CIIE 2020 closes on a high

Big numbers and deals at China International Import Expo in Shanghai show country open for business despite trade tensions; event held under strict Covid testing and tracing

CHINA’S most important international business event has ended with buyers and suppliers shrugging off global trade tensions to notch up deals under epidemic-prevention measures and the leveraging of digital technology.

The China International Import Expo at National Convention and Exhibition Centre, Shanghai (above), attracted 674 exhibitors, 1,351 purchasers from 64 countries and regions participating offline and online, according to figures from the event’s organisers.

On November 7, the second day of the five-day show, 861 co-operation leads were recorded with international representatives who also took part in 10 investment promotion conferences and 76 signing sessions.

Agreements were signed with 27 for local trade groups and 48 large enterprises with co-operation also established with the trade groups for the National Health Commission of China.

Also prominent at CIIE’s third edition was Argentina with representatives focusing on wine exports amid China’s clampdown on imports from Australia following diplomatic tensions.

Organisers say deals worth in the region of US$70 billion are expected. Some 300,000 sqm of exhibition space was devoted to the event – 60,000 more than in 2019, the China Daily reported,

Chinese media reported buyers having made the trip to Shanghai from New Zealand,  Switzerland and elsewhere. Like other overseas attendees, company representatives arrived early to undergo quarantine, pass full nucleic acid detection tests and full-chain traceability  in order to attend CIIE.

The largest delegation of enterprise exhibitors represented Japan while American companies booked the largest exhibition area.

Some 70 per cent of the world’s Fortune 500 companies participated, say organisers, with dozens having signed up for the next three years.

“Enterprises from around the globe are enthusiastically taking part despite long-distance trips and overcoming difficulties due to the Covid-19 outbreak,” said a CIIE spokesman as the event got underway.

“This clearly demonstrates that global enterprises recognise the CIIE as an important platform and are confident in the huge potential of the Chinese market.”

Newcomers this year included US medical device company Abbott, French tyre manufacturer Michelin and Swiss air-quality technology provider IQAir.

The UK government said British firms signed about US$565 million worth of deals with Chinese companies during the event with thousands of new business connections made and 120,000 unique visitors to the new UK-China business matching platform.

CIIE was set up under President Xi Jinping three years go to offer more opportunities for international businesses to sell goods and services to China as the country’s own exports soared. X gave a keynote speech at the opening of CIIE last week.

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