CHONGQING, Aug. 23 (Xinhua) -- The China-Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Forum on the Digital Economy Industry and the Smart China Expo 2021 commenced Monday in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality amid strict epidemic control measures.
The expo is the fourth edition since its inauguration in 2018. As the global spread of the Delta variant led to a new wave of domestic coronavirus cluster infections, the expo is deemed a concrete manifestation of China's comprehensive, multi-level, and diversified pattern of opening-up and cooperation.
More than 610 companies from 31 countries and regions, including Huawei, iFLYTEK, Alibaba, and Intel, are at the three-day smart industry expo for online or offline exhibitions. Guests from all SCO countries and relevant SCO bodies are attending the forum online or offline.
To effectively prevent and control the epidemic, exhibitors and staff must wear masks and present their health and travel codes and a copy of negative nucleic acid test results taken within 48 hours. They must also check their temperature before entering the exhibition hall.
Facing the COVID-19 pandemic, China proposed to foster a new development paradigm of "dual circulation," which allows domestic and overseas markets to reinforce each other, with the domestic market as the mainstay.
"We stand firm in our commitment to opening-up and cooperation, and will continue to expand new space and share development opportunities of the digital economy," said Xiao Yaqing, Minister of Industry and Information Technology, when addressing the opening ceremony.
"The possibilities offered by the digital revolution are cross-cutting and limited only by our imagination," said Singapore's Minister of Communications and Information and Second Minister for Home Affairs Josephine Teo when addressing the ceremony via video link.
"Only by working together can we fully unlock the potential of digital technologies," she added.
Since July, China has held a series of international expos and events such as the World Artificial Intelligence Conference, the China-Arab States Expo, and the Global Digital Economy Conference.
Central and local authorities have confirmed that several major expos, including the China International Fair for Trade in Services and the China International Import Expo, will be held as scheduled, with a common aim to deliver the country's opening-up promises.
The latest data showed that China's gross domestic product expanded by 12.7 percent year on year in the first half of 2021 as recovery continues to consolidate, powering global economic expansion amid the raging pandemic.
"Economic globalization remains a historical trend," said Ruan Zongze, executive vice-president of the China Institute of International Studies.
China's firm determination to open up wider and share development opportunities of its economic recovery will fuel the growth of the world economy under grave and complex circumstances, said Ruan. Enditem