BEIJING, Dec. 24 (Xinhua) -- As the year 2018 draws to an end, China's imports are expected to surpass 2 trillion U.S. dollars, a record high.
Another piece of good news: nearly 200,000 square meters of exhibition area have been booked for the second China International Import Expo (CIIE) next year.
According to China's official Customs data, China's imports increased 14.6 percent year-on-year in the first 11 months of 2018. The expected 2 trillion dollars in imports equals the gross domestic product (GDP) of either Brazil or Italy in 2017.
The robust growth of imports and the success of the inaugural CIIE in Shanghai last month illustrate China's success in ramping up imports and the role the world has played in China's policy of reform and opening-up.
China this year has lowered tariffs on an array of products, ranging from medicines to vehicles, bringing down the general duty level from 9.8 percent to 7.5.
Beijing's resolve to boost imports have sent a strong message to the international community that China is committed to reform and opening-up.
According to China's Ministry of Commerce, lower tariffs, easier customs clearance and improved car import policies could be expected next year. The Asian country is delivering on its commitment to supporting free trade, bolstering openness in the world economy and safeguarding a multilateral trading system.
The strong momentum seen in China's imports has inspired a world economy struggling with the rising tide of trade protectionism.
At the CIIE in Shanghai, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev noted that China in recent years has become a massive market for consumption and of great significance for multinationals.
In his speech addressing the opening of the CIIE, Chinese President Xi Jinping said China's imported goods and services are estimated to exceed 200 trillion U.S. dollars and 10 trillion dollars, respectively, in the next 15 years.
Moreover, the spike in imports is a clear indication that China is moving steadily towards consumption-led economic growth while enjoying an expanding role in the global economy.
"China is already the world's largest exporter and is catching up to the U.S. on import volumes. The resulting trade relationships that China develops add to its global leverage," AFP commented recently.
Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Christine Lagarde said at the CIIE that China's economic transition is good for China and good for the world.
In the future, China's determination to increase imports will create a more open and inclusive world economy, where the benefits of development can be broadly shared.