Expectations had been low that Xi would announce bold new policies of the kind that many foreign governments and businesses have been seeking.
The European Union, which shares U.S. concerns over China's trade practices if not Trump's tariff strategy to address them, on Thursday called on China to take concrete steps to further open its market to foreign firms and provide a level playing field, adding that it would not sign up to any political statement at the forum.
With little in the way of fresh policies from Xi on Monday, all eyes now turn to an expected meeting between him and Trump at the G-20 summit in Argentina at the end of the month.
"It seems like what (Xi) is actually doing is saving up all of his goodies to trade away with Trump as opposed to doing anything unilateral," said Scott Kennedy, a Chinese economic expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
"Now everything is focused on the G-20."
Trump has said that if a deal is not made with China, he could impose tariffs on another $267 billion of Chinese imports into the United States.
In a sign the trade row is starting to bite, export orders to the United States recorded during China's biggest trade show, the Canton Fair in October, dropped 30.3 percent from a year earlier by value, the fair's organiser China Foreign Trade Center said.
Presidents or prime ministers from 17 countries were set to attend the expo, ranging from Russia and Pakistan to the Cook Islands, though none from major Western nations. Government ministers from several other countries were also coming, but no senior U.S. officials were set to attend.
Swiss President Alain Berset did not make the trip to China, despite being announced as among attendees by China's foreign ministry last week. The Swiss government said in a statement to Reuters on Sunday that his visit had never been confirmed.
Some Western diplomats and businesses have been quietly critical of the expo, arguing it is window dressing to what they see as Beijing's long-standing trade abuses.
Exhibitors from around 140 countries and regions will be on hand, including 404 from Japan, the most of any country. From the United States, some 136 exhibitors will attend, including Google, Dell, Ford, and General Electric.
A handful of countries are being represented by a single exhibitor selling one product.
For Iraq, it's crude oil. Iran, saffron. Jamaica will be marketing its famed blue mountain coffee and Chad is selling bauxite. Tiny São Tomé is selling package holidays.