The Shanghai International Sister Cities Hub promotes international cooperation

Yang Meiping
With the 5th China International Import Expo coming, a new hub has been set up to sell products from Shanghai's international sister cities, all year round.
Yang Meiping

A special platform was launched at the Hongqiao Import Commodity Exhibition and Trade Center on Thursday to help promote products from Shanghai's international sister cities, all year round.

The Shanghai International Sister Cities Hub, jointly set up by the Foreign Affairs Office of the Shanghai government and Oriental International (Holding) Co, is located on the ground floor of Building A of the Hongqiao Import Commodity Exhibition and Trade Center, a facility that exhibits and sells products which have been on display at the China International Import Expo.

The launch of the new hub is a new step for the city to expand the spillover effect of the China international Import Expo and further promote economic and trade cooperation between Shanghai and its sister cities.

By now, Shanghai and its districts have established sister-city ties with 92 cities, prefectures, regions, provinces, counties and districts in 59 countries and regions.

According to authorities, the CIIE has attracted over 400 exhibitors through the past four editions, among whom 403 are from countries with Shanghai's sister cities. Fifteen new exhibitors from five sister cities will participate in the 5th CIIE this year.

"Notably, this year's CIIE will for the first time include special sections to show trade services, and food and agricultural produce from sister cities," said Tong Jisheng, chairman of Oriental International (Holding) Co.

"I believe the CIIE, the Hongqiao Import Commodity Exhibition and Trade Center, and the Shanghai International Sister Cities Hub together will inject new momentum for the development of friendships between Shanghai and our sister cities, and promote our cooperation to a new level."

Over 100 companies from 60 cities in 30 countries are currently displaying their products at the hub, and more are expected to come, said Tong.

The commodities exhibited at the hub include camel milk powder and snacks from the United Arab Emirates.

Muhannad Alnaqbi, consul general of the UAE in Shanghai, said the UAE will use the hub for regular intercourse with Shanghai to show the UAE's advantages in industries such as foreign trade, ports, real estate, financial service, tourism and sports. He said he's confident that the hub could further facilitate bilateral trade and exchanges between China and the UAE.

According to Alnaqbi, China is one of the biggest trade partners of the UAE. In the first half of this year, the bilateral trade volume between the two countries, increased 46.4 percent year on year. Among the volume, the Chinese exports to the UAE grew by 23 percent to US$24.52 billion, and the imports from the UAE to China grew by 86.9 percent to US$21.51 billion.

Anu Vuori-Kiikeri, consul general of the Republic of Finland in Shanghai, hopes the hub could help Finnish companies land softer in Shanghai.

"This kind of platforms could be very helpful and fruitful in order to help new companies and new businesses find their ways to Shanghai, because it is not that easy," she said. "There is a language barrier, there is a cultural barrier. So all the information and supportive services which companies could maybe find easily here would be helpful."

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