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China to increase imports

Policy reflects strong demand of domestic economic development

Express staff

Chinese Minister of Commerce Lu Fuyuan announced a shift in government policy in July, encouraging domestic companies to increase their imports from overseas.
The policy shift reflects the nation's ample foreign-exchange reserves and the government's desire to promote global economic growth.
China will realize an import volume worth US$1 trillion in the next three years and become the world's second largest purchaser in 20 years, only after the United States.
The Chinese Government encourages domestic companies to increase imports as well as expand exports because increased imports are expected to also fuel domestic economic growth and make a contribution to world economic growth.
Lu indicated he is not at all worried about the 44 per cent faster-than-exports growth in imports in the first half of this year, or a probable resulting trade deficit this year, which China has not seen for years since the 1997 Asian financial crisis. The rapid growth in imports is mainly driven by robust domestic economic growth. It's a natural result of high economic growth.
He said the rapidly-expanding economy needs to import large amounts of raw materials and parts, adding that imports could not register such a high growth without sound economic growth in China. China has fulfilled its World Trade Organization (WTO) commitments and reduced tariffs markedly. The high price of oil due to the Iraqi War also contributed to the increase in import volume.
Big tariff cuts since China's entry to the WTO also contributed to the high increase in imports. This is especially true for some telecommunication products such as mobile phones, which now have zero tariffs.
However, China is not worried by the increase in imports, as China's rich foreign currency reserves provide flexibility in terms of increasing exports, if necessary.
Lu said, China will maintain the value of its currency in line with the fundamental interests of the Chinese people and China's national economy. The major task of the country at present is to maintain stable economic growth. The current policy of maintaining the value of the currency does not rule out future adjustments or changes.
He also stressed that currency policy adjustment should be based on the domestic situation of a nation. No country in the world makes currency adjustment decisions based on the international situation alone, without analyzing its domestic situation.
The next decades will see China enjoying rapid economic growth with GDP expected to quadruple to US$4 trillion.

The 7th CIFIT to kick off in Xiamen

Fair offers a platform for co-operation

Express staff

Editor's note: Phoenix TV, China Daily and China (Xiamen) Investment Promotion Centre have co-organized a forum for provincial governors and ministers to voice their views on economic and trade issues prior to and during the Seventh International Fair for Investment and Trade. The following is an interview with Ye Shuangyu, vice-governor of Fujian Province.

Holding great expectations from around the globe, the seventh China International Fair for Investment and Trade (CIFIT) is scheduled to be carried out on September 8 to 11 in the port city of Xiamen, in Southeast China's Fujian province.
"CIFIT is well on the track to become a stage for international capital flows and policies and information releasing," said Ye Shuangyu, vice-governor of Fujian Province and secretary general of the seventh CIFIT.
As an acknowledge of CIFIT's increasing influence, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development will attend the seventh session as a co-sponsor of the fair and will issue its 2003 World Investment Report on September 8 for the first time in Xiamen, according to Ye.
Apart from the International Investment Forum, sponsored by the Ministry of Commerce, approximately 40 high-level seminars and forums focusing on such hot issues as major sectors opened to overseas investors as China becomes a World Trade Organization (WTO) member, trade and investment barriers, investment strategies and logistics will highlight the fair.
Sponsored by the Ministry of Commerce, the CIFIT is regarded as not only China's major State-level investment promotional fair in this field but an event that will beef up the country's foreign trade and investment of this year, said Ye.
Thanks for the hard work of relevant departments, preparatory work of the seventh CIFIT under goes smoothly. Fair organizers acclaim wide participation from 45 units across the country ranging from delegations from provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the central government to organizations from ministries and chambers of commerce.
Such countries and regions as the United Kingdom, Canada, Hong Kong and Caribbean countries will hold special promotional activities to demonstrate their economic and trade opportunities during the fair.
"To guarantee a safe session, organizers of the CIFIT doubled their efforts in preventing and curbing possible diseases,'' said Ye.
The Xiamen municipal government made public two sets of regulations on handling emergent public hygienic crisis and on safeguarding health of participants.
Ye also pointed out that on its way to be an influential international investment event, CIFIT should further update its role as an investment promotional base.
"The sponsors and organizers should make long-term schemes, set up a service centre for investment projects, improve information and communication efficiency and foster investment organizations,'' said Ye.

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