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European chamber condemns upcoming Shanghai trade expo as political showcase

European chamber condemns upcoming Shanghai trade expo as political showcase

European chamber condemns upcoming Shanghai trade expo as political showcase

European chamber condemns upcoming Shanghai trade expo as political showcase

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  • European chamber condemns upcoming Shanghai trade expo as a political showcase.
  • CIIE is scheduled to take place in Shanghai from November 5 to 10.
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  • Premier Li Qiang and Australian PM Anthony Albanese are expected to participate.

The European Union Chamber of Commerce has raised concerns about an upcoming trade fair in China, asserting that it seems to serve more as a “political showcase” than a business-oriented event.

The China International Import Expo (CIIE), scheduled to take place in Shanghai from November 5 to 10, was initiated by President Xi Jinping in 2018 to promote China’s commitment to free trade and addressing criticism of its trade surplus with many trading partners.

The CIIE has been a high-profile event, with dignitaries like Premier Li Qiang and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese expected to participate.

However, the European Chamber of Commerce has criticized the event, suggesting that it has strayed from its objectives.

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Contrary to the CIIE’s goals of increasing China’s global imports and showcasing the country’s opening-up and reform agenda, the trade surplus between China and Europe has significantly expanded over the past five years.

Carlo D’Andrea, the chamber’s vice president, expressed the sentiment that the CIIE has become more of a political display than a business-oriented event, leaving European businesses disillusioned. He emphasized the need for tangible results to restore business confidence, rather than symbolic gestures.

The organizers of the CIIE did not immediately respond to these criticisms. China has expressed its willingness to increase European exports in response to complaints from the European Union regarding the lack of a level playing field and the politicization of the business environment in China.

A survey conducted by the European Chamber of Commerce found that participation rates in the CIIE have declined from 42% to 32% since the first event.

Those who chose not to attend this year after participating in previous editions cited diminishing investment value and limited policy changes as reasons for their decision.

While 59% of survey respondents mentioned benefiting from government engagement at the event, only a quarter of participants closed any business deals at the previous CIIE, which is significantly lower than the 2018 figure when half of the participants closed deals.

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European businesses are urging the CIIE to shift its focus away from politicization and concentrate on its business impact. They also call for concrete policy measures to open up the market, in addition to the trade fair.

The CIIE is expected to feature participation from more than 60 countries, three international organizations, and 289 of the world’s top 500 companies, including firms like Micron, Nestle, and Burberry. Last year, the event saw “intentional” deals worth $73.52 billion, marking a 3.9% increase.

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