An aerial view of the National Exhibition Center in Shanghai, where the First China International Import Expo will be held on November 5-10 (COURTESY PHOTO)
From New Zealand fresh milk to Canadian seafood and South American fruits, Chinese consumers' increasingly discerning tastes present enormous opportunities for foreign businesses. A similar trend is apparent in spending on world-renowned brand items such as automobiles, luxury bags and hi-tech devices. To help keep up with the change in Chinese buying patterns, the First China International Import Expo (CIIE) will be held in Shanghai in 100 days.
Over 2,800 companies from 130-plus countries and regions have confirmed their attendance at the First CIIE on November 5-10. It's expected that over 150,000 purchasers from home and abroad will attend the event.
What makes this expo so special is that it is a major move by China to resolutely support trade liberalization and voluntarily open its markets wider to the world. The CIIE serves as a brand-new springboard for foreign businesses and products eyeing the Chinese market.
China's further opening up is a boon for the world. In the next 15 years, China is expected to import $24 trillion worth of products, and the CIIE manifests China's firm stance on sharing its market opportunities with the rest of the world.
Walter Tong, Greater China Managing Partner for Key Accounts at Ernst & Young, a multinational professional services firm headquartered in London, said the CIIE is not only a bridge connecting exhibitors and buyers, but also a bridge for exhibitors to network and for exhibitors and the government to interact.
"With our professional knowledge and Chinese market knowhow, we can help small and medium-sized foreign businesses expand their operations in China. And the CIIE offers a good opportunity for Ernst & Young to reach more potential clients," Tong told Beijing Review.
Simon Electric is a supplier of high quality electrical equipment and wiring products. The Spanish company first entered the Chinese market in 1999 and achieved sales revenue of over 1 billion yuan ($147 million) last year, with the goal of at least tripling this figure within three to five years.
"Over the past two decades, sales revenue in the Chinese market has been increasing at an average of 15 to 20 percent annually," said Zhang Renyu, General Manager of Simon Electric China, adding that China sales now accounts for roughly 20 percent of the company's global total.
"We wanted to apply for a booth of 300 square meters, but with the CIIE being so popular, we only got 100 square meters," Zhang told Beijing Review.
We will consolidate relations with our traditional partners and explore new partners at the First CIIE in November, said Zhang.
(Reporting from Shanghai)
Copyedited by Francisco Little
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