Shanghai. — Preparations for the third China International Import Expo (CIIE) are in full swing, as the world’s first import-themed national-level expo is only one month away.
It has been a bumpy year for many global companies as the Covid-19 pandemic hit the world economy. Yet, foreign firms’ passion for the upcoming CIIE was not hindered by the pandemic, and the event’s business exhibition area will expand to 360 000 square meters from last year’s 300 000 square meters to cope with foreign exhibitors’ demand, according to Sun Chenghai, vice director of the CIIE Bureau.
“The enlarged exhibition demand shows foreign exhibitors’ recognition of the strong attraction of the CIIE and the Chinese market,” Sun said.
As the organiser plans to host the expo on November 5 as scheduled despite the COVID-19 pandemic, a batch of Estee Lauder products from the US completed customs clearance in Shanghai on September 28, becoming the first exhibits of the import expo to pass through customs. On the same day, a comprehensive drill took place at the National Exhibition and Convention Centre (Shanghai).
Shang Yuying, deputy secretary-general of the Shanghai municipal government, said measures used in the last two editions as well as Covid-19 epidemic prevention and control measures will be combined to better the experience of exhibitors and visitors at the third CIIE.
“I think that the CIIE will be one of the very few, if not the only exhibition in the world not canceled, and that will take place offline, and I think it sends many very strong signals,” L’Oreal CEO Jean-Paul Agon said, adding that it shows the Covid-19 epidemic is under control and things are going back to normal in China, which is crucial because other countries continue struggling with their domestic epidemic.
It also shows China is reaffirming its opening-up policy, which is especially important nowadays, Agon added.
“I’m sure the management of the CIIE will be done with the utmost care. That’s important not only for China, but for the rest of the world, that the pandemic can be managed effectively,” said Allan Gabor, president of Merck China.
The CIIE Bureau has opened the registration for exhibitors seeking to participate in the fourth CIIE in 2021. Dozens of foreign companies including Hyundai Motor Group, Shiseido, Theland and Michelin have signed with the CIIE Bureau to attend the expo in the next three years.
“We’re very grateful for the opportunities brought by the CIIE,” Sheng Wenhao, CEO of Theland Asia Pacific Region.
Benefitting from the Shanghai customs’ improved clearance service, the New Zealand dairy company can now have its fresh milk with a shelf life of only 15 days land in Shanghai supermarkets in roughly three days, instead of around seven days, after production and bottling in New Zealand.
“Our milk has been made available in remote Chinese small cities like Mohe, a border city in northeast Heilongjiang Province, some 3 000 km away from Shanghai, just a few months after the second CIIE was held last year,” said Sheng.
The dairy company lost over 80 million yuan (about US$11.8 million) due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in the first quarter. With the recovery of the Chinese consumer market and the introduction of government policies to promote consumption including participating in a night fair designed to promote CIIE star exhibits in June, Theland’s China sales went up by 55 percent year on year in the second quarter. — Xinhua.