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A right step toward a more open world

By He Wei in Shanghai | China Daily | Updated: 2018-10-20 00:06
Logos and mascots of the upcoming China International Import Expo are seen on the streets in Shanghai. Right: Workers perform landscaping at the National Exhibition and Convention Center (Shanghai). photos by gao erqiang / china daily

A total of 81 countries have confirmed their attendance at the upcoming Nov 5 to 10 China International Import Expo in Shanghai, including 12 countries recognized as guests of honor and more than 280 foreign officials of vice-minister level and above, according to the latest data released by the China International Import Expo Bureau.

 The event will feature some 2,800 companies showcasing their latest products in the dedicated enterprise exhibition areas. These companies come from places including G20 member states and nearly 60 economies involved in the Belt and Road Initiative, according to Chen Xiao, an official with the bureau.

Mario Antonio de Araujo, deputy consul-general of Brazil in Shanghai, said that four ministers and 90 Brazilian enterprises will attend the event.

"The Brazilian government thinks that the CIIE is a very, very important event to improve the relationship among all the countries in terms of trade," he said. "We are privileged to have this strategic relationship with China and want to maintain and improve it. The event is an important step in achieving this aim."

Noting that his country is a "supporter of multilateralism of all levels", the deputy consul-general added that the expo will strengthen relations among all countries involved, which is conducive to global economic prosperity.

Dimitri Pires Ribeiro, a trade officer at the Consulate General of Portugal in Shanghai, believes that the CIIE presents a win-win opportunity for China and foreign nations, saying that Portuguese businesses can leverage the event to exploit their strength in sectors such as food and beverage, tourism and automotive. He added that 12 Portuguese business associations spanning six sectors will be present at the show.

"It's a big opportunity for Chinese consumers and companies to understand what each country has to offer. Meanwhile, the event will allow foreign companies to identify new trends, products and technologies and apply them to the Chinese market," he said.

Logos and mascots of the upcoming China International Import Expo are seen on the streets in Shanghai. Right: Workers perform landscaping at the National Exhibition and Convention Center (Shanghai). photos by gao erqiang / china daily

Nigeria, which will bring its agriculture, oil and gas, and manufacturing solutions, is looking to deepen the level of cooperation and take bilateral trade and investment up a notch through the CIIE, said Jemine Memuduaghan, deputy regional investment and trade commissioner of the Consulate General of Nigeria in Shanghai.

"We are ready for the event and  are planning to organize a trade forum on the sidelines of the meeting," he said. "It's going to be successful. Major Chinese companies like Huawei and ZTE already have a presence in Nigeria. We expect to further increase trade and investment."

Designed to be a world-class event on a par with the most renowned exhibitions in the world, the inaugural import expo combines country exhibitions, enterprise exhibitions and forums to promote free trade and an open global economy.

The event, which will be held at the National Exhibition and Convention Center (Shanghai), was first announced in 2017 by President Xi Jinping, who called it "an important policy statement and action demonstrating China's embrace of greater openness".

To deepen engagement between merchants and buyers, host city Shanghai is scheduled to kick off 30 investment promotion activities held in October and November, said Luo Zhisong, director of foreign affairs at the municipal commission of commerce.

"Covering a broad range of themes like smart manufacturing, commerce and finance, and cultural creativity, these meetings are coupled with 45 customized city tour routes that aim to give international merchants a deeper understanding of the city and its various industrial strengths," Luo said.

United States-based Mondelez International Inc, the company behind the iconic Oreo cookie, will showcase a host of chocolates and other snacks during the fair. It will also partner with Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd through content marketing endeavors to impress Chinese customers, said Wu Gang, a company representative on government affairs in East China.

"As a global company, we will introduce delicacies produced elsewhere to China, while many Made-in-China items are exported overseas," he said. "Clearly, we stand to benefit the most from global trade integration."

Logos and mascots of the upcoming China International Import Expo are seen on the streets in Shanghai. Right: Workers perform landscaping at the National Exhibition and Convention Center (Shanghai). photos by gao erqiang / china daily

Japanese automation conglomerate Omron Corp will exhibit its table tennis robot that is powered by sensing and control technologies to Chinese and international audiences during the CIIE. The prototype leverages deep learning time-series analysis and synchronized control, technologies that can be widely applied in manufacturing scenarios.

Wang Yemin, a manager of the government and public relationship department at Omron China, said that the technologies showcased can enhance precision, security and efficiency of production lines. He also pointed out that the CIIE is a clear indication of China's commitment to further opening-up, and serves as a vote of confidence for companies facing global economic uncertainty.

"Latecomers to the Chinese market stand to benefit from the comprehensive information on Chinese policies delivered via the event. Meanwhile, for companies that have a long-standing presence, the event will show that there are still a lot more opportunities ahead," he said.  

Contact the writer at hewei@chinadaily.com.cn

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