CIIE trade fair brings new highlights, as China shares growth opportunities with the world
Major import fair in Shanghai props up trade globalization
Published: Nov 03, 2022 09:25 PM
Gardeners decorate the south square of the National Exhibition and Convention Center (Shanghai), the main venue for the China International Import Expo (CIIE), in east China's Shanghai, Oct 15, 2022. Photo:Xinhua

Gardeners decorate the south square of the National Exhibition and Convention Center (Shanghai), the main venue for the China International Import Expo (CIIE), in east China's Shanghai, Oct 15, 2022. Photo:Xinhua

As the global economy faces the headwinds of the pandemic, anti-globalization and trade protectionism, the 5th China International Import Expo (CIIE) will build on the successes of the four previous sessions and continue to generate concrete benefits for the world's business community, Chinese experts and participants in the trade fair said.

Experts said that the broader participation this year bears witness to China's growing attraction and influence as a huge market which provides rich investment opportunities. In the meantime, the annual import fair, opening on Friday, has new characteristics in line with China's commitment to share its growth opportunities with the world along the Chinese path to modernization.

For the first time, 100 economically strong counties and 1,000 strong townships from around China will attend the event to seek trade and investment opportunities.

Wei Jianguo, vice chairman of the China Center for International Economic Exchange and former vice minister of the Ministry of Commerce, said the presence of these localities demonstrated China's huge potential as the country is committed to continuous opening-up.

The participation by UN agencies including the UN Industrial Development Organization and the World Intellectual Property Organization also attest to global recognition of China's efforts in improving its business environment, Wei noted.

Furthermore, the broader attendance by countries from around the world and international organizations, heralds a growing trend of more foreign countries and regions investing in China as a safe bet to hedge downward risks, said Wei.

China's ranking in the World Bank Group's Doing Business study improved to No 31 in 2020 from No 78 in 2018. 

In the first nine months of 2022, actualized foreign direct investment in the middle and western parts of the country grew by 34.8 percent and 33 percent year-on-year, way higher than the 13.3-percent growth logged by the eastern region.

The 5th CIIE will also see the debuts of Nicaragua, Djibouti and Iraq, among eight nations. Afghanistan, which first took part in the CIIE last year, will participate again and bring its pine nuts to the fair.

Over the past four years, the CIIE has seen cumulative deals valued at $272.3 billion. Procurement orders by Chinese buyers have proven to be of great value to global companies, which have become glued to the event. 

As the event enters its fifth year, executives of multinational companies are saying that the CIIE is a demonstration of the country's continued commitment to opening-up. This year, 284 Fortune Global 500 firms and industry majors are set to join, up from last year's 281.

Leon Wang, executive vice president at global drug-maker AstraZeneca, said that AstraZeneca has attended the CIIE for five consecutive years and each year the company is all-in for the CIIE. "The end of each CIIE is the starting point of our work for the next CIIE. It is that important to us," Wang told the Global Times.

"At each year's show, I was shocked by the level of participation of the world and by the level of support given to the show by the whole country. At our showroom, we received ministers, local officials and even head of state from other countries - the event means an unparalleled level of efficiency in communication," Wang said. AstraZeneca is bringing four innovative drugs to debut at this year's CIIE.

German specialty chemicals producer Evonik sees China as one of the driving forces of the global economy and an essential market for its growth. Evonik participated in the first CIIE in 2018. 

"Over the years, we have established long-term and close partnerships with many local customers… one of these customers is a domestic auto parts company that signed a strategic partnership and purchase agreement with Evonik," Xia Fuliang, president of Evonik Greater China, said. 

"After five years, the company has become our global key customer in auto segment," Xia told the Global Times.

During the 5th CIIE, Evonik will launch four battery materials that lead to better and safer performance of lithium-ion batteries for electric cars, three of which are global debuts and two of which were innovated in China.

China has always been one of Edwards' most important global strategic markets, and we will further strengthen our determination and confidence to be "in China, for China." Participating in the CIIE for three consecutive years, Edwards will continue to deepen long-term commitment to the Chinese market, introduce innovative products, empower Chinese physicians, and carry out local cooperation via this international platform, George Ye, general manager of Edwards Lifesciences China said.

The CIIE, in addition to the China International Fair for Trade in Services in Beijing and the Canton Fair in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, is a major platform showcasing the country's push for opening-up and global cooperation.