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The CIIE is "a major policy for China to push for a new round of high-level opening-up and a major measure for China to take the initiative to open its market to the world", Xi said when delivering a keynote speech at the opening ceremony.

Lastly, he said that he will also impose strict restrictions on Chinese companies that abuse intellectual property rights.

Organisers say more than 3,000 foreign companies from 130 countries including the United States and Europe are present, including General Motors, Ford, Microsoft, Samsung, Walmart and Tesla.

China expects to import $30 trillion worth of goods and $10 trillion worth of services in the next 15 years, Mr Xi said. Last year, China imported $1.84 trillion in goods and $458 billion in services.

Xi said China would "step up" efforts to stimulate imports, lower tariffs, ease customs clearance procedures, and implement harsh punishments for intellectual property infringements, among other things.

About 600 press professionals, academics and businesspersons will participate in the International Forum on Economic Journalism and Research Centers in Shanghai, on Monday, November 5, coinciding with the inauguration of the China International Import Expo.

Official statistics show that China's total consumption expenditure stood at 43.5 trillion yuan (about $6.3 trillion) in 2017, accounting for 53.6 percent of its GDP, and consumption contributed 58.8 percent to the country's economic growth.

Inter are the only football club in the world to be taking part in the China International Import Expo in Shanghai over the coming days, a press release from the club revealed.

Although the event was meant to gather foreign companies to woo Chinese consumers, global brands from Adidas to Wal-Mart, Procter & Gamble to Uniqlo, were sending only country heads - or no senior executives at all.

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In a day full of meetings, President Kenyatta also held talks with Chinese investors eyeing opportunities at the Lamu Port.

It is not yet clear whether Xi's pledges will help to close the gap between China and its main trading partners' expectations on trade and investments. China believes in doing what has been proven to be successful, and the reform and opening up has been a success.

"It is important for us therefore to correct the existing trade imbalance to enable a fair share of the benefits of trade", he said.

"This is a great start of the first CIIE", Aspell said.

The president also announced China's decision to launch a science and technology innovation board at the Shanghai Stock Exchange and experiment with a registration system for listed companies.

"Actively expanding imports is not a temporary measure of China, but it's long-term, future-oriented strategy to promote the joint development of the world's nations", Xi said. All major countries in the world including the USA have massive trade deficits with China which is the leading exporter of the world.

As this year marks the 40th anniversary of the country's reform and opening-up policy, the Asian power, by holding the expo for imports, will try to brush aside criticism that Chinese markets are closed given that they are mainly controlled by the government.

China has a massive trade deficit with nearly every country in the world, with the value of its exports far exceeding the value of its imports.


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