By Tian Hong
Preparations for the fifth China International Import Expo (CIIE), which is expected to be held from Nov. 5 to 10 in Shanghai, are well underway. About 85 percent of the planned business exhibition space has been booked.
The CIIE has not only brought exotic food, such as Spanish ham, French wine and milk from New Zealand to ordinary Chinese families, but also introduced to China a series of high-tech products including flying cars and table tennis robots, as well as world-class technologies. They are contributing to China’s consumption restructuring and accelerating the formation of domestic industrial chains.
The CIIE has become a prioritized platform where enterprises choose to launch their new products, frontier technologies and innovative services
In terms of the business exhibition, the fifth CIIE will again feature six exhibition areas – food and agricultural products, intelligent industry and information technology, medical equipment and healthcare products, consumer goods, trade in services, and automobiles.
Besides, a crop seeds subsection and an artificial intelligence subsection will be set up. Subsections dedicated to serving innovation incubation, debuted in the 2021 session, will be established again in the exhibition areas of automobiles, intelligent industry and information technology, and medical equipment and healthcare products. Such subsections will also be present for sports and fashion design.
Sun Chenghai, deputy director-general of the CIIE Bureau, said that more than 270 Fortune Global 500 companies and industry pacesetters have signed up to participate in the annual import-themed fair with nearly 90 percent being repeated participants.
In addition, some Fortune Global 500 companies are expected to attend the CIIE for the first time this year, including Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton, ThyssenKrupp and Gilead Sciences.
This year, many organizing agencies from countries such as Norway and Belgium have joined the CIIE network for the first time. These agencies will play an important role in inviting local small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to take part in the expo. Member nations of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership(RCEP) Agreement are also planning to participate in the expo, according to Sun.
The CIIE is the world’s first import-themed national-level expo. Its inaugural session held in 2018 was joined by exhibitors from 172 countries, regions and international organizations.
As a platform for international procurement, investment promotion, cultural exchange, and open cooperation, the event has witnessed the launch of over 1,500 new products, technologies and services and a cumulative intended turnover of more than $270 billion at its first four sessions.
Boehringer Ingelheim, a German pharmaceutical company, clinched a 200-million-yuan ($29.6-billion) deal when it first took part in the CIIE in 2019. The company’s second participation in 2020 helped its new product hit the Chinese market within less than a year.
This year, online country exhibitions will continue, and advanced technologies will be employed to build a cloud exhibition hall featuring richer content.
So far, nearly 50 countries, including Italy, Brazil, and Thailand have confirmed their participation in the fifth CIIE’s country exhibition.
This year’s Hongqiao International Economic Forum will be themed on global openness. The World Openness Report 2022 and the World Openness Index will also be released during the forum.
The fifth CIIE will launch more forceful supportive measures to enhance the sense of fulfillment for exhibitors. It will actively work to benefit participants in terms of tax, market admission and customs clearance, and booths set-up subsidies are also available for exhibitors. Special measures have been taken to cater to the least developed countries participating in the expo and SMEs will also gain strong support from CIIE organizers.
Shanghai has put local regulations concerning the CIIE on its legislation agenda this year, and these regulations are expected to be enacted before the 5th CIIE kicks off. It will help make regular the support mechanism for the CIIE, solidify effective service models and policies, normalize exhibition operation and management, improve the quality of the exhibition and relevant forums, and expand the comprehensive influence of the CIIE.