Import expo means business for foreign firms

By GT Staff reporters Source: Global Times Published: 2020/11/2 21:44:11

Global enterprises eye CIIE to instill confidence

Photo taken on Nov. 1, 2020 shows workers prepare for the opening of the third China International Import Expo (CIIE) which is to be held from Nov. 4 to 10 in Shanghai, east China. (Photo: China News Service/Tang Yanjun)

Preparations are in full swing for the third China International Import Expo (CIIE), scheduled to open on Wednesday in Shanghai, an imminent beacon of hope for foreign business community that's writing an enviable growth story in the world's second largest economy.

Chinese President Xi Jinping will deliver a keynote speech at the opening of the grand event via video link, China's Commerce Ministry announced on Thursday. 

With the hustle and bustle of the world's major import expo expected to quash unease arising from spreading coronavirus infections outside of China, executives of foreign businesses ready to showcase their involvement in the Chinese market, it seems, they can't wait to tell the world how successful their businesses have been and will be in this growing market.

This year the average exhibition area for the world's top 500 companies and industry leaders will increase by 14 percent from last year, according to the CIIE Bureau.

Schneider Electric has actively participated the CIIE since it was initiated, and this year marks its third participation in the expo. 

The energy and automation digital solutions provider signed contracts for projects at the previous two CIIE events. Over the past two years, more projects have come to fruition, such as those with China Mobile, China Unicom, China National Building Materials Group (CNBM), China Baowu Group and Xiaomi Group, Yin Zheng, president of Schneider Electric China, told the Global Times.

"The number of contracts signed by Schneider Electric at the second CIIE increased almost 20 percent compared with the first CIIE. This year, we expect more contract signings," Yin said.

Old friends coming to the CIIE include German semiconductor manufacturer Infineon Technologies, which will return to the expo for the third consecutive year.

Last year, Infineon brought its 3D printed humanoid robot Roboy to the CIIE, which immediately became a "celebrity" among visitors.

"The CIIE provides us with an excellent opportunity to enhance communication and interaction with existing partners, and also gain more potential customers," Su Hua, president of Infineon Technologies for the greater China region, told the Global Times.

The huge market potential of China has provided great opportunities for Infineon's business, as in the 2019 fiscal year, Infineon's greater China business accounted for 35 percent of the company's total global revenue, becoming Infineon's largest single revenue source region.

Benefiting from the fruitful outcomes of the first two CIIEs, global enterprises are looking forward to new opportunities at the event this year, as China is accelerating its economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and providing encouraging insight into the post-COVID-19 economic picture.

"Amid the special circumstances of this year, it is very significant that the CIIE is being held as scheduled. It shows that China is taking action to further open up based on the 'dual circulation' strategy. The event also provides a strong boost to the economic recovery in China and the world," said Yin.

This year, Schneider will bring cutting-edge digital solutions and successful application cases covering more than 10 industries, including electronics, hospitality, banking and finance, to fully showcase its local innovation achievements in serving the Chinese market.

"The China market is attractive not just because of its size, but more importantly, because China has become the source of many innovations. Over the past four years, Schneider Electric's R&D investment in China has been increasing more than 15 percent annually," Yin said.

Executives of foreign enterprises attending the third CIIE said they will continue to increase investment in China due to confidence in the Chinese market.

In 2020, despite the uncertainty brought by the COVID19, Schneider announced new investment and cooperation projects in Xiamen, East China's Fujian Province, and Beijing, to further enhance its R&D and manufacturing capabilities.

Infineon has also increased its input in the Chinese market this year with a new power semiconductor product development team in Shanghai to provide customized semiconductor modules for new energy applications in the photovoltaic sector, for charging piles, and for electric buses.

The company is also expected to announce new investment in Wuxi, East China's Jiangsu Province, at the CIIE, according to Su.

"The Chinese market is an important part of Infineon's global strategy. We are optimistic about the long-term potential of the Chinese market," Su said.

China reported 4.9-percent year-on-year GDP growth in the third quarter of this year, up from 3.2 percent in the second quarter and a contraction of 6.8 percent in the first quarter. The IMF predicts that China will be the only major economy to show growth this year.

Since the CIIE Bureau opened registration for the fourth CIIE in 2021, multiple foreign companies including Hyundai Motor Group, Shiseido, Theland and Michelin have signed up to attend. 

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