Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged Friday that Beijing will remain committed to its opening-up policy amid frustrations among foreign businesses over the country's radical "zero-COVID" policy, which has disrupted economic activities.
China "pursues a mutually beneficial strategy of opening up and adheres to the right course of economic globalization," Xi said in a video speech at the opening ceremony of the fifth annual China International Import Expo in Shanghai.
"We will step up efforts to cultivate a robust domestic market, upgrade trade in goods, develop new mechanisms for trade in services, and import more quality products," Xi said. "China will work with all countries and parties to share the opportunities in its vast market."
Over 2,800 companies from 127 countries and regions will take part in the annual national-level expo for imports, which is scheduled to be held for six days through next Thursday. The event will feature many foreign businesses promoting their products bound for the market of the world's second-largest economy.
From Japan, manufacturers such as Honda Motor Co. and Panasonic Holdings Corp. as well as cosmetics maker Shiseido Co. and the Uniqlo clothing chain operator Fast Retailing Co. will participate in the event.
The government-linked Japan External Trade Organization will exhibit Japanese food and medical devices at the expo to help the country's businesses expand sales channels in China.
With China implementing its drastic COVID regulations involving lockdowns, quarantines and strict surveillance by health authorities, many foreign companies have become reluctant to boost direct investment in the Asian country.
Shanghai, the country's commercial and financial hub with a population of 25 million, was under lockdown for about two months through late May, disrupting domestic supply chains and logistics operations.