Import expo boosts China's high-standard opening-up
Andreas Thorud is putting the finishing touches to a seafood-themed booth at the fifth China International Import Expo, scheduled for Nov 5 to 10 in China's economic hub Shanghai.
"We are very happy and excited to be part of this fifth edition of the CIIE," said Thorud from the Norwegian Seafood Council, a first-time CIIE exhibitor.
According to Thorud, eight Norwegian companies, led by the seafood council, will be joining the upcoming event. They will be promoting a variety of star seafood specially selected for the Chinese market, including Norwegian salmon, shellfish and king crab.
The past few years have been full of opportunities for global exporters, as China's appetite for seafood has grown continually. It was this fact that prompted Thorud and his peers to gravitate to the CIIE.
This year's CIIE is going to be a very exciting platform "for us to see how can we develop new areas, new business partners and new types of consumers," Thorud said.
As the first major international expo held in China since the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, the fifth CIIE once again demonstrates that China is committed to its fundamental national policy of opening to the outside world and pursues a mutually beneficial strategy of opening-up.
US carmaker Tesla's robotic product Tesla Bot will make its debut on the Chinese mainland at this year's expo.
As the first wholly foreign-owned car manufacturing enterprise in China, Tesla's Shanghai Gigafactory manifests China's commitment to its pledge of furthering reform and opening-up.
"The report to the 20th CPC National Congress has once again emphasized China's commitment to opening wider to the outside world. It was on such a premise that Tesla became the first wholly foreign-owned car manufacturing enterprise in China," said Vice-President of Tesla Tao Lin.
Tao added that the CIIE has provided an open, collaborative and mutually beneficial platform for global enterprises to share business opportunities in the Chinese market, and is a vivid practice of building a human community with a shared future.
Having joined all the four previous editions, the biopharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca will set up a 1,000-square meter main booth at the upcoming CIIE, which is one of the largest booths in the medical devices and healthcare section.
"Over the past four years, AstraZeneca has gone from being a newcomer at the CIIE to becoming a regular participant, and we have benefitted from the powerful CIIE spillover effects," said Leon Wang, executive vice-president, international and China president of AstraZeneca.
"The annual event provides us with an opportunity to summarize our phased results in China and open a new chapter of cooperation and exchange. We will continue to participate in CIIEs with an impressive score card," noted Wang.
Official data show a total of 145 countries, regions and international organizations will partake in this year's expo.
Sun Chenghai, deputy director of the CIIE Bureau, told a press conference on Tuesday that 284 industry-leading enterprises, including some of the world's top 500 companies, will participate in the upcoming expo.
New Zealand's dairy brand Theland has already signed up for the sixth CIIE.
"We've tasted the sweetness at the CIIE, and we certainly can't miss such a great opportunity," said Roy van den Hurk, general manager of Theland Global R&D at Milk New Zealand Dairy, an "old friend" to the CIIE.
Hurk said that all the commitments China made at the previous CIIEs to open wider have been fulfilled. For example, the delivery time of fresh milk from New Zealand farms to Chinese consumers has been cut to just 72 hours from more than eight days.
According to Hurk, the expo has helped Theland quickly grow from a relatively small brand to a well-known name even in counties in central and western China.
"Theland is a staunch supporter of the CIIE, which has become a new driving force for the development of global enterprises and a platform for win-win cooperation, and helps mitigate the uncertainties that the pandemic brought to the global economy," said Hurk.
Data from the Ministry of Commerce show that, from 2018 to 2021, exhibitors at the four previous editions of the CIIE launched more than 1,500 new products, technologies and services, with a total expected turnover exceeding $270 billion.
"The CIIE is the perfect platform of collaboration. I've been witnessing it for four years myself, and seeing more and more exhibitors, from more and more countries, in more and more domains," said Fabrice Megarbane, L'Oréal North Asia Zone president and chief executive officer of L'Oréal China.
"I think there are no other ones in the world which are able to bring so many industries, so many country representatives, and have this dialogue that allows us really to look at shared opportunities and discuss the values that are important for us," Megarbane added.