Countries look to expand trade ties with China in the Shanghai Expo

Written By: Eric Biegon

One of the signs publicizing the third China International Import Expo in Shanghai. PICTURE/CIIE BUREAU

In what will depict a completely contrasting situation to the state of affairs in other parts of the world, China is set to host the annual China International Import Expo signaling a return to normalcy in the world’s second-largest economy.

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By the same token, organizing such a trade fair will also act as proof that China’s measures to prevent and control the covid-19 pandemic, that has caused major social and economic disruptions, have been effective.

Away from the pandemic, the expo has over the last couple of years proved to be a major exchange program for companies to interconnect, exhibit their products, making their brands known to the Chinese public, which provides the largest market than any other part of the world.

The CIIE also facilitates interaction and links with new business partners, be it in the area of automobiles, healthcare and medical equipment, trade in services, food and agricultural products, as well as the intelligent and information technology industry, just to mention a few.

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It is expected that new products, technologies, and services will make their debuts in this year’s expo, the third since its inception, in China’s financial hub, Shanghai, from the 5th to 7th of November.

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In its welcoming message, the expo bureau noted that it was open to working with all countries, regions and international organizations “to make CIIE a world-class Expo, providing new channels for countries and regions to do business, strengthen cooperation and promote common prosperity of the world economy and trade.”

The expo has become hugely attractive that even though the world is in the middle of a pandemic, more than 500,000 people from across the globe have registered for the event. According to the Shanghai government, the expo has also drawn more than 100 foreign government delegations.

The high number of applications for the expo appears driven by the need to understand Chinese customers and adapt to their expectations.

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Dozens of companies that have applied for participation see the expo as an exceptional opportunity to explore the Chinese market and promote exports by securing partnership contracts.

Because of the expo, a good number of companies, some of them from Africa, have signed collaboration agreements, which have yielded fruitful returns. Last year, for instance, statistics from the event show that deals worth in excess of $71 billion were agreed.

2019 China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai. PICTURE/COURTESY

It is a norm that several Chinese enterprises will also be at hand to exchange views and establish connections with business communities from other parts of the world.

The presence of these companies at the exhibition alongside various international competitors makes it possible to observe and get new market trends for continuous improvement of the quality of their products.

Africa stands to benefit from this expo especially given that of six exhibitions in the event, that of consumer goods is the largest, covering four halls of the expo venue.

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The information available on the event shows that the food and agricultural products exhibition will host the most exhibitors – more than 1,000 from nearly 100 countries and regions.

Over and above this, the need for technological advancements in the continent cannot be overemphasized. Participation by the continent’s public and private sector players is important given that the intelligent industry and information technology innovations will be exhibited by a host of leading electric and engineering equipment companies.

The China International Import Expo represents President Xi Jinping’s vision of transforming the world into a community with a shared future for mankind.

Xi has lauded CIIE as an initiative that plays an important role in expanding China’s reform and opening up, and a demonstration of China’s willingness to work with the outside world. This, according to keen observers, illustrates a vision of common development and progress.

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