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Expo points way to imports

Qiu Quanlin
Updated: May 15,2015 8:03 AM     China Daily

Nilufar Hairet, a trade company representative, displays traditional handmade folk items from Tajikistan at the China International Cultural Industries Fair, which opened in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, on May 14.[Photo/China Daily]

A five-day fair featuring cultural and art products from countries and regions along ancient trade routes highlights opportunities for importing goods to a growing Chinese market.

The Silk Road hall of the China International Cultural Industries Fair, which opened in Shenzhen on May 14, displayed folk items made from countries and regions along the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, and attracted hundreds of visitors, both local and overseas.

Nilufar Hairet, a trade representative from a company based in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, was busy showing handmade articles from Tajikistan, a country situated along the Silk Road Economic Belt.

“There are many handmade folk articles in the Central Asia countries such as Tajikistan. But not so many could be found in the Chinese market in the past,” Hairet said.

A growing number of such articles should be entering China in the near future following the country’s Belt and Road Initiative, Hairet said.

“Central Asia countries have realized the potential demand for cultural and art products in the Chinese market. As a result, we are making efforts to boost imports of such products from Central Asia to China,” she said.

China’s “One Belt, One Road” Initiative, referring to the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, was proposed by President Xi Jinping in 2013 to enhance regional connectivity and prosperity.

The annual fair, one of China’s flagship platforms for culture and trade, has attracted more than 18,000 traders from 97 countries and regions, with 2,286 government and business organizations confirming participation, organizers said.

Exhibitors such as Hairet’s company were specially keen on bringing traditional folk articles to the Chinese market. “Handmade ceramic articles and tapestries are very popular in Central Asia. We believe they will have a booming market in China,” Hairet said.

A growing number of Chinese cultural companies have started to grow their cultural investments and cooperation in countries and regions involved in the initiative.

Qian Hongyu, a human resource manager at Yunnan Communication Group, said the company would team up with counterparts in Southeast Asia and South Asia countries to conduct business.

The company has already cooperated with national television companies in Laos and Cambodia to invest in digital TV transmission technologies.

“We will also bring more Chinese movies and TV dramas to southern and southeastern Asia countries and regions,” Qian said.

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