The 10-year-old China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS) is a “good platform” that brings Chinese and other global enterprises together, said a Zimbabwean expert.
“It’s a great initiative that has been going on for years whereby the services sector in China and the world meet to have business convergence of trade in services,” Donald Rushambwa, a researcher at Harare-based China-Africa Economic and Culture Exchange Research Center, told Xinhua in a recent interview on the sidelines of the ongoing 2022 CIFTIS.
This year’s CIFTIS, themed “Cooperate for Better Development, Innovate for a Greener Future,” features increased internationalization with the participation of more than 2,400 companies, including over 400 Global Fortune 500 companies and industry-leading enterprises. It will run through Monday.
Noting an ever-deepening trade relations between China and Africa, and between China and Zimbabwe in particular, Rushambwa said Zimbabwe very much welcomes events like the CIFTIS, which can help the country’s services sector be more involved in the global village, and “tap into the global market and the vast market in China.”
“Exhibitions such as the CIFTIS provide platforms for companies and services providers like us whereby we can go and export our services and give the Chinese community what we can offer as Zimbabweans,” he said.
Rushambwa noted that China has embraced significant development ever since its reform and opening up in 1978. “It has implemented free trade zones, it has special economic zones, and they have been doing quite good,” he said, adding that China’s opening up has enabled its market to be more connected with the global economy.
Meanwhile, the rest of the world has benefited from China’s opening up, which is a practice of multilateralism, he said.
China’s market, which has already been a “considerable” one that “every business in the world would want to be part of,” is also “a template for Africa to develop itself,” Rushambwa said.
He warned that protectionism poses “a big challenge to the world economy”.
In contrary, China’s opening up shows that “openness and cooperation is the only way out,” Rushambwa said.
As a developing country hit hard by both the pandemic and an ensuing economic slowdown, Zimbabwe needs helplines and China is giving one, he noted.
“The challenges have to come with a balance of the solutions, and China is presenting those solutions to making the world economy a favorable place for all countries, for developing and developed countries, to work together as one,” he added.