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Overseas firms eye CIIE for access to vast market

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China Daily| Updated: October 25, 2023

A larger number of overseas enterprises, including both frequent participants and first-timers, will participate in the sixth China International Import Expo to be held in Shanghai from Nov 5 to 10.

This year's event will fully resume offline activities, and seek to tap China's super-sized market, senior officials and company executives said on Monday.

Participants from as many as 154 countries and regions, as well as international organizations, are expected to take part, bringing the number of both exhibitors and professionals attending the event to the pre-COVID levels of over 3,400 and 394,000, respectively, Sheng Qiuping, vice-minister of commerce, said at a news conference in Beijing.

Spread over 367,000 square meters, this year's expo will witness the participation of a record 289 Fortune 500 enterprises and industry-leading businesses, Sheng said.

Since its inception in 2018, the CIIE has grown into an international platform for international procurement, investment promotion, people-to-people exchanges and open cooperation, he said.

On the one hand, the expo will introduce cutting-edge machinery, high-end parts and accessories, intermediate goods and consumer goods; on the other hand, it will underpin China's industrial upgrading, enrich the domestic supply and raise the standard of consumption, Sheng said.

Noting the role of the expo as an international public good, Sheng said China has continued to collaborate with competent international organizations in an effort to actively promote win-win cooperation for all nations and drive inclusive global economic growth.

Compared with previous editions, the section within the CIIE that features low-carbon solutions, artificial intelligence and other cutting-edge technologies, as well as consumer goods, will rise by 30 percent in size this year, with more than 400 new items, technologies and services, Sheng said.

Furthermore, the expo played an important role in facilitating high-quality Belt and Road Initiative cooperation, said Sun Chenghai, deputy director of the CIIE Bureau, the expo's organizer.

More than 1,500 enterprises from the Belt and Road countries and regions have signed up for this year's event.

Meanwhile, through the provision of free booths and other approaches, the CIIE has fostered the participation of businesses from the least developed of the Belt and Road economies, to help promote local specialty products in the Chinese market, Sun said.

Tu Xinquan, head of the China Institute for WTO Studies, which is part of the University of International Business and Economics, said since global trade and investment remain sluggish amid rising geopolitical tensions and a gloomy world economic outlook, the CIIE will help foster collaboration in various sectors and inject new energy into the global economy for inclusive growth.

The CIIE is also a testament to China's commitment to further open up its market to the world. It provides an opportunity for international companies to serve the vast Chinese consumer market that boasts a population of over 1.4 billion and massive development opportunities, Tu said.

"Toshiba China will participate in the CIIE for the sixth consecutive year. We have confidence in the growth of the Chinese market and remain committed to supporting high-quality and sustainable development through innovative technology and topnotch services," said Takao Yagi, chairman and CEO of Toshiba (China) Co Ltd.

Toshiba will showcase innovative achievements in automotive semiconductor technology and present the latest digital solutions for the first time during the CIIE this year.

In addition, products and solutions such as carbon capture technology for green and low-carbon development, large-scale pumped hydro storage units for hydropower and 3D ultrasound detection devices will be prominently featured.

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An aerial view of the National Exhibition and Convention Center (Shanghai), the venue for the China International Import Expo. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

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