Resumed offline expos inject vitality into regional economic integration
Visitors pose for photos outside the venue for the third China International Consumer Products Expo (CICPE) in Haikou, capital city of south China's Hainan Province, on April 15, 2023.(Xinhua/Li Xin)
HAIKOU/NANNING, April 18 (Xinhua) -- Cheng Zhongyun, chairman of a jetboard maker in south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, just wrapped up a busy trip to Hainan, where he attended the third China International Consumer Products Expo (CICPE).
"We've participated in the expo for three consecutive years, and every year our participation has proved fruitful. While further exploring the local market in Hainan, the expo also provides opportunities for us to acquire orders from foreign companies," said Cheng.
His company, Guangxi Tefei Yuntian Aviation Power Technology Co., Ltd., is a microcosm of many domestic companies leveraging the resumed offline expos to gain wider overseas market access.
From April 10 to 15, over 320,000 visitor arrivals were registered at the CICPE, which gathered more than 3,300 brands from 65 countries and regions.
On Saturday, the 133rd China Import and Export Fair, also known as the Canton Fair, kicked off in Guangzhou and welcomed purchasers from over 220 countries and regions.
Burgeoning on-site activities, coupled with a suite of free trade agreements such as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), have greatly boosted regional economic integration.
Apart from China, 10 other RCEP member countries, including the Republic of Korea, Thailand and Vietnam, participated in this year's CICPE, while Japan set up an exhibition area exceeding 1,800 square meters at the CICPE this year.
"The cooperation between Hainan and RCEP member states has deepened in recent years with the help of platforms such as the CICPE," said Zhang Bin, director of the Department of Commerce of Hainan Province.
Zhang added that in 2022, Hainan attracted total investment of 840 million yuan (about 122 million U.S. dollars) from other RCEP member states. The import and export volume of goods between Hainan and RCEP member countries increased by 23.7 percent year on year.
Of the over 160 types of featured products displayed in the Guangxi pavilion at this year's CICPE, about 60 varieties come from ASEAN countries, which are all RCEP member countries.
Yu Xuemei, deputy director of Guangxi's department of commerce, said as China's gateway to ASEAN, Guangxi has adopted a more proactive strategy to deepen economic cooperation and trade exchanges with neighboring countries.
"The CICPE will definitely promote consumption and boost regional economic development," Yu added.
In 2022, China's total retail sales of consumer goods reached nearly 44 trillion yuan, and China maintained its status as the second-largest import market in the world for the 14th consecutive year.
Exhibitors at both the CICPE and the Canton Fair highlighted China's vital role in driving global economic recovery and the massive growth potential of China's consumer market.
"The rising enthusiasm of many countries and regions, especially RCEP member countries, to participate in the offline expos proves that the international community is optimistic about the vitality of China's consumer market and economic development prospects," said Chen Jian, a researcher with the China Society of Economic Reform.
Chen noted that such fairs will fully unleash the potential of economic growth, promote mutual benefit, and continue to inject new impetus into regional and global economic recovery.