SHANGHAI, 6 October (BelTA - Xinhua). - The fifth China International Import Expo (CIIE), set to be held a month from now, is in the final preparation stage with foreign companies expecting it to provide market opportunities.
The expo, to be held in China's economic hub Shanghai, is on schedule despite the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic, and showcases the country's commitment to further opening up its massive market for shared growth.
As the fifth CIIE approaches, exhibits are arriving in Shanghai via various means. On Sept. 20, the first batch of inbound exhibits, with a declared value of 560 million yuan (about 78.7 million U.S. dollars), cleared customs at the Shanghai Pudong International Airport.
The China-Europe freight train has also become a popular choice of transportation among companies attending the CIIE, said Wang Jinqiu, chairman of Shanghai Oriental Silk Road Multimodal Transport Co., Ltd., adding that this is the second year that the service has delivered products to the CIIE in Shanghai.
According to Shanghai Customs, the peak of exhibit arrivals is expected to occur in October. Shanghai Customs said it will continue to optimize the clearance process of exhibits and provide safe, convenient, and efficient customs clearance services.
Sun Chenghai, deputy director of the CIIE Bureau said the work of inviting enterprises to participate in the fifth CIIE had been completed and positive progress is being made in terms of setting up exhibitions.
Thousands of miles away, Roy van den Hurk, general manager of Theland Global R&D at Milk New Zealand Dairy, is busy applying for his visa to attend the coming 2022 expo.
"China's huge consumer market helps foreign trade enterprises like us to find opportunities in the green food industry and promote global economic recovery," said van den Hurk, who has participated in the event three times.
The expo has helped the New Zealand company to embark on the "fast track" of development in China, van den Hurk noted, as Theland is now even available in supermarkets in small counties in central and western China.
Data shows that more than 280 of the world's top 500 enterprises and industry giants will participate in this year's CIIE, with nearly 90 percent of the participants from last year also joining this year.
Will Song, global senior vice president and China chairman of Johnson & Johnson, said that over the last four years the company had brought dozens of debuts to the CIIE each year, and this year at the fifth expo, it will unveil about 40 debuts.
China's Vice Minister of Commerce Sheng Qiuping said the CIIE has given full play to its role as a window for building a cooperation platform for those engaged both at home and abroad, and has become a place for exhibitors to debut their new global products, cutting-edge technologies and innovative services.
According to statistics from the Ministry of Commerce, from 2018 to 2021, exhibitors at the four previous editions of the CIIE launched more than 1,500 new products, technologies and services, with an accumulated intended turnover exceeding 270 billion U.S. dollars.
The preference of foreign capital demonstrates the market attractiveness of China. Statistics from the Ministry of Commerce show that foreign direct investment in the Chinese mainland, in actual use, expanded 16.4 percent year on year to 892.74 billion yuan in the first eight months of this year.
China, which has signed 19 free trade agreements with 26 countries and regions, will also ink more free trade agreements with willing partners, and work to enhance the effectiveness of these agreements to benefit businesses and people better and faster, said Shu Jueting, spokesperson for the Ministry of Commerce, at a recent regular media conference.
The CIIE has spawned huge benefits far beyond China's borders, allowing companies to experience solid gains and enjoy tremendous progress, Brambilla noted.
"I believe this is why so many companies, like L'Oreal, are back at the CIIE once again and why more and more new partners have joined us as we begin this exciting countdown to the fifth CIIE," he said.