Chinese Premier Li Keqiang to Deliver Speech at Trade Forum

Canton Fair
Photo: Canton Fair

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang will deliver the keynote speech at the opening of the 130th biannual China Import and Export Fair today.

The China Import and Export Fair, better known as the Canton Fair, is one of the largest trade fairs in the world. This will be the first fair since it closed at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the organizers, the fair will be heavily focused on the dual circulation economic strategy introduced by Chairman Xi Jinping last year. The strategy is an attempt to become industrially self-sufficient through vertical domestic integration of production—i.e., centralizing supply chains within the country—while still boosting external demand in Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) countries. It has been proposed in response to the effects of the trade war with the US and the pandemic’s disruption of international supply chains.

Dual circulation still may have a long way to go as key Chinese industries still lag behind their international competitors. The Chinese semiconductor industry, for example, still trails Taiwanese semiconductor manufacturer TSMC. Li, who has been sidelined on economic policy since 2020, is likely to toe the party line in his speech, emphasizing the need for self-sufficiency.

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