* Scheduled for Nov. 5-10 in Shanghai, the expo showcases China’s new development paradigm, a platform for high-standard opening up, and a public good for the whole world.
* The CIIE this year is expected to attract guests from 154 countries, regions and international organizations. Over 3,400 exhibitors and 394,000 professional visitors have registered to attend the event, representing a full recovery to pre-pandemic levels.
* Sixty-nine countries and three international organizations have confirmed their participation in the Country Exhibitions, among which 11 countries for the first time.
* The previous five expos have seen about 350 billion U.S. dollars worth of tentative deals.
BEIJING, Nov. 4 (Xinhua) — With the sixth edition of the China International Import Expo (CIIE) just around the corner, exhibitors eagerly await the vast opportunities provided through the high-level expo.
From international giants like Nestle and LEGO to a Tanzanian seaweed farmer’s single shop, participants worldwide are gearing up to welcome hundreds of thousands of visitors.
“The expo will definitely open doors for seaweed products to the huge Chinese market,” said 58-year-old Saphia Hashim Makame, a seaweed farmer since 1998. “With the exhibition of seaweed products at the expo, my journey to finding global markets has just begun,” she said when she learned her seaweed products will, for the first time, be exhibited at the expo.
Scheduled for Nov. 5-10 in Shanghai, the expo showcases China’s new development paradigm, a platform for high-standard opening up, and a public good for the whole world.
This photo taken on Oct. 31, 2023 shows a street view outside the venue for the 6th China International Import Expo (CIIE) in east China’s Shanghai. (Xinhua/Wang Xiang)
The CIIE this year is expected to attract guests from 154 countries, regions and international organizations. Over 3,400 exhibitors and 394,000 professional visitors have registered to attend the event, representing a full recovery to pre-pandemic levels.
Among the 3,000 global companies participating this year, roughly 200 companies have been to every expo since 2018, and around 400 companies are returning to the expo after a gap of more than two years.
China is offering opportunities to foreign enterprises by allowing them to access its large market through exhibitions like the CIIE, said Frandan Tumukunde, a coffee practitioner from Uganda.
According to his company’s research, the Chinese market has been expanding, and that will stimulate the interest of small and medium-sized enterprises in Uganda and across Africa.
As China is one of New Zealand’s dairy giant Fonterra’s most important strategic markets, the company has increased both its booth area and the number of contracts it has signed at CIIE over the years, said Teh-han Chow, Fonterra’s Greater China CEO.
“I think the Chinese market will grow very fast compared to other countries, and there is a big potential for exporters to find the customers,” said Marek Vyskocil, founder of BlueTouch Export, a Czech drinks exporter attending the expo for the sixth time. “I expect we will again meet more people, and maybe more people like to buy our wine from the warehouse we have in China.”
Nestle will also participate in the CIIE for the sixth consecutive time, looking forward to continuing industry exchanges and communicating with consumers online and offline through various forms, said Zhang Xiqiang, executive vice president of the Swiss food giant.
This year, Nestle will bring imported products from 10 core business units to the expo, including dairy products, infant nutrition, espresso coffee and pet food, Zhang said.
Expecting to unlock the potential of China’s growing toy market, global toy giant LEGO plans to highlight the role of playing in shaping a child’s confidence, cognitive abilities and overall wellbeing as it attends the event for the sixth time.
“We have been active in seizing the market opportunities provided by the CIIE by offering the latest quality products and play experience to Chinese consumers,” said Paul Huang, senior vice president of the LEGO Group and general manager of LEGO China.
“It’s a manifestation of our long-term commitment to the Chinese market, which we will continue exploring,” Huang added.
The Singapore Business Federation (SBF) will lead a delegation of over 500 senior business representatives from 56 Singaporean companies in search of fresh market opportunities.
“The CIIE remains an essential platform for Singapore businesses to grow in the Chinese market, particularly in high-growth areas such as digital innovation and sustainability,” said Kok Ping Soon, CEO of the SBF.
