The inaugural China International Consumer Products Expo opened in Haikou, Hainan province, on Friday. The first national-level expo presenting consumer products from around the world, the three-day event not only provides a window with which to view China’s huge consumption market but also serves to connect the internal and external circulations, helping other countries to share the opportunities of the Chinese market and China to offer the world more of its consumer products.
That the 50,000 tickets for the expo’s public open day sold out long before the start of the expo shows Chinese consumers’ passion and demand for middle and high-end consumption.
With its average per capita gross domestic product exceeding $10,000, China’s middle-income group has swelled to more than 400 million people, and the demand for better products and services is growing.
The 2020 Central Economic Work Conference has emphasized that the efforts to improve people’s livelihoods should be combined with those to boost consumption.
With its success in controlling the novel coronavirus, China’s consumption has been rapidly recovering. During the five-day May Day holiday, more than 230 million domestic trips were made, generating tourism revenue of 113.23 billion yuan ($17.61 billion), about 77 percent of that of the same period before the COVID-19 pandemic. And, in the first quarter, the total retail sales of consumer goods reached 10.52 trillion yuan, up 33.9 percent year-on-year, and an increase of 8.5 percent compared with the same period of 2019.
Highlighting the appeal of the expanding Chinese market, the expo has attracted 1,365 brands of 648 enterprises from 69 countries and regions which are showcasing merchandise ranging from food and health products to jewelry and yachts.
The favorable policies of the Hainan free trade port can help the country explore a new path to exploit its consumption potential. The event is set to inject new impetus into the transformation of the island province of Hainan into an international tourism consumption center.
At the same time, the expo should remind the business and market regulators of the urgency of improving the consumption environment and experience at home, and strengthening the protection of consumers’ rights.
By holding the expo as scheduled, China is conveying a clear message to the world that it will continue to honor its commitments to further opening-up, and that the Chinese market has the potential to help drive the recovery of the global economy.