File photo shows the National Exhibition and Convention Center, the venue of the 2018 China International Import Expo (CIIE), in Shanghai, east China. (Xinhua)
Preparations for China's first import expo have seen smooth progress, with more businesses than expected to participate, a senior official said Friday.
China on Friday announced the 100-day countdown to the opening of the China International Import Expo (CIIE), which will be held in Shanghai from Nov. 5 to 10.
"Business registration for the expo has reached an end, with the outcome far exceeding our expectations," said Vice Minister of Commerce Wang Bingnan at a press conference.
More than 2,800 companies from overseas will participate in the expo, including over 200 businesses on the Fortune Global 500 list and industry leaders.
The companies, covering a total booth area of 270,000 square meters, are from over 130 countries and regions across five continents, including developed, developing and the least developed countries.
Citing preliminary statistics, the vice minister said participants would showcase over 100 new products and technologies and premium goods from their countries.
"Authorities have taken a series of measures to facilitate business participation, such as giving participants priority clearance at customs and providing tax guarantee for exhibits brought to China," he said.
Over 150,000 buyers from home and abroad are estimated to attend the expo.
Apart from business exhibition, 80 countries and three international organizations have confirmed their participation in the country-pavilion exhibition, which covers a total area of 30,000 square meters. All exhibits at the country pavilions are for display only.
Among the 80 countries, 21 are developed countries, 50 are developing and nine are the world's least developed countries. A China pavilion will also be set up.
During the expo, the Hongqiao International Trade Forum will be held under the theme of "Unleashing New Vigor in Global Trade, Creating a New Pattern for Open and Win-Win Cooperation."
Various heads of international organizations, states and governments have confirmed their attendance to the forum, Wang said.
Renovation of the main venues for the expo is expected to be completed by the end of August, while 5,000 volunteers will be recruited to serve the expo, according to Wu Qing, vice mayor of Shanghai.