BEIJING – The third China International Import Expo (CIIE) will be held as scheduled offline from November 5 to 10 in Shanghai amid the coronavirus pandemic, showing China’s determination to further open up, a CIIE Bureau official said.
The event can also accelerate the recovery of the global economy, said Sun Chenghai, vice director of the CIIE Bureau, Global Times reported on Saturday.
Despite rising China-US tensions, the US multinationals still show a willingness to expand in the Chinese market. Over 150 US companies including industry leaders such as 3M, Qualcomm Technologies, Pfizer and Exxon Mobil Corp will participate in the expo, based on data released by the CIIE Bureau.
More than 190 US firms attended the second CIIE. Despite the impact of the uncertainties between China and the US as well as the pandemic, many US firms still decided to take part in the event “as they trust the market potential and improved business environment in China,” Wang Xiaohong, professor at the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, told the Global Times.
Also, over 140 companies from Germany and 150 companies from Australia are scheduled to take part in the event, according to official data. Both production and consumption have been “seriously impacted” in many countries due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Wang said, noting that the CIIE shows China hopes to establish a platform to “welcome businesses from across the world” to seek opportunities.
“It releases a signal that China will firmly continue its opening-up and improve its business environment to attract more international businesses,” Wang said. Many offline events have been moved online or cancelled due to the pandemic, such as the Shanghai Rolex Masters and other international sports events.
Bai Ming, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, echoed the opinion. The event will be held offline, providing channels for enterprises to demonstrate their products, which also indicates the country’s “confidence and determination” in epidemic prevention and control, Bai said.
The Enterprise & Business Exhibition area of the third CIIE will be expanded to 360,000 square meters, up 20 percent from the second expo. The exhibition area for consumer goods, healthcare and services trade has exceeded the planned exhibition area, according to the bureau. It may be mentioned here that in the second CIIE held last year, over 35 Pakistani entrepreneurs participated in the expo and showcased their products including the top textile, leather, sports goods, surgical equipment, home furnishing and other products.
Pakistan had also participated in the first expo where many Pakistani companies displayed their products. Pakistan had been invited to the expo as a guest of honour. This year too, the Chinese authorities expect Pakistan’s participation in the forthcoming expo in a big way.
According to analysts, the forthcoming expo will provide a great opportunity for the Pakistani businessmen to explore the Chinese market and enhance their export to China after signing of the second phase of the China-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement.
The agreement has been implemented from January this year allowing the Pakistani manufacturers and traders to export around 313 new products on zero duty to the Chinese market. Pakistan is already enjoying zero duty on export of 724 products to China under the first FTA signed between the two countries in 2006. After the implementation of the second FTA, Pakistan has been allowed to export a total of 1047 products to China on zero duty. The new facility will particularly benefit the textile sector to enhance its export to China as textile exports to China will virtually be duty-free. The volume of the Chinese import market is around $64 billion.