The south square of the National Exhibition and Convention Center (Shanghai), the main venue for the upcoming fifth China International Import Expo (CIIE), is pictured in east China's Shanghai, Oct. 24, 2022. The CIIE, the world's first dedicated import exhibition, will take place in Shanghai on Nov. 5-10. (Xinhua/Fang Zhe)
A large number of overseas exhibitors have found suitable opportunities and turned themselves into investors during the China International Import Expo (CIIE), which has been held in Shanghai, China's economic powerhouse, once a year since 2018.
For the first time, this year's CIIE will set up an "Exhibitors Turn into Investors" exhibition area, where participating companies can share their stories in the Chinese market, reported Shanghai Securities News.
As the first national import-themed exposition, the CIIE has become an important platform for the world to share the development and investment opportunities in China.
-- Exhibitors turn into investors
After the previous sessions of the CIIE, many exhibitors have expanded presence in China to share the dividends of the market development in the long term.
At the first CIIE, Leonardo S.p.A., an exhibitor from Italy, reached a strategic agreement with Shanghai-based ZENISUN Group to launch the Sino-Italian helicopter production project, with a total investment of 12.8 billion yuan, in Zhangjiang Yangtze River Delta Sci-Tech City Pinghu Sci-Tech Park.
At the second CIIE, Zhejiang-based Tianneng Battery Group reached a comprehensive cooperation agreement with Saft, a subsidiary of Total Energies, France, to develop an environment-friendly high-energy lithium-ion battery project. The project, with a planned total investment of 10 billion yuan, had its groundbreaking ceremony during the third CIIE.
At the third CIIE, Apollo Future Mobility Group Limited, which participated in the exhibition for the first time, hit it off with Shanghai Jinqiao Export Processing Zone Development Co., Ltd. After the exposition, the two sides signed a cooperation framework agreement to launch the Apollo electric sports car industry project in Shanghai, with an estimated total investment of more than 2 billion yuan.
At the fourth CIIE, Singapore's national grid operator SP Group increased the capital in Shirui Energy Technology (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. by more than 60 million U.S. dollars to further expand the business in the Chinese market.
"Hyundai Motor Group is full of confidence in China's market." Wu Yanbing, director of the Public Relations Department of Hyundai Motor Group (China) Ltd., an exhibitor of the CIIE, said that after investing 8.5 billion yuan in the construction of a hydrogen fuel cell production and sales base in Guangdong last year. This year, Hyundai Motor Group and its Chinese partners have added the capital of 9.8 billion yuan to the two joint ventures in China.
-- Overseas enterprises continue investment
Among the exhibitors of the CIIE, many overseas enterprises including many Fortune Global 500 companies have invested in China again and again.
Novo Nordisk, a biopharmaceutical company headquartered in Denmark, continues to quicken the layout in the whole industrial chain in China, with a total investment about to exceed 2.5 billion yuan.
Thanks to the opportunities provided by CIIE, Novo Nordisk invested 200 million yuan to incorporate Novo Nordisk (Shanghai) Pharma Trading Co., Ltd. in China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone Lin-gang Special Area in October 2020, becoming the first multinational pharmaceutical enterprise to settle in the Area. In September this year, the company invested 500 million yuan in Tianjin to build a high bay warehouse project.
Similar to Novo Nordisk, AstraZeneca has leveraged the CIIE platform to invest 3.5 billion yuan in the building of regional headquarters in Hangzhou City, Zhejiang Province and Chengdu City, Sichuan Province. AstraZeneca has formed a new pattern with Shanghai as the headquarters in China and Beijing, Hangzhou, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Wuxi and Qingdao as the six regional headquarters.
-- CIIE attracts considerable foreign investment
During the past four sessions of the CIIE, the intended investment has totaled more than 270 billion U.S. dollarsand driven by the event, foreign direct investment (FDI) in Shanghai reached 61.8 billion U.S. dollars from 2019 to 2021, according to data from Shanghai Municipal Commission of Commerce.
At the same time, FDI inflows into China continued to grow. Data from the Ministry of Commerce showed that in 2019, 2020 and 2021, China's actual use of foreign capital was 941.5 billion yuan, 999.98 billion yuan and 1,149.36 billion yuan, up 5.8, 6.2 and 14.9 percent year on year respectively.
Since the beginning of this year, China's attraction for global capital has remained strong. From January to August this year, FDI inflows into China amounted to 892.74 billion yuan, up 16.4 percent year on year, data from the Ministry of Commerce showed.
Bai Ming, deputy director of international market research at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, said that the CIIE provides a window for overseas enterprises to be more closely connected with the Chinese market. Many foreign companies go beyond traders to become investors who share the development fruits of China's market.