World Insights: Hainan expo highlights China's commitment to opening-up, contribution to global growth
BEIJING, April 15 (Xinhua) -- The third China International Consumer Products Expo (CICPE), with an increased scale and rising global influence compared to the previous versions, has underscored China's commitment to expanding high-standard opening up as the global economy is struggling to emerge from the shadow of COVID-19 and other uncertainties.
On the theme of "Share Open Opportunities, Co-create a Better Life," the expo covers an area of 120,000 square meters, up 20 percent from last year, with more than 3,300 brands from 65 countries and regions showcased, helping overseas brands tap into the huge Chinese market while providing more exposure for domestic products.
The event epitomizes China's endeavor to promote high-standard opening up, as the country has pledged to leverage the strengths of its enormous market, attract global resources and production factors, and amplify the interplay between domestic and international markets and resources.
Thanks to China's efforts to develop the Hainan Free Trade Port with a portfolio of favorable policies, including zero tariffs and easing market and foreign investment access, dozens of multinational corporate participants in the previous Hainan expos have become investors in the island.
Earlier this year, U.S. beauty titan Estee Lauder inaugurated its China travel retail headquarters in Hainan. The company, with high confidence in the Chinese market and a keen awareness of the importance of Hainan's offshore duty-free market, is looking forward to establishing higher quality cooperation in duty-free shopping, medical care and talent training, and to introducing new and quality products to more consumers, said Fabrizio Freda, CEO of Estee Lauder.
Furthermore, the fair is helping foster an open mindset and promote mutual understanding through dialogue and exchange among global brands. This is of special significance at a time when some countries are turning inward and resorting to protectionism amid economic headwinds.
The expo presents "an amazing opportunity" to "illustrate and tell the story of the amazing beauty of our brands," said Stefania Lazzaroni, general manager of the Italian foundation of luxury brands Altagamma that led 75 high-end brands such as fashion house Gucci and luxury vehicle manufacturer Lamborghini to Hainan.
It is an excellent occasion for Altagamma and its members to strengthen ties with Chinese investors, and showcase their brand image and culture, she told Xinhua.
The expo booths teeming with exhibitors and eager buyers are not simply signs of accelerated economic recovery and growth, but also a testament to the magnet of China's vast market boasting a population of over 1.4 billion and a middle-income group of more than 400 million. This stable demand from the world's largest consumer base serves as a crucial pillar for the global economy.
Between January and February, China's retail sales of consumer goods climbed 3.5 percent year on year, official data showed. Other key indicators also suggested a broad recovery of the economy, including value-added industrial output in the first two months expanding 2.4 percent year on year, and the manufacturing purchasing managers' index jumping to 52.6 in January -- the highest since 2012.
The robust rebound is poised to reinvigorate world economic growth. Both the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund have projected that China's economy will grow over 5 percent in 2023. In addition, a recent Goldman Sachs report estimated that the full recovery of China's domestic demand could raise global GDP by around 1 percent through the end of 2023.
In the view of World Bank Group President David Malpass, China's economic rebound is an "additive" needed for a year like 2023 when global growth is expected to be weak, and that reflects the "explicit efforts to have a faster opening process for China and to have the supply chains begin to come back together as they feed into global supplies."
China's commitment to further opening up as well as to the sound development of globalization is the clear message the rest of the world gets from the expo, which lights up a beacon of hope for those who believe in the power of free trade, win-win cooperation and multilateralism, thereby injecting fresh momentum and confidence into the recovery and prosperity of the global economy. Enditem
(Zhou Xiaotian, Guo Wendi and Peng Zhuo in Rome, Yang Shilong and Pan Lijun in Washington also contributed to this story.)