hall this year has become an important platform for both international and local pharmaceutical companies to expand their market and promote their brand images,” Pius S. Hornstein, China country chair for French pharmaceutical company Sanofi, told Sixth Tone. “More new industry-leading products and technologies in China, Asia, or even the world will debut and display at this venue.”

Felix Gutsche, CEO of German drugmaker Boehringer Ingelheim’s China operations, told Sixth Tone that CIIE will help the company better understand how important innovation is to Chinese patients. “We continue to believe that China is a very attractive and important market, and we are dedicated to partnering in innovation,” Gutsche said.

(Header image: A photographer snaps pictures of the China International Import Expo’s exhibition center in Shanghai, Nov. 2, 2019. Bai Kelin/IC)