Daltium attends Expo
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Daltium attends Expo

Daltium, the international wealth management company from Guangzhou, will be one of the partly foreign-owned businesses attending on the sidelines of the China International Import Expo in Shanghai. One subject Daltium aims to discuss relates to financial services and the roles played by international and non-Chinese companies.

Beijing is trying to re-assure international businesses that the country does want open trade, as concerns rise that the new ‘dual circulation’ strategy will mean China becomes more inward-looking, said a representative from Daltium. While we are not an importer, we have been invited to provide insight into how a company with a significant non-Chinese workforce successfully operates in China, she added.

The country’s new development structure is “definitely not a closed domestic circulation, but a more open dual circulation between foreign and domestic markets,” Chinese President Xi said at the expo opening. The strategy won’t only address China’s own need for growth, “but will also bring benefits to all countries around the world.”

The President’s speech was watched closely, especially as it coincided with the U.S. election and the shock of what would’ve been the world’s biggest dual stock-market listing being pulled just 48 hours before the launch. We were as surprised by the Ant Group IPO being suspended as the next person, the Daltium representative commented.

Xi did not refer to either event, instead staying with broad commitments to economic relaxation as China’s growth model faces growing challenges from the United States. The China International Import Expo comes less than a week after the CCP revealed development blueprints for the period until 2035 that highlighted the importance of self-reliance in technology and enhancing the domestic market.

President Xi’s speech happened only shortly after polls closed in the United States. With relations with the U.S. continuing to deteriorate this year due to the pandemic and trade issues, Xi made what was interpreted as criticism of the U.S.

“Covid-19 is a clear reminder that all countries are a community with a shared future. Nobody can stay immune in a major crisis,” he said. “We need to link hands instead of throwing punches at each other. And we need to talk rather than insult each other, given the common interests that bind us.”

Xi has previously used the expo to restate China’s commitment to economic openness and global trading. During the inaugural event two years ago, Xi announced plans to establish a Chinese variant of Nasdaq in Shanghai, in an apparent bid to encourage domestic innovation and lessen reliance on American technology. The Shanghai Stock Exchange STAR Market, or Star board for short, has since emerged as the primary venue to list China’s leading tech companies, with Ant booked to make its debut there until regulators postponed that IPO.

China has been leveraging the expo to showcase its demand potential for quality goods and services and attract foreign direct investment (FDI). Multibillion-dollar deals have been made at previous expos, although a lot of them failed to come to anything, said Daltium, adding that the coronavirus pandemic has partly been to blame for some of the deals not being honored that were signed last year.

Xi announced that China would import goods valued at over $22 trillion over the next ten years. While that may be good news to the exporters from around the world who were at the expo, it doesn’t represent a significant increase in real trade flows. China imported about $2 trillion worth of goods in each of the last two years, but the pandemic means that trade imports had actually dropped in 2020.

Xi also said he would keep shrinking the so-called negative lists for investment, which restricts specific sectors from foreign involvement and cut the list of restricted technology imports.

Many international companies, including some leading companies in the pharmaceutical, medical, dairy, automotive, and construction sectors have signed up to attend the expo, which also has numerous business seminars and forums on the sidelines, some of which Daltium will attend.

Top executives of many multi-national companies and foreign state leaders will join virtually via video link. Those who attend in person will face mandatory Covid testing and temperature monitoring. Social distancing is also required, and the government will make sure that the total number of people in the venue does not exceed 30% of its capacity. The expo ends on November 10th.

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