The 200-day countdown has begun for the first China International Import Expo in Shanghai. It will be held from Nov 5 to 10.
The first China International Import Expo is divided into three parts: country pavilions for trade and investment, an Enterprise and Business Exhibition and the Hongqiao International Trade Forum.
As of mid-April, 61 countries have confirmed their participation in the country pavilions.
And for the Enterprise and Business Exhibition, about 1,700 companies have submitted applications to showcase their products.
About 900 of them are confirmed – with many Fortune 500 companies among them.
One-third of the exhibitors are from developed countries. Another third are involved in the Belt and Road Initiative. And one tenth of them are from least developed ones.
The organizer says the wide variety of products is something to look forward to.
“Products from developed countries and Fortune 500 companies are mostly high-tech, such as automobiles. Companies from developing countries and involved in the Belt & Road have a lot of food and agricultural products. These are all important, as they cater to the needs of different groups of people,” said Sun Chenghai, the deputy chief of the Bureau of China International Import Expo.
One participating company believes the event is a landmark in global trade.
“I believe for everybody who wants to do trade with China, this perhaps is a landmark, a new step for improving the trade between the companies like us and our partners in China,” said Frede Juulsen, head of Global Child Nutrition of Arla Foods.
The expo expects about 150,000 domestic and international buyers. And all of China’s 98 central-government owned enterprises will be participating. This is just the first step, there are many more to come.
“Our buyers are from three major channels. First, different provinces will make efforts to organize their own buyers. The 98 central-government owned enterprises will participate. And we will also organize overseas buyers to come, ” said Sun.
China is now the second largest importing and consumer country in the world. It’s expected to import more than 10-trillion-US dollar worth of goods and services in the next five years. And this expo aims to provide more access and opportunities to global producers.
At the recently concluded Boao Forum for Asia in China’s Hainan province, President Xi Jinping said this expo is an important move in showing China’s initiative of further opening up its market. China is not seeking to gain a trade surplus, but instead is sincerely looking to increase imports and boost its trade balance of current accounts.