World producers aspire for greater opportunities from CIIE

While bracing for the first China International Import Expo (CIIE), worldwide participants including officials and company leaders are actively edging the competitiveness of their exhibits or products.

Among them, hopeful words like "opportunities", "chance","promising" and "great platform" are most frequently mentioned when referring to the mega expo, which will be held in Shanghai on Nov. 5-10.

From the big beneficiaries of China's opening-up policy like European auto-industry giants to fresh comers such as African food and beverage suppliers, there is a common aspiration to make best of the expo to promote their brands and products, and take bigger shares in the lucrative market of China.

"We look forward to meeting companies we can collaborate with as we are always seeking to expand our ecosystem of partners," said German software corporation SAP in a statement.

It told Xinhua that the CIIE provides a new platform for global businesses to collaborate and promotes common prosperity of the world economy and trade.

Metro, a leading German international company in wholesale and food retail, said that it wants to take the opportunity of the CIIE to showcase its strength in imports and global sourcing.

Philippe Palazzi, chief operating officer and management board member of Metro AG, said: "We also want to use such a great platform to enhance our exchange and communication with local customers, business partners and other stakeholders as we are committed to the long-term development in China."

For Danish brand Danisa, which sees itself as a "beneficiary of China's opening-up to the world policy," the expo means more customers and partners.

"We believe that through this event we will have better exposure in China and find more partners to help us distribute our products to not only tier-1/tier-2 cities, but also further into tier-3/tier-4/tier-5 cities," said Erik Bresling, CEO of Danisa.

Companies which are believers of China's development and beneficiaries of the opening-up policy make a big part of CIIE participants. Regional delegations also attach great importance to the platform, viewing it as a gateway and window to know better China's market and development path.

So far, over 150,000 buyers from home and abroad are estimated to attend the expo. Apart from business exhibitions, 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.

Horacio Licon, vice president of the Greater Houston Partnership, an economic development organization serving the Greater Houston area, told Xinhua that the expo is a great opportunity for Houston to continue developing its trade relationship with China, the second largest trading partner of the region.

Licon will lead a team of 15 delegates representing 12 companies to Shanghai in November, which cover diverse industries such as technology, manufacturing, energy and logistics.

"We have expectations in terms of understanding and hearing directly from our Chinese counterparts on the private sector and on the government side, the messages about the future of Chinese trade, how the government is seeing the future of Chinese trade and how Houston will play a role in that relationship," Licon said.

The American delegate's concern is understandable as the U.S.-initiated tariff frictions with major trade partners are threatening the hard-won international trade rules and prickling China-U.S. economic ties.

According to John Edwards, British consul-general in Shanghai, the CIIE is a great opportunity for newcomers to understand the Chinese market as well as the customers while on the other hand, it is also "a very special symbol of China's opening-up."

His comments echoed President Xi Jinping's remarks on the expo.

"Looking ahead, China will open still wider and its development will deliver even greater benefits to the rest of the world," Xi said in a speech at the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting in Vietnam last year, adding that the CIIE "will help all parties to better share the opportunities of China's development."

"The expo sends a strong message from China in favor of free trade and multilateralism," Argentine political observer Patricio Giusto, who is head of consulting firm Diagnostico Politico (Political Diagnosis), told Xinhua in a recent interview.

According to official data, more than 2,800 enterprises from more than 130 countries and regions have confirmed their participation in the first CIIE. Some companies such as Metro and accounting firm EY have even registered for the 2019 expo as they believe that free trade and opening-up that China always advocates is win-win for everyone.

Editor: 曹家宁
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