By Duan Ruolan
Express staff

  To further promote its name in North Europe, organizers of the 8th China International Fair for Investment and Trade (CIFIT) visited Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland and St Petersburg in Russia last month.
  The delegation, headed by CIFIT Liaison Office Vice-Director Hong Chengzong, harvested fruits by carrying out a series of promotional symposiums and meeting with local officials and business persons.
  CIFIT organizers held four promotional symposiums in Copenhagen in Denmark, Goteborg and Lulea in Sweden and Helsinki in Finland and all of them attracted attention among local residents.
  The symposium in Goteborg, carried out on April 21, attracted more than 40 representatives from 18 governmental departments, chambers of commerce and companies, such as Nordic Investment Bank and West Sweden Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
  Participants to the seminar were deeply impressed by CIFIT and many of them promised to take part in the upcoming event.
  CIFIT officials also visited 11 governmental authorities, semi-governmental organizations and big-name companies during their two-week trip, such as Danish Industry Association, Danish Chamber of Commerce, Swedish Trade Council, Invest in Sweden Agency (ISA), St Petersburg Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Scania, Compodium and Kallax Cargo.
  Upon a better understanding of CIFIT, the participants showed great interests in making full use of the opportunities created by the CIFIT.
ISA has decided to send more delegates to Xiamen, the event's host city in Southeast China's Fujian Province.
  To optimize the business activities, ISA and CIFIT will co-operate in holding the Sweden Day on this year's CIFIT.
  ISA director-general Kai Hammerich will lead a large-scale delegation to the 8th CIFIT.
  The Danish Industry Association is preparing for Danish Vice Prime Minister's China visit this Autumn. The vice prime minister is expected to attend the CIFIT during his China tour.
  Currently, Danish GPV Group, Finnish Gahmber Hasto law firm and Veramarone have confirmed to participate in CIFIT.
  Moreover, to help further introduce CIFIT, Danish Chamber of Commerce, Oslo Chamber of Commerce and St Petersburg Chamber of Commerce and Industry released information about CIFIT on their official websites.
  They also offered online links with CIFIT's web.
  Acknowledging opportunities in CIFIT, industrial and commercial insiders in St Petersburg are organizing participants to Xiamen this year.


CIFIT promoted
  The organizing committee of the 8th CIFIT promoted the upcoming fair at the 4th International Conference for Overseas Fujianese and other three trade fairs simultaneously held last month in Fuzhou, Fujian Province, making the CIFIT better known to domestic and international business people.
  The four events attracted more than 1,800 business persons from the world, most of whom showed much interest in the 8th CIFIT and their wish to seek more investment opportunities.
Liaison meeting
  The liaison department of the 8th CIFIT's organizing committee held its second liaison meeting on May 13 in the host city of Xiamen. Xiamen Vice-Mayor Huang Ling, who is also director of the department, required more efforts in inviting business people to the fair.
  At the meeting, each liaison team expressed their decision to strengthen information communication with other teams and make full use of the online business registration system.
  By now, the fair's promotion work has been going well. The organizing committee has received lots of investment informationfrom the world business community.
Market opening-up
  China encourages foreign banks to develop businesses in the country's western regions and Northeast China's traditional industrial bases, said Liu Mingkang, chairman of China Banking Regulatory Commission.
  According to its promises to WTO, China has been gradually opening up its financial market. Now foreign banks are already approved to handle RMB business with Chinese enterprises in 13 cities.
Ideal destination
  A survey on the prospect of worldwide investments, recently conducted by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, showed that China is still considered as the most attractive nation for foreign direct investment (FDI).
  The report said most multi-national companies are very optimistic about investment in Asia-Pacific areas. Almost three-fifth of the companies being surveyed believed that FDI in Asia will increased in the near future, and China is the most competitive destination for international investments in Asia and even the whole world.

By Liu Shinan
Express commentator

  Nobody had expected a miracle to happen when the US Department of Commerce held the public hearing on China's market economy status (MES) on June 3.
Although they were given the chance to reply in defence of China's stance, the Chinese representatives at the hearing were fully aware what the result would be.
  The Americans had prepared a frame for their Chinese counterparts to act within. That was the six criteria it had set for a MES. The Chinese knew they could not do anything within that frame to win the dispute.
  And sure enough, all American participants at the hearing spoke against recognizing China as a market economy.
  Some of our nationals may feel indignant at the fact that the United States have even given Russia the status although China began the drive to give up the central planning system and transit to the market economy mechanism much earlier than Russia.
  "We have practiced economic reforms for 26 years. How come we are still not a market economy?"
  These people are only too naive, to say the least. It is merely wishful thinking that Americans would take you as a bird of their feather simply because you have practiced market economy. There is always some political shadow in the minds of some Americans whenever China is concerned.
  Americans certainly can stick to their own criteria, just as Singapore, Malaysia and New Zealand had done with their criteria when they recognized China's status as a market economy.
You cannot comment on another country's criteria as to whether they are reasonable or not. What kind of a stance the country would like to take in its relationship with other countries is its own business. There is nothing to complain about; you have to learn about its ways, unless you do not want to deal with it at all.
  However, if you think you can win its favour by following its standards to the letter, you are again too naive.
  Some of the criteria required by the Americans are not yet completely met by even some developed countries, let alone by those the United States recognized in recent years. Criterion is one thing; how to implement it is another thing.
  Frankly speaking, since China accepted the condition, at its entry of the World Trade Organization in 2001, that other WTO members can regard it as a non-market economy in the following 15 years, why should the United States be so eager to grant China a MES and hence abstain the advantages the status issue gives to it in its trade frictions with China?
  The US Department of Commerce's ruling last month on what it called "dumping" of products by Chinese TV manufacturers was based on the evaluation of the production cost by using references in a surrogate country as a result of China's non-market economy status.
Ironically, most of these Chinese TV manufacturers benefited from market competition in the past decade or so to grow into China's top TV makers. And they succeeded in entering the American market without any support from the Chinese Government.
  In fact, the Americans are not pedants who are too particular about rules. The criteria for MES could be best bargaining counters the US trade officials have in negotiations with their Chinese counterparts to persuade China to open its market wider to American products.