All systems go for import expo

Huang Yixuan
Preparations progressing smoothly for event expected to further open the Chinese market.
Huang Yixuan

Preparations for the first China International Import Expo are seeing smooth progress with the expectation of a further opening up of the Chinese market thereafter. 

The event, to be held at the National Exhibition and Convention Center in Shanghai from November 5 to 10, was first announced by Chinese President Xi Jinping a year ago. He called it “a major policy initiative and commitment to open up the Chinese market.”

The expo will host traders of both goods and services in areas that include advanced equipment, electronics, cars, consumer goods, food, medical instruments, technology services, design, education and tourism.

There will also be a forum to promote globalization and an open global economy.

Preparations for the expo include steps to attract global exhibitors and investors, to promote communication before the expo, to improve the city’s business environment, and to step up security measures.

The registration of companies taking part in the expo’s enterprise exhibition was completed at the end of June.

The China International Import Expo Bureau said the number of exhibitors who registered surpassed expectation, with over 2,800 companies from more than 130 countries and regions signing up as exhibitors and 80 countries having confirmed they’ll take part in the national exhibition.

Exhibitors are confident that the expo can provide a broad, open and efficient transaction and cooperation platform, and more business opportunities.

“As so far there are only export expos of large scale, we sometimes find it difficult to reach a large number of buyers,” said Liu Zhongbai, general manager of Waldrich Coburg Machine Tool Maintenance Service, a company in the high-end intelligent equipment sector. “The import expo offers us a great opportunity to exhibit our latest products with advanced technology to our potential purchasers.”

Zeng Xiwen, vice president of Unilever North Asia, said it had formed a cross-department group to prepare for their exhibition and seize the opportunity to show more of their products to Chinese consumers.

Fujifilm, a medical equipment and healthcare products company, said it wanted to further develop their localization strategy and develop better cooperation and innovation with Chinese companies via expo.

In terms of purchasers, data from the bureau showed that by August 7, more than 160,000 buyers from more than 80,000 domestic and overseas enterprises had signed up for the expo, exceeding the expected 150,000.

The bureau has also been making efforts to boost communication and connections among participants ahead of the expo.

Several “matchmaking meetings” have been held for exhibitors and buyers in areas including the food sector, the apparel, consumer goods, electronics and home appliances industries, the high-end intelligent equipment segment, the medical equipment and healthcare products exhibition area, the automobile industry and those involved in trade in services.

“The ‘matchmaking sessions’ aim to help sellers and buyers understand each other, fully grasp business opportunities through communication and build friendly and cooperative win-win relationships,” said Liu Fuxue, deputy director of the China International Import Expo Bureau.

The Shanghai Commission of Commerce took into account the fact that the six-day exhibition would be too short a period for exhibitors and buyers from all over the world to learn and take advantage of business opportunities in China and also to be conversant with the approaches and channels for entering the Chinese market.

Therefore, Shanghai has decided to set up year-round exhibition and transaction platforms to provide a channel for foreign products, services and technology to enter the Chinese market as well as promote the sustainable development of the expo and magnify its spill-over effects.

“These platforms will offer exhibitors more exhibition and trading services for comprehensive products and technology, provide more overseas products for consumers through online channels, bring professional supporting services for specific products, and offer participants convenient and efficient services,” according to the city government.

Shanghai has also set up a one-stop, year-round platform that will feature import exhibits, including those from the six-day expo.

The platform will use smart methods to provide professional services, including online demonstrations, matchmaking, transactions and payment.

Information sharing will be enhanced to promote the matching of supply and demand, supporting global products, services and technologies to enter the Chinese market.

Yang Jianrong, chairman of the Council for the Promotion of International Trade Shanghai, said the service platform will promote global trade and gather the world’s top brands, products and services to enable companies from all countries and regions to sell their products throughout the world via the platform.

“It will strongly push forward the process of trade globalization,” Yang said.

The city is also strengthening its links with other cities in the Yangtze River Delta region to ensure that the spill-over effects from the expo will benefit a wider area, according to Li.

Meanwhile, applications for pre-registration for the enterprise exhibition of a second expo are underway. 

Companies which filled out registration information on the official website of the import expo from July 1 are regarded as having registered for the second expo, whose dates have not yet been announced.

All systems go for import expo
Ti Gong

The clover-shaped National Exhibition and Convention Center

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