By Qiu Haifeng, People’s Daily
The 5th China International Import Expo (CIIE) is expected to be held as scheduled from Nov. 5 to 10 in Shanghai. Preparations for the trade fair are in steady progress despite the impacts of COVID-19.
According to statistics released by China's Ministry of Commerce, the contracted area has exceeded 75 percent of the planned exhibition area, and more than 250 Fortune 500 companies and leading enterprises have confirmed their participation in the event.
The CIIE has moved a number of its promotional activities online due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and they received enthusiastic responses from enterprises.
Since April, nearly 30 online promotional activities have been held to promote the 5th CIIE and to introduce the different exhibition areas.
An Argentina-oriented promotional event of the 5th CIIE was recently held. It was attended by representatives from more than 100 Argentine companies.
Due to the enormous opportunities brought about by China’s growth, Argentina has seen more diversified and higher-value-added exports to China, said Guillermo Merediz, secretary of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and entrepreneurs at the Ministry of Productive Development of Argentina.
During the past four editions of the CIIE, Argentine companies, including many SMEs, had been expanding their exhibition space. Displaying specialties from their country, such as beef, wine, fruits, and dairy products, they reached a great number of deals.
According to Merediz, 452 SMEs in Argentina exported $1.296 billion worth of products to China in 2021, up 18 percent year on year. He said the Argentine Ministry of Productive Development is currently planning to implement an agenda that provides financial support to its SMEs so as to boost their exports to China and strengthen connections with Chinese cities.
The CIIE Bureau recently released several favorable measures to help exhibitors of the 5th CIIE’s business exhibition overcome difficulties in production and operation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and other factors.
Exhibitors that set up their own booths will be entitled to a 300-yuan subsidy for each square meter of their exhibition space, and the registration deadline for the 5th CIIE has also been extended till July 31, 2022.
The 5th CIIE will provide two-way information disclosure for purchasers and exhibitors for the first time. At present, over 50 exhibits or services have their information published, and more than 400,000 purchasers who took part in the previous four CIIEs have received precisely targeted exhibit information via email and instant message.
Preparations for country exhibitions are also in smooth progress, with many countries having confirmed their participation in the event. Preparations for the Hongqiao Forum, cultural exchange activities, and on-site service guarantee are also underway.
Liu Guoping, chairman of ORIX China, noted that the multinational financial group has witnessed the development of China and the increasing attraction of the Chinese market. ORIX officially joined the CIIE in 2020 when non-bank financial institutions were included for the first time in the finance section of the event. Ever since, the group has experienced accelerated development in China.
“All businesses of ORIX have achieved steady growth in the Chinese market. We are always optimistic about the market and will keep working in it,” Liu said.
At the 1st CIIE, exhibitors established the CIIE Exhibitors Alliance. As the rotating chair of the alliance, L’Oreal, the world’s largest cosmetics and beauty company, recently announced that it has founded its first investment company in Shanghai, becoming the first Fortune 500 company in Shanghai to invest in China after the city has recovered from the latest COVID-19 resurgence.
The CIIE, China International Consumer Products Expo and other platforms are a signal of China’s expanding opening up, and further release the consumption potential of the Chinese market, said Fabrice Megarbane, L’Oreal’s president for north Asia zone and chief executive officer of L’Oreal China. He added that L’Oreal is benefiting from the opportunities brought by such platforms and their expanding spillover effect.
China is the largest market of the group’s seven major brands, and is likely to become the largest market globally for the entire group in the future, Megarbane said.
He told People’s Daily that L’Oreal is a witness to China’s development and opening up, and it shares Chinese opportunities through the CIIE. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the group is always optimistic about Shanghai and China’s economy, he said.