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Across China: Imports rise as China opens market wider

Updated: 2019-04-06


In a trading center in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality, ginseng produced in Wisconsin in the United States attracts a huge number of buyers.

"We signed our import order at last year's China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai, and we expect to do great ginseng business here," said the shop owner.

China is opening its market wider. At the CIIE, the government pledged to import more than 30 trillion dollars worth of commodities and 10 trillion dollars worth of services in the next 15 years.

The policy has allowed more imported commodities to flow into the Chinese market.

At the trading center in Chongqing, business woman Liu Xiaomin sells sunflower seed oil imported from Ukraine. She snapped up her order at the ICCE too.

"I decided to acquire the exclusive rights to sell the oil in China, because I knew the huge market potential here," Liu said.

About 45,000 commodities from more than 40 countries, including Russia, Italy and France, can be found at the center. The center currently has 15 major stores, and five more will open soon. With improved logistics, the goods can be sent to various localities in China, or be purchased by individuals at the site.

"We have seen significantly more imports recently," said Qi Dan, with a logistics company in Chongqing. "The freight we transport includes wood and sea cucumbers from Russia, wine from France and clothes from Italy."

Meanwhile, the number of China-Europe freight trains is also rising. According to official figures, by March 25 this year, a total of 3,322 train journeys were made between Chongqing and Europe. The returning trains carry many foreign goods.

In the first two months of this year, China's imports totaled 2.12 trillion yuan (316 billion U.S. dollars), up 1.5 percent year on year.

Last month, the National People's Congress passed the foreign investment law, a landmark legislation that will provide stronger protection and a better business environment for overseas investors. The law will become effective on Jan. 1, 2020.

Akos Kovacs, the general manager of a logistics company based in Hungary, plans to bring fresh agricultural products from his country, as well as those from neighboring countries, to China.

"We expect more and more Chinese customers as the market opens wider," he said.


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