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Fair continues to grow international cooperation

By Yuan Shenggao | China Daily | Updated: 2020-09-16

The 2020 China International Fair for Investment and Trade held recently in Xiamen in Fujian province, set out to promote international cooperation and economic globalization.

The fair attracted merchants and delegates from 42 countries and regions including the United Kingdom, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand. It was one of the first major international economic and trade events held in China since the outbreak of COVID-19.

Iran's Consul General Khalil Shirgholami said: "Energy, agriculture and tourism are industries that we have focused on in the Xiamen fair. China is Iran's most important economic partner, and Fujian and Guangdong play a particularly important role."

In light of the current situation, the four-day event was held both offline and online with the help of Alibaba's cloud services.

Tao Roujia, development director of Alibaba's cloud expo, said the cloud investment and trade fair focused on solving the problem of connecting government, businessmen, projects and capital.

"Through multi-channel docking, new relationships were established, and digital operations were used to form a closed loop," Tao said.

Chen Jing, deputy director of the Fujian Provincial Department of Commerce, said the online and offline mode has been welcomed by government departments.

"We also want to apply the online platform to further expand our investment promotion channels, achieve year-round online display and promotion and conduct online negotiations," Chen said.

This year's fair promoted two-way investment in hopes of boosting investor confidence, enhancing winwin cooperation and further promoting the new economy.

"The new economy has a strong complementary role to the traditional one," said Pan Helin, executive dean of the digital economy research institute of Zhongnan University of Economics and Law. "Especially when the traditional economy is severely affected by the pandemic, the new economy strongly supports the stable development of China's economy.

"The new economy and the construction of the Belt and Road Initiative are also complementary to each other."

Xian Guoyi, director of the service and trade department of the Ministry of Commerce, said the convention and exhibition industry is an important platform for building modern markets and open economic systems.

"It plays a key role in driving economic growth, promoting open cooperation, increasing social employment and promoting urban development," Xian said.

The General Office of the Fujian provincial government recently issued a three-year action plan for the construction of new infrastructure in Fujian, proposing that by 2022, Fujian will build a hub for information and communication in the digital era.

The plan will enhance in-depth integration with new infrastructure, 5G, big data, the internet of things, industrial internet, artificial intelligence, blockchain and other new technologies while fully empowering high-quality development.

The global spread of COVID-19 has plunged international trade and investment into a downturn. But trade with countries and regions involved in the Belt and Road Initiative has shown strong resilience and vitality.

Gao Feng, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Commerce, said China's investment in countries and regions involved in the Belt and Road Initiative during the first six months of 2020 achieved rapid growth.

Non-financial direct investment reached $8.12 billion, a year-on-year increase of 19.4 percent.

Also in the first half of the year, China's imports from and exports to countries and regions involved in the initiative were valued at 4.2 trillion yuan.

China's imports from and exports to members of the Association of Southeast Asia Nations countries were valued at 2.09 trillion yuan, an increase of 5.6 percent, with ASEAN becoming China's largest trading partner.

In 2019, Fujian's imports from and exports to countries and regions involved in the BRI totaled 455.1 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 16.3 percent. That was 8.5 percent higher than the province's growth rate in the same period.

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