ibusinesslines.com November 18, 2018

Xi Jinping pledges to cut Chinese import tariffs

06 November 2018, 03:45 | Erica Roy

China's Xi promises market opening as import fair begins

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

The results - largely a bellwether of Mr Trump's policy success amongst voters - could impact Washington's approach toward China at a time when relations between the world's two largest economies have dipped to an all-time low.

Microsoft founder Bill Gates (C) talks with World Bank President Jim Yong Kim (L) before the opening ceremony for the first China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai on November 5, 2018.

The partnership will also include other Kenyan universities besides exploring opportunities in agricultural value addition.

On his part, the Chinese leader gave a firm assurance that China will take proactive measures to correct the trade imbalance between Kenya and China.

While Xi pledged to import US$30 trillion of good over the next 15 years - up from US$24 trillion in previous estimates - his policy initiatives were largely in line with previous statements.

China will launch its first-ever International Import Expo in Shanghai on Monday amid the backdrop of the Sino-US trade spat, Xinhua news agency reported.

"This provides huge opportunity to increase our exports to China which is further supported by the tariff war between U.S. and China", said Ajay Sahai, director general, FIEO.

U.S. President Donald Trump has railed against China for what he sees as intellectual property theft, entry barriers to U.S. business and a gaping U.S. trade deficit.

Prime ministers and other senior officials of governments including Egypt, Hungary, Pakistan and Vietnam also were attending the fair.

"Overall, favorable conditions are in place for the long-term, healthy and steady growth of the Chinese economy", Xi said.

China is using the Expo to showcase its willingness to open up its market to other countries.

The trade pact came days after Kenya reversed a move to ban tilapia fish exports from China. "After more than 5,000 years of hardship, China is still here".

"A storm can overturn a small pond, but not a sea", he said. But it is "unlikely to have much impact" on its politically sensitive trade balance with the United States.

The trade showdown between Beijing and Washington has led each side to slap hundreds of billions of dollars in tariffs on each others' goods.

Xi reportedly did not name Trump or the USA, but his target was apparent to all.

"With little prospect for legislative action, the White House might become even more focused on issues where it can act unilaterally, like tariffs", Goldman Sachs wrote in a note in August.

The US and European Union business lobbies in China, and the French and German ambassadors to Beijing, last week called on China to use the expo to announce concrete change.

At an Alibaba cloud computing event in September, Ma predicted that the future of the manufacturing industry will be in New Manufacturing, where data and the internet will help manufacturers better cater to their consumers by producing customised pieces and creating "2,000 pieces of clothing that are different in five minutes", as opposed to mass-producing an item.

Governments including Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand have scrapped or scaled back projects.

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