Roundup: Japanese small-, medium-sized enterprises eye opportunities at CIIE

Updated: November 6, 2021 Source: Xinhua News Agency
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TOKYO, Nov. 5 (Xinhua) -- As the fourth China International Import Expo (CIIE) opened in Shanghai, the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) said that Japanese enterprises look forward to introducing Japanese high-quality products and services to Chinese consumers through this platform, exploring the Chinese market and seeking recovery opportunities for Japanese small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The JETRO, an official agency under the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry dedicated to promoting trade and investment, led 128 Japanese enterprises and groups to participate in the exhibition this year, most of which are SMEs.

At the first CIIE in 2018, the organization gathered about 260 enterprises and groups, mainly SMEs, to participate in the exhibition.

This year marks the fourth consecutive year that the JETRO has participated in the CIIE. The agency told Xinhua that the CIIE is the largest import fair in China, and so far many Japanese exhibitors have successfully signed contracts with dealers and agents.

The CIIE attracts a large number of purchasers and provides a valuable platform for international cooperation, the JETRO said, adding that it is the most effective exhibition for Japanese enterprises to promote their products and bring valuable business opportunities to exporters.

According to the organization, its exhibitors are concentrated in three areas -- medical devices and healthcare, agricultural and aquatic products and food, and clothing and consumer goods.

In the field of medical equipment and medicine and health care, 39 Japanese companies are optimistic about the opportunities of business in China, mainly promoting Japanese health care, medical and nursing products and services, among which 20 are debutants and 19 have participated many times.

A total of 89 Japanese companies and groups in the field of agricultural and aquatic products and food participated in the exhibition, with their booths covering an area of 1,300 square meters. Among them, the design style of the food booth used watchtower, curtain, lantern and other elements to create a Japanese-style space to attract buyers.

As using digital technology to conduct business has become more popular amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the JETRO incorporated electronic marketing in galleries of food and consumer goods. Consumers only need to scan the QR code next to the products to open the cross-border e-commerce page and buy their favorite exhibits online.

In addition, about 20 percent of the Japanese companies participating in the CIIE in Shanghai also do businesses online at the same time, using digital technologies to communicate with purchasers who are not at the exhibition.

Cross-border e-commerce is at the heart of JETRO's recent expansion. The "Japan official cross-border experience pavilion," linked with e-commerce, covers an exhibition area of 1,000 square meters, which is about 170 percent larger than last year. It is expected that up to 1,000 products will be on display and digital technology will be used online with Internet celebrities doing livestreaming sales.

The COVID-19 pandemic has plunged sales and profits of Japanese companies, including SMEs, many of whom are looking to expand exports to China. According to a survey conducted by the JETRO on the overseas business development of Japanese enterprises, 76.7 percent of Japanese enterprises intend to expand exports, and 56.7 percent of them choose China as their first choice for export destination.

In addition, China tops the list of the destinations for cross-border e-commerce sales, accounting for 47.6 percent, according to the survey.

China is Japan's largest trading partner, export market and source of imports. In 2020, the China-Japan economic and trade cooperation expanded despite the pandemic, with bilateral trade volume reaching 317.5 billion U.S. dollars.

Experts believe that the CIIE will become an important platform for Japanese SMEs' foray into the Chinese market and facilitate Japan's economic recovery in the post-pandemic era.

Editor: Tian Shenyoujia