CHICAGO — While some Western countries have erected trade barriers and used the global trade system for non-economic goals in recent years, the China International Import Expo (CIIE) is “a welcome change” against the trend, a US scholar has said.
“China is the only country that has taken concrete steps to open its economy to free trade and investment,” said Khairy Tourk, professor of economics with the Stuart School of Business at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, in a recent interview with Xinhua.
The global economy last year experienced a recession due to the COVID-19 pandemic, while since March this year, the world has faced with the danger of both inflation and stagflation.
“Many nations have felt that the future looks rather grim, and this is particularly true for developing nations,” Tourk commented.
The CIIE is a positive step that has boosted the morale and confidence of these nations, said Tourk, noting that “China has changed from being the factory of the world to being the largest marketplace in the world.”
The expo is of particular importance to developing nations. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, “these nations have suffered a reduction in GDP growth, a decline in the prices of their main exports and raw materials,” the scholar pointed out.
Nations, rich or poor, are bound to benefit largely from innovative forums like the CIIE, he continued, adding that Chinese consumers are going to be one of the major pillars responsible for global growth during the 21st century.
“In the near future as its consumption goes up, China’s contribution to global growth will be larger than it is now,” Tourk stressed. “This is good news for everyone.”
Tourk said China’s opening-up measures can be also seen in the Belt and Road Initiative and its participation in COVAX, a global campaign led by the World Health Organization working with governments and manufacturers to ensure that COVID-19 vaccines are available worldwide.
“Many nations are grateful for China’s help with vaccines and medical equipment,” he said.
Tourk also rebuked talks of decoupling the US economy from the Chinese economy, saying that an increasing number of businesses and nations participating in the CIIE year by year is a rejection of the call.
The many different trade and aid policies being pursued by China globally have been heavily criticised but can developing countries become more independent or will China’s policy reform?