This photo taken on Oct. 31, 2023 shows the south square of the National Exhibition and Convention Center (Shanghai), the main venue for the 6th China International Import Expo (CIIE), in east China’s Shanghai. (Xinhua/Wang Xiang)
Official data showed that China’s imports have maintained sound momentum, with import volume expanding quarter by quarter this year. China has been the world’s second-largest import market for 14 consecutive years.
“The expo shows that China is open for business with the rest of the world. It’s a great opportunity for multinationals such as Henkel to showcase our technologies,” said Rajat Agarwal, president of Henkel Greater China, adding that China is a huge market with strong growth potential for trade, filled with various exciting opportunities.
Roula Ali Adeeb, founder of BioCham company for natural oil extracts, has participated at the CIIE since its inception in 2018. The Syrian businesswoman said the expo has offered a significant opportunity to catapult her brand into the bustling Chinese market.
She said that with support from the Chinese government, the company has set a foothold in the vast Chinese market thanks to the reduced costs.
The CIIE is a great platform to connect exporters with potential buyers and investors, said Thiru Naidoo, senior trade manager for the Middle East and Asia of the Western Cape Tourism, Trade, and Investment Promotion Agency (Wesgro) in South Africa, highlighting the substantial benefits it offers to her country’s exporters.
Elly Twineyo, executive director of Uganda Export Promotion Board, said China provides opportunities for all nations beyond their bilateral relations with the Asian country.
Besides offering opportunities for emerging and developing economies, the CIIE is also a networking platform where Chinese enterprises can partner with foreign companies to provide products or services for the Chinese or global markets, Twineyo said.
People visit the booth of toy giant LEGO Group at the Consumer Goods exhibition area during the third China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai, east China, Nov. 7, 2020. (Xinhua/Zhang Jiansong)
Sixty-nine countries and three international organizations have confirmed their participation in the Country Exhibitions, among which 11 countries for the first time.
The previous five expos have seen about 350 billion U.S. dollars worth of tentative deals.
Phumtham Wechayachai, deputy prime minister of Thailand, said that the CIIE reflects the strengthened cooperation among China, Thailand and other participating countries.
“The CIIE serves the goal of importing various products and expanding relationships,” he said.
CIIE also allows smaller and less influential countries to grow together, said Phumtham, noting that China treats other countries equally and “emphasizes the importance of fostering cooperation.”
The expo is “an important measure for China to open its market to the world and promote economic and trade exchanges and cooperation with other countries,” said Nestle’s Zhang.
As an efficient and innovative platform, “the CIIE marks China’s continued opening up of its domestic market and its efforts to further integrate with the world. It also demonstrates China’s determination to promote new consumption trends,” Zhang told Xinhua.
Being an “important measure for China to support trade liberalization and economic globalization,” the CIIE practices genuine multilateralism and builds more open consensus, thus being particularly valuable for the economic development of today’s world, he said.
“The CIIE also witnessed important moments when we signed contracts and cooperated with many industry partners. At the fifth CIIE, Nestle and (German pharmaceutical giant) Bayer signed a cooperation deal on a rice regenerative agriculture project, the first global cooperation project landed in China between the two parties,” Zhang said.
Abu Bakr al-Deeb, an advisor to the Cairo-based Arab Center for Research and Studies, called the CIIE “a bright spot for activating world trade and economic globalization” and seeks to break “unipolarity.”
Al-Deeb believes that the CIIE opens wider doors for international companies, emerging businesses and medium-sized firms to find a place in the massive consuming market in China, the world’s second-largest economy and second-largest importer.
He pointed out that China’s opening-up policy benefits the global economy, emphasizing China’s significance as a global player, adding that China’s opening-up and developmental track record has won the confidence of many countries.
Al-Deeb said that international partners can benefit from China’s development, steady growth and visionary initiatives to deepen international cooperation.
The expo constitutes “a great opportunity to increase international trade exchange and movement,” the expert told Xinhua.
(Video reporters: Lin Wei, Zhang Mengjie, Lin Jing; video editors: Jia Xiaotong, Li Qin, Zheng Xin, Wei Yin, Hong Yan and Lin Lin) ■