efe-epaShanghai, China

The president of the Dominican Republic on Monday urged China to balance commercial trade better at the inauguration of the first China International Import Expo held in Shanghai.

Danilo Medina hoped to showcase his country's products in the Asian country through the expo and said that such initiatives would facilitate trade balance among countries.

Medina said the country's presence in the event will help strengthen relations between the two countries.

Dominican Republic had broken off diplomatic ties with Taiwan in favor of China in May.

Medina's speech came after the Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke against protectionism and unilateralism and defended greater economic openness during the event, which is being attended by more than 3,000 companies from more than 130 countries.

Although, the Dominican Republic and China did not have diplomatic ties before May, commercial exchanges between the countries stood at nearly $2 billion dollars.

Several other world leaders, including the President of El Salvador Salvador Sanchez Ceren and President of Panama Juan Carlos Varela also attended the inauguration of the expo.