By Du Yifei
Against the backdrop of the raging COVID-19 pandemic and sluggish global economic recovery, China plans to hold the fourth China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai from Nov. 5 to 10 as scheduled, which manifests the country’s sincere wish to share the opportunities in its market with the rest of the world and to boost global economic recovery.
As the first import-themed state-level expo in the world, the CIIE has promoted better connection between China and the wider world by serving as a major platform for international procurement, investment promotion, cultural exchange and open cooperation. It has become an international public good for the world to share.
The first CIIE attracted more than 400,000 buyers from home and abroad to Shanghai; the second CIIE witnessed the signing of tentative deals worth over $70 billion; and last year, more than 3,800 enterprises from over 180 countries, regions, and international organizations attended the third CIIE, during which 411 new products, technologies, and services were exhibited.
With an exhibition area of over 360,000 square meters, the upcoming fourth CIIE is expected to attract more enterprises and more countries and regions than the last session did.
Fortune Global 500 companies and leading enterprises in relevant sectors have actively signed up for the event, with more than 80 percent of such companies that have participated in the previous expos deciding to continue to take part in this year’s event.
The number of overseas small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) participating in the expo in groups is expected to rise by 30 percent this year. Relevant organizations in charge of the participation of enterprises from Japan, Denmark, Poland, New Zealand, among other countries, have expanded exhibition areas to bring more SMEs representing their characteristics and manufacturing strength to this year’s CIIE.
A good number of new products, technologies, and services will make their global debut or be introduced into the Chinese market at the fourth CIIE.
According to Zhou Lingyan, an executive with the National Exhibition and Convention Center (Shanghai), the main venue for the CIIE, global top five grain dealers will gather together for the first time at the Food and Agricultural Product exhibition area of the fourth CIIE; the world’s 10 largest auto groups will exhibit their products at the Automobile exhibition area; more than 40 new products will be launched at the Intelligent Industry and Information Technology exhibition area, among which nearly 10 will make their global debut; and the top 10 cosmetics brands in the world will gather for the first time at the Consumer Goods exhibition area, which is expected to bring together the world’s top three fashion and high-end consumer goods companies for the first time.
Besides, the global top seven companies in the cardiovascular medical field and the fields of in vitro diagnostics, medical imaging, and life sciences, as well as the world’s top three companies in the oral care market and four of the top five orthopedic companies in the world will showcase their products, technologies and services at the Medical Equipment and Healthcare Products exhibition area; and the Trade in Services exhibition zone will bring together leading companies in industries including consultation services, testing and certification, and global logistics, Zhou added.
Besides the six major exhibition areas, this year’s CIIE will also set up 13 new special exhibition zones for industries including low-carbon energy and environmental protection technologies, integrated circuit, and digital industries.
To help global high-quality innovative micro and small enterprises (MSEs) better understand domestic demand of China, organizers of the expo will establish special innovation incubation zones in the Automobile, Intelligent Industry and Information Technology, and Medical Equipment and Healthcare Products exhibition areas of the fourth CIIE.
These special innovation incubation zones will receive nearly 100 exhibitors, which are expected to showcase products, technologies and services covering artificial intelligence (AI), health-related technologies, and autonomous driving.
Thematic forums and other activities will also be held in parallel with the expo, aiming to provide business incubators with platforms for sharing experience and promoting investment.
In addition, digital technologies will be widely applied in this year’s CIIE. The expo will hold its first online country exhibition by employing 3D modeling, virtualization engine and other technologies. Through virtual pavilions, countries can showcase their development achievements, competitive industries, cultures, tourism characteristics as well as representative enterprises via pictures, videos, 3D models and other forms.
The online country exhibition is expected to bring brand new experience to viewers by enabling them to have a better understanding of beautiful scenery and food of various countries around the world without leaving their homes.
The CIIE, which has satisfied buyers and been eagerly anticipated by exhibitors, is attracting more enterprises with its expanding spillover effect.
Some 26 exhibitors, including cosmetics giant L’Oreal, pharmaceutical giant Bayer, tire manufacturer Michelin , and consulting firm Ernst & Young, have even signed up for the fifth CIIE.
The CIIE has provided Bayer with a great stage where it can showcase its specialty and a precious opportunity and an important channel for high-quality interactions between the company and its key partners, said Ulrich Stefer, chief financial officer (CFO) of Bayer Group Greater China.
By actively participating in the CIIE, enterprises aim for not only fruits from the expo, but opportunities in the Chinese market.
After taking part in the CIIE for the first time in 2019, Japanese cosmetics brand Shiseido doubled its exhibition area at the third CIIE and became one of the first enterprises that have signed up for the fourth to the sixth CIIE.
Shiseido has fully felt the huge potential of China’s cosmetics market, said Kentaro Fujiwara, Shiseido China CEO, noting that China’s success in bringing the COVID-19 under control and achieving continuous and steady economic recovery when the pandemic still rages across the globe has made the company confident about its business performance in China.
In 2020, Shiseido saw robust growth in its business in China, with its sales in the country accounting for about 26 percent of the company’s total sales around the world. The Chinese market has become a huge engine of Shiseido’s development.
China’s per capita GDP exceeded $10,000 for two consecutive years. It’s estimated that the country will import more than $22 trillion worth of goods accumulatively in the coming decade.
It’s believed that the most promising market in the world will continuously stimulate potential for innovation and bring huge opportunities to world economy and enterprises from various countries.