The Chinese Government will continue to encourage and support Chinese Enterprises in promoting Outbound Investment Cooperation abiding by International norms, Ministry of Commerce Spokesman Gao Feng said at a Regular Press Briefing.

According to data released by the ministry on Thursday, China’s non-financial direct investment in other countries reached 480.45 billion yuan (around 68.48 billion U.S. dollars) in the first eight months of this year.

The investment cooperation between China and other countries along the Belt & Road also went ahead steadily from January to August, as data showed.

Despite the rise of anti-globalization and protectionism, China’s outbound investment cooperation will inject strong impetus to world economic recovery, noted Gao.

“China’s position is consistent on the outbound investment cooperation of Chinese enterprises. The COVID-19 pandemic is still spreading around the globe and the world economy is in a downturn”.

“International trade and investment have also shrunk substantially, while unilateralism and trade protectionism, as well as uncertainties and instabilities, are on the rise. Despite all these factors, in the long term, it is still the universal consensus of countries around the world to strengthen development cooperation,” he noted.

The Belt & Road Initiative, referring to the proposal to build a Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, was proposed by China in 2013 to improve policy coordination, connectivity of facilities, unimpeded trade, financial integration, and strengthened people-to-people exchanges on a trans-continental scale.

Regarding the 128th edition of the China Import and Export Fair, also known as the Canton Fair, Gao said the preparation is steadily underway for the event scheduled for Oct. 15-24 in an online form.

Like the previous one, the 128th Canton Fair will set up 50 exhibition areas on its website with 16 major categories of commodities. A special block on the website will also be portioned out for promoting the country’s pilot zones of cross-border e-commerce.

“In terms of inviting procurers, we will continue to step up the invitation work and expand the range. While holding a series of activities including ‘cloud promotion,’ ‘cloud invitation’ and ‘cloud signing,’ we will also conduct promotion activities through world-renown social media platforms and search engines to try to invite more buyers to participate online,” said Gao.

Held every spring and autumn in Guangzhou, the Canton Fair is widely seen as a barometer of China’s foreign trade. It has become China’s largest comprehensive international trade fair with the longest history, most commodities and customers, and the best trading results since its establishment in 1957.

The 127th edition of the fair, switching to an online mode for the first time due to the COVID-19 pandemic, was from June 15 to 24.