China’s Xi Jinping Promises Lower Tariffs, More Imports

The China International Import Expo, slated to be held annually will run for six days from Nov 5 to 10

China's Expo attracts 1000 firms from Belt and Road countries

The event has drawn several foreign heads of government including Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and Pakistani premier Imran Khan, though most are from small African or Asian countries dependent on China trade.

China's imported goods and services are estimated to exceed Dollars 30 trillion and Dollars 10 trillion respectively in the next 15 years, Xi said in his inaugural address, state-run Xinhua news agency reported. But he made no mention of complaints that China's plans for state-led development of technology industries and curbs on access to its domestic industries violate its free-trade obligations.

It is the world's first import-themed national-level expo, covering an area of about 30,000 square metres, and will feature enterprise and business exhibitions, country pavilions for trade and investment.

"It's been a recent phenomenon, its political interference, you can also call it involvement", Magnus said.

The European Union, which shares US concerns over China's trade practices if not Trump's tariff strategy to address them, on Thursday called on China to take concrete steps to further open its market to foreign firms and provide a level playing field, adding that it would not sign up to any political statement at the forum. "Nobody can stop the free-trade", said Jack Ma, whose company has published on Friday a turnover increase of 54% year on year, to 85,15 billion yuan ($12.4 billion).

President Xi further said countries should become more self-dependent in solving their own problems and striving to improve their own business.

China imported $1.84 trillion of goods in 2017, up 16 percent, or $255 billion, from a year earlier.

But US officials say that amounts to China trying to buy its way out of criticism with a short-term import bump rather than real reform.

"China's richest person - who warned just last month that a trade war could last two decades - argued it was pointless to target goods because the Asian nation was on its way to becoming a major buyer of foreign products".

It will be short on substance meant to signal China's willingness to narrow trade deficits and openness.

In order to woo investors into doing business in the country, the Chinese leader said that he is considering increasing the country's current imports, as well as lowering down import tariffs.

Meanwhile the remaining ministers are expected to remain in the country this week. The Swiss government said in a statement to Reuters on Sunday that his visit had never been confirmed, and that Secretary of State Marie-Gabrielle Ineichen-Fleisch would represent Switzerland.

Exhibitors from around 140 countries and regions will be on hand, including 404 from Japan, the most of any country.

Chad would be selling its bauxite and tiny São Tomé would sell package holidays.

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