China's greater opening-up boosts confidence of global consumer products industry

The second China International Consumer Products Expo (CICPE) showcases China's pledge of a higher level of opening-up.

The second China International Consumer Products Expo (CICPE) opened Monday on the resort island of Hainan, presenting a unique platform for global consumer products companies to access the Chinese market.

With a larger exhibition area, more participating brands, and a special focus on new and quality products, the expo remains the largest consumer boutique exhibition in the Asia-Pacific region.

The global platform of displaying and trading high-end consumer products showcases China's pledge of a higher level of opening-up. It proves a pivotal confidence-booster as the pandemic is still raging across the world and China's consumer spending gradually recovers after the impact of COVID-19 outbreaks.

Higher level of opening-up

The six-day expo has attracted 1,107 overseas companies and 1,643 brands from 61 countries and regions, as well as over 1,200 domestic brands.

The exhibition area has expanded to 100,000 square meters from 80,000 square meters last year, with the international area covering 80 percent of the total exhibition space.

Notably, companies from members of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, including Japan, the Republic of Korea, and Malaysia, have shown particular interest in the expo, with their total exhibition area reaching 5,000 square meters, up nearly 20 percent from last year.

The expo will showcase over 600 new products from more than 200 brands and is expected to attract more than 40,000 buyers and visitors.

Zhang Xiangchen, deputy director-general of the World Trade Organization, said in a video address that while countries are making efforts for economic recovery, China's hosting of the expo, which focuses on consumer goods, will have a positive impact on boosting consumption, promoting trade and improving the economy.

Fabrice Megarbane, president of L'Oreal North Asia Zone and chief executive officer of L'Oreal China, sees the national-level expo as a signal of greater opening-up of the Chinese market.

China is committed to further opening-up and is increasingly determined to unleash the potential of its market by boosting consumption, said Megarbane.

Tapestry, an American luxury fashion company, attended the expo for the second time.

The success of the first CICPE demonstrated to the world the huge potential and great vigor of China's consumer market, said Yann Bozec, president of Tapestry Asia Pacific, adding that Tapestry's continuing participation in the expo shows its confidence in the Chinese market.

"China is one of the largest consumer markets in the world. We can see the Chinese economy is very resilient and has a lot of market potential," said Bozec. "The development of the Chinese market continues to prop up the global economy, and brings great opportunities for our brands."

Vitality, relisience of consumer market

Despite the complex, grave situation abroad and COVID-19 resurgence at home, the Chinese economy has increasingly regained its footing, showing resilience and potential amid headwinds.

Consumption has improved as retail sales of consumer goods rallied 3.1 percent year on year in June, following year-on-year drops in April and May. The recovery is expected to continue as China is on a trajectory of consumption expansion, upgrades, and innovations.

Consumption remains strong with huge potential in China and the fundamentals for consumption expansion stay positive, said Sheng Qiuping, vice minister of commerce, adding that the CICPE is conducive to consumption recovery and unleashing its potential.

In order to encourage consumer spending, China has introduced a raft of policies, enticing consumers to open up their wallets and help businesses not just survive but thrive.

Restaurant owners, retailers and other businesses susceptible to COVID-19 have been offered lower rents and platform commissions, as well as stronger financing support. At the local level, governments are handing out billions of yuan in vouchers and subsidies to support local spending.

The expo offers an opportunity for internationally-renowned companies and brands to showcase their products and establish connections with domestic distributors, facilitating their access to the Chinese market, said Xu Xingfeng, an official with the Ministry of Commerce.

Last year, China's import volume of consumer goods rose 9.9 percent year on year to 1.73 trillion yuan (US$256.2 billion), official data showed.

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