By Tian Hong, Ju Yunpeng
The Chinese market is a huge magnet for foreign small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
At the ongoing 4th China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai, 1,200 businesses among the 3,000 joining the event come in delegations.
There are nearly 50 foreign delegations, and their members are from over 40 countries and regions. They are mostly SMEs and are engaged in a wide range of industries.
Besides, more than 30 least developed countries have attended the event to exhibit their agricultural and consumer products.
An official with the CIIE Bureau told People’s Daily that a number of enterprises from Belt and Road countries and regions, Central and Eastern Europe, as well as Africa joined this year’s CIIE despite the impacts from COVID-19, which has further enlarged the “circle of friends” of the event and highlighted the event’s nature as an international public good for the world to share.
Polish dairy company Vici Group entered the Chinese market in 2019 at the 2nd CIIE. According to statistics, the sales of Polish milk, powdered milk and cheese products in China surged 70 percent in 2020, making China the fastest-growing market for Polish dairy exports.
The CIIE benefits the whole world, said Andrzej Juchniewicz, chief representative of the Polish Investment and Trade Agency in China who has encouraged some 30 Polish companies to join the 4th CIIE.
The Japan External Trade Organization established a trade delegation consisting of over 100 enterprises to the CIIE this year, and a Japanese commodity base opened to consumers earlier this month at the Hongqiao Import Commodity Exhibition and Trading Center in Shanghai, a permanent trading platform of the CIIE.
Among the 46 exhibitors that come to the 4th CIIE with the Singapore Business Federation, 18 are engaged in finance, logistics, infrastructure and education sectors.
The members of the delegation organized by the German Chambers of Commerce Abroad are mostly engaged in frontier sectors. Clas Neumann, Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the German Chamber of Commerce in China, said that the CIIE is a platform where German enterprises can demonstrate their ability to make constant innovations to Chinese consumers.
The CIIE is also a fruitful event for purchasers, too. “Last year we purchased $10 million worth of equipment at the CIIE, and our newly increased output value this year is expected to exceed 200 million yuan ($31.26 million),” said Liu Zhongjie, a project manager of HISEMI Electronic Technology in Chizhou, east China’s Anhui province.
Liu said the CIIE is a timely information platform for enterprises that enables the latter to follow the trend of industries. “Before coming to the 4th CIIE, we have negotiated with several foreign enterprises, and we are planning to purchase over 100 million yuan worth of equipment this time,” Liu said.
“Enterprises have witnessed the development of industries and frontier technologies at the annual event, and learned advanced technologies and standards to make better commodities, technologies and brands of their own,” said Wang Beilei, an official with Xiangcheng district, Suzhou, east China’s Jiangsu province.
She believes that to promote the upgrade and innovation of Chinese enterprises by applying new equipment, commodities and services in their development is an important part of the CIIE’s spillover effect. This year, Xiangcheng district has organized a trade delegation of over 1,000 people to the CIIE, and its 230 participating enterprises are expected to reach deals totaling over $60 million.
Yao Hai, an official with the Shanghai municipal government, noted that since the 1st CIIE, Shanghai and its districts, as well as their industrial parks and enterprises have been working together to turn exhibits into commodities, exhibitors into investors, and purchases into traders, and a series of major projects have been implemented in Shanghai, the Yangtze River Delta and even other larger areas.
This year, the cooperation and communication office of the municipal government of Shanghai has established a purchasing group, which is joined by over 300 enterprises, to make the spillover effect of the CIIE benefit more cities, enterprises and people, Yao said.