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Foreign trade expos hold strong appeal for domestic and foreign companies

People's Daily Online Updated: 2021-08-12

As a bridge connecting exhibitors with consumers, foreign trade expos held in China are showing increasing appeal to exhibitors from both home and abroad.

Visitors tour a yacht show during the first China International Consumer Products Expo in Haikou, capital of south China's Hainan province, May 7, 2021. [Xinhua/Yang Guanyu]

The first China International Consumer Products Expo, which concluded on May 10 in the southern Chinese province of Hainan, attracted more than 1,505 enterprises from 70 countries and regions, as well as more than 30,000 buyers and 240,000 visitors. Livestreaming rooms set up for the expo garnered over 16 million viewers, with a total turnover of 68 million yuan (about $10.4 million).

The 129th session of the China Import and Export Fair, also known as the Canton Fair, concluded online on April 24. The online event received a total of 35.38 million visits on its official website and buyers from 227 countries and regions participated in the fair online, according to Xu Bing, spokesperson for the fair.

The China International Fair for Trade in Services will open in Beijing in September. So far, 96 international organizations have confirmed their participation, with more than 30 planning to hold offline exhibitions and launching nearly 50 special activities.

The location of the exhibition will be the National Convention Center and the Shougang factory plant in Beijing's Shijingshan district. With an exhibition area of about 126,000 square meters, the exhibition will be held both online and offline.

In November, the China International Import Expo (CIIE) will be held for the fourth time. By mid-May, a total of 475 enterprises had confirmed their participation, including more than 200 Fortune Global 500 companies and leading companies. The November expo will be the fourth in a row to be attended by over 100 Fortune Global 500 companies and leading companies.

The high-level expos, which brought together a large number of participants, delivered opportunities created by China to global brands, reflected China's firm resolution and confidence in advancing to a higher level of opening up, and injected impetus into the recovery of global trade and economy.

"Foreign trade expos are an important part of China's open economy, and also an important channel for expanding imports and exports," said Zhang Jianping, director-general of the China Center for Regional Economic Cooperation under the Ministry of Commerce.

The foreign trade expos are also seen as being responsible for promoting the development of China's foreign trade sector, Zhang pointed out.

"The total retail sales of China's consumer goods surpassed that of the U.S. last October, making the country the largest retail market in the world and one that's set to attract the interest of countries from all over the world," Zhang noted.

As a founding member of the exhibitors' association of the CIIE, BSH Household Appliances Co., Ltd. was present at the first, second and third expos. "The CIIE is a good platform for exchanges, creating lots of opportunities for foreign companies," said an executive with BSH.

"Through the CIIE, we knew how our consumers felt about our products and services, especially some newly launched products such as dishwashers, clothes dryer machines and built-in home appliances," according to the executive.

"Foreign trade expos are important for enterprises in that they provide a place for them to show their products, and at the same time, purchase the merchandise they need," Zhang explained, adding that by expanding markets and finding new business partners at the expos, the enterprises can also learn about what's new in their industry and what's needed by the market.

China's economic development relies more on domestic demand, especially consumer demand, Zhang pointed out. The country's middle-income group has grown to more than 400 million people, and the per capita GDP has exceeded $10,000, data indicated.

Last year, imports of consumer goods into China grew 8.2 percent. In the first quarter of 2021, China's imports of consumer goods increased by 18.1 percent year on year, maintaining a sound momentum for growth.

"The transformation of the economic structure and huge consumer demand have resulted in different types and positioning of foreign trade exhibitions. It can be said that foreign trade exhibitions are not only a window for the evolution of China's foreign trade, but also a reflection of the strong upgrading of domestic consumer demand," Zhang said.