CIIE valuable as city enters a new era of industrial change, forum told

Wang Yanlin
The expo is assessed as the best example of the strengths of Shanghai's enhanced industrial competitiveness.
Wang Yanlin

Shanghai has entered another critical point of industrial transformation while the annual China International Import Expo plays an active role in accelerating the process, participants told a forum hosted by the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences on Wednesday.

"Despite the lingering impact of COVID-19 that disrupted supply chains and international cooperation, Shanghai has seen stronger industrial competitiveness in 2020," said Tang Yunyi, a researcher at SASS.

"Thanks to its optimized economic structure and a modern market system, Shanghai remained China's largest economic center, allowing its supremacy in international exposure and value chain upgrades in various industries," Tang said.

The CIIE is the best example of Shanghai's strength in industrial competitiveness enhancement. The fourth CIIE, which concluded on Wednesday, attracted more than 2,900 exhibitors from 127 countries and regions to demonstrate the latest technologies and innovations in industries across manufacturing, consumer goods, food, automobile, chips, services and even arts.

Each year CIIE is upgraded with a higher quality of exhibitors, with 281 Fortune Global 500 enterprises and industry leaders attending this year, of which nearly 40 were new to CIIE. More than 120 were old exhibitors who had participated in the expo for four years.

Shen Weihua, deputy director of Shanghai Commission of Commerce, said Shanghai is a beneficiary of well abiding international rules and is devoted to an opening-up economy.

"Shanghai's most valuable assets in terms of developing industrial competitiveness are its steady attitude toward opening-up, and its efforts to make continued improvements in the business environment," Shen said.

Trade via Shanghai ports reached US$1.27 trillion in 2020, making the city the busiest trading center in the world. It was home to 819 regional headquarters of multinational companies by the end of September, indicating the city's ability to attract and allocate global industrial resources.

"Shanghai needs to make good use of its cultural and policy-wise strengths, and accelerate industrial upgrades to a higher level," Shen said.

The academy launched the latest edition of the Blue Book of Shanghai Key Industries during the forum. It advised the city to combine its strengths in trade, industrial development and technological advancement for a better round of industrial transformation.

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