China is making great efforts to open up its economy. An important milestone along China’s path of trade liberalization is the China International Import Expo (CIIE) I attended last week. The expo in Shanghai was the first-ever import-themed expo in China and aimed to actively open the Chinese market to the world.
We did not only present Merck’s latest products at the CIIE, but also hold dialogues with our key stakeholders to fully embed into the vibrant local innovation ecosystem.
As you could already read in my blog last week “Innovating together in China”, I had the opportunity to talk to key stakeholders from Chinese government departments as well as industrial and trade associations. Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany proudly participated at this expo to showcase a wide range of products and technologies from our three core businesses Healthcare, Life Science and Performance Materials. Besides attending the grand opening ceremony and taking part in an innovation talk, I also listened to the speech of the Chinese President Xi which really impressed me. Now, I fully understand China’s support for free trade globalization and opening-up. And I have great respect for the huge ambitions of the Chinese government in cooperating with other countries – especially in a time when protectionism and unilateralism are resurging in several regions in the world.
Holding the CIIE is an important step in this regard. By hosting more than 3,500 companies from all over the world, the CIIE underlines China’s intentions to increase its business with the rest of the world and to promote trade liberalization and economic globalization. Over the last months, China has further reduced investments restrictions and continued to advance opening-up in all sectors. I am convinced that all countries should stick to innovation and uphold the principle of inclusive development and shared benefits. In his speech President Xi emphasized that China’s recent efforts in opening its economy are not a temporary arrangement, but a long-term consideration. He promised that his country will further lower import tariffs and broaden market access.
Investing in a vibrant innovation ecosystem
For all these reasons China is a very important market for Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. Therefore, we will continue to invest in China, strengthen our collaboration with our Chinese partners and explore opportunities for new partnerships, because we believe that China will further improve its business environment and intellectual property protection. Only recently have we taken another important step in this direction. We have signed an agreement with the Guangzhou Development District to establish an innovation hub in Guangzhou, that will strengthen Merck’s footprint in China’s vibrant ecosystem of innovation. I will report on our new innovation hub in my next blog article. So, stay tuned!