WTO DG Azevêdo and President Xi participate in opening ceremony of China International Import Expo

Director-General Roberto Azevêdo joined Chinese President Xi Jinping and other world leaders at the opening ceremony of the second China International Import Expo, held in Shanghai from 5 to 10 November. The theme of this year’s fair is “Opening-up and Innovation for Win-win Co-operation”.

In his address to the gathering, DG Azevêdo said the Expo sent a clear message about the importance of imports.

 “For decades, predictably open international markets have allowed countries and companies to specialize and devote more resources to what they do well. The result has been growth, development, and unprecedented reductions in poverty. Our economies have become closely intertwined: today around two-thirds of all exports contain imported components,” he underlined.

The Director-General warned that the ongoing trade tensions had become a major drag on investment and economic output, with data pointing to a sharp deceleration in global trade growth.

He urged governments to work together to define a credible path towards a more stable, more predictable trading system. Doing so would encourage investment, boosting growth and job creation.

 “Only cooperation can break the vicious circle of uncertainty, underinvestment, and slow growth, and deliver pro-openness ‘win-win’ outcomes.”. His full speech is available here

The WTO is participating in the Expo, along with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, at the invitation of the Government of China.