By Tian Hong, People's Daily
The fifth China International Import Expo (CIIE) will be held in Shanghai from Nov. 5 to 10 as scheduled.
This year's CIIE, as a higher-level and more professional event to be joined by more participants, will witness a large number of launch events and serve as a better platform where global enterprises share development opportunities and pursue win-win cooperation.
More than 280 Fortune Global 500 companies and industry-leading enterprises have confirmed their participation in the event this year, of which nearly 90 percent are "old friends" of the CIIE.
Besides, the event will also be joined by the world's top four grain producers, top three players in the seed industry, top 10 manufacturers of medical devices and largest 10 pharmaceutical companies.
On Sept. 22, 45 days before the fifth CIIE kicks off, a ping-pong robot manufactured by Japanese electronics manufacturer Omron, a "frequenter" of the event, acquired the ATA Carnet certificate - a "passport" for international exhibits - and became the first inbound exhibit of the fifth CIIE to have cleared customs through a sea port.
The robot, which will be joining the CIIE for a fifth time, was developed in 2013. It was certified by Guinness World Records as the world's first robot table tennis tutor. The seventh generation of the robot has been launched so far.
Apart from the "frequenter," "new friends" are coming to the event, too. This year, Iceland will participate in the CIIE Country Exhibition for the first time.
Thorir Ibsen, Ambassador of Iceland to China noted that Iceland and China have launched close cooperation on trade, tourism, innovation, technology, sustainable development, climate change, as well as green and geothermal energy. Iceland will bringing its seafood, alcohol, chocolate and cosmetics to the fifth CIIE, the ambassador added.
The CIIE includes a business exhibition, a country exhibition, the Hongqiao International Economic Forum and other supporting activities. As the world's first import-themed exhibition held at national level, it has been developed into an important platform for China to share its development opportunities with the rest of the world over the past five years.
The business exhibition of the event has expanded its display area to 366,000 square meters last year from 270,000 square meters at the first session. It includes six exhibition sections of food and agricultural products, automobile, intelligent industry and information technology, consumer goods, medical equipment and healthcare products, and trade in services.
The first three import expos alone facilitated 622 foreign investment projects worth approximately $30.5 billion.
China has a huge market. Its opening up through the CIIE will place profound impacts on the world economy. The fourth CIIE saw deals reached for intended one-year purchases of goods and services totaling $78.42 billion, which followed $57.83 billion of intended deals inked at the inaugural expo in 2018, $71.13 billion worth of tentative deals at the second expo and $72.62 billion at the third. China's robust consumption growth is seen by all merchants around the world. Any company wanting to sell its products to the vast Chinese market can't afford to ignore the CIIE.
Today, the CIIE is not merely an exhibition. It is also hosting activities in different parts of China for targeted business matchmaking, turning exhibits into merchandises, and exhibitors into investors.
As a powerful platform with a convenient mechanism, the CIIE has witnessed the launches of a number of new products, technologies and services. In the first four sessions, participating enterprises launched over 1,500 new products, technologies and services.
German pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim received a fruitful return with a 200-million-yuan ($27.68 million) contract of intention signed when it attended the CIIE for the first time. Its products were officially launched in the Chinese market in less than a year after its second participation in the event.
Opening up is a distinctive feature of modern China. As an important platform that promotes Chinese-foreign markets integration, advances cross-industry collaboration, encourages innovation and synergizes Chinese and foreign market rules, the CIIE features good performance, good results and continued success. It makes the huge Chinese market a big opportunity for the world and demonstrates China's firm determination to expand opening up at a higher level.
No matter how the international situation may change, China will only open its door wider to the world, which will release more dividends and bring long-term benefits to the rest of the world.