City's 'Four Brands' strategy

Zhao Beiwen
The opening of the China International Import Expo (CIIE) has showcased the positive image of Shanghai and is an exercise in leveraging the city's "Four Brands" strategy.
Zhao Beiwen

The opening of the China International Import Expo (CIIE) has showcased the positive image of Shanghai and is an exercise in leveraging the city’s “Four Brands” strategy.

1. One-stop service

With its slogan to create a one-stop service platform featuring the format of “six plus 365 days,” the CIIE not only provided online-offline trade services, but the organizer also facilitated customs clearance and quarantine inspection. Thus the expo served as a window on the future of constructing the Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone.

From the introduction of joint venture production lines, to manufacturing, R&D and sales of parts, the automobile industry has prospered over the past dozen years or so. Cars have made intra-regional integration in the Yangtze River Delta a reality, but in the meantime car exhausts have deeply worried people from experts to the average consumer. The rise of electric vehicle has, however, heralded a bright future going forward.

2. Close-up of High-end manufacturing

Take intelligent and cutting-edge equipment on display at the expo. Innovation, market development and the exhibition of new products have provided possibilities for investment and trade. They also compelled Chinese entrepreneurs and exhibitors to think over the following question: trade or investment? How can we achieve a win-win outcome?

3. A taste of global shopping

The CIIE itself signifies that Shanghai shopping has gained an international profile. The expo put entrepreneurs in direct contact with consumers. Through supply side reform, consumers were allowed to experience consumer goods yet to be imported. New consumption concepts were forged and new consumer groups created. The CIIE treated consumers at home and abroad to products that were value for money.

4. Shanghai culture on display

The CIIE organizers not only arranged for visits by firms from different Chinese localities to come together for procurement at the expo, they also invited foreign guests to attend the event. On an area covering 270,000 square meters, booths were operated by 2800 plus companies from more than 130 countries and areas. Heads of state and business leaders converged at the extravaganza to bring flows of people, logistics and capital to Shanghai.

Stylish apparel, imported foods, high-tech gizmos and healthcare products came all the way from their countries of origin, enriching our lifestyles and satisfying our needs. More importantly, the cosmopolitan spirit is manifested in the form of not only welcoming domestic and foreign talent to settle down, but also of introducing the most vanguard and fashionable items and concepts, which demonstrated the Shanghai brand of culture.

The author is deputy director of Institute of World Economy, Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences.

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