Expo spot­lights emerg­ing eco­nomic gi­ant


The 2017 Guang­dong 21st Cen­tury Mar­itime Silk Road In­ter­na­tional Expo held in Guang­dong has a ma­jor draw: an emerg­ing eco­nomic re­gional gi­ant called the Guang­dongHong Kong-Ma­cao Greater Bay Area.

The an­nual expo held for its fourth year will spot­light the area’s e-com­merce, con­struc­tion ma­chin­ery and di­ver­si­fied trade mea­sures — aimed at stim­u­lat­ing eco­nomic growth in south­ern China — dur­ing the four-day event start­ing Sept 21.

Wang Yongqing, deputy di­rec­tor of the Guang­dong prov­ince’s in­for­ma­tion of­fice, said the expo this year has im­por­tant events.

It will or­ga­nize busi­ness pro­mo­tional events in more than 10 coun­tries in Africa, Europe and Asia, to ex­pand its in­flu­ence.

It will also host the sign­ing of new com­mer­cial co­op­er­a­tive con­tracts with many coun­tries — in­clud­ing South Africa, Italy, Thai­land and Sri Lanka — to fur­ther deepen trade ties.

The del­e­ga­tion team sent by the expo’s or­ga­niz­ing com­mit­tee will talk with lo­cal gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials, cham­bers of com­merce and Chi­nese em­bassies in those coun­tries. It will ex­plain the pur­poses, sig­nif­i­cance and scale of the expo to them.

Gem­stones and tea from Sri Lanka, South Africa’s di­a­monds, silk and car­pet prod­ucts from Iran, Rus­sia’s honey and agri­cul­tural prod­ucts, Italy’s wine and olive oil, can all be found be­ing traded in the expo.

The expo will also bol­ster the Guang­dong-Hong KongMa­cao Greater Bay Area — to play a big­ger role in show­ing off its ad­van­tages in lo­gis­tics, man­u­fac­tur­ing ca­pa­bil­i­ties, trade, fi­nan­cial ser­vices and its mar­itime econ­omy.

“Even though the Greater Bay Area ac­counts for less than 1 per­cent of China’s land ter­ri­tory, its pop­u­la­tion is just un­der 5 per­cent of China, it cre­ated 13 per­cent of the coun­try’s eco­nomic out­put in 2015,” said Lin Jiang, deputy di­rec­tor of the Cen­ter for Stud­ies of Hong Kong, Ma­cao and Pearl River Delta at Sun Yat-sen Uni­ver­sity.

“In terms of de­vel­op­ing in­ter­na­tional bay ar­eas, the to­tal eco­nomic out­put of the Guang­dong-Hong KongMa­cao Greater Bay Area ranks only be­hind the New York and Tokyo Bay ar­eas.”

The expo this year is themed on “dis­cuss, pro­mote and share in­dus­trial and fi­nan­cial co­op­er­a­tion and de­vel­op­ment”.

It has also grown big­ger in scale com­pared with last year, with the num­ber of com­pa­nies set­ting up booths in­creas­ing from 1,015 from 42 coun­tries to 1,682 from 56 coun­tries.

Con­tracts worth 206.8 bil­lion yuan ($31.9 bil­lion) will be signed dur­ing the event, up 18 per­cent year-on-year.

The expo is a mirror for the years of ef­fort Guang­dong has put into go­ing global, as 67 per­cent of at­tend­ing com­pa­nies are from over­seas, at­tracted by the op­por­tu­ni­ties to work with the Guang­dong-Hong KongMa­cao Greater Bay Area.

The con­struc­tion ma­chin­ery busi­ness will be a high­light of the expo, cov­er­ing over 6,000 square me­ters of ex­hi­bi­tion area. Sev­eral ma­jor Chi­nese heavy ma­chin­ery man­u­fac­tur­ers by pro­duc­tion vol­ume will at­tend the event.

These in­clude Sany Heavy In­dus­try Co, Xu­gong Group Con­struc­tion Ma­chin­ery Inc and Li­u­gong Ma­chin­ery Co Ltd.

To pro­vide more op­por­tu­ni­ties for heavy ma­chin­ery com­pa­nies to go global, the expo will fo­cus on in­fra­struc­ture con­struc­tion plan­ning, by hold­ing a spe­cial fo­rum on the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive.

The fo­rum has in­vited gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials from 16 im­por­tant coun­tries in­volved in the ini­tia­tive, in­clud­ing Uganda, Cameroon, Namibia, Malawi, Ghana, the Mau­ri­tius and Turkey — to keep the do­mes­tic man­u­fac­tur­ers up­dated with the lat­est poli­cies and sit­u­a­tion.

Qiu Zhaox­ian, vice-president of the China Coun­cil for the Pro­mo­tion of In­ter­na­tional Trade’s Guang­dong branch, said the ser­vices in­dus­try will also be one of the most dis­cussed top­ics dur­ing the expo.

This year’s event will also fea­ture the in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy, cross-bor­der e-com­merce, agri­cul­ture prod­ucts and in­ter­na­tional ce­ram­ics ex­hi­bi­tion from the economies in­volved in the 21st Cen­tury Mar­itime Silk Road.

“The ma­rine econ­omy has been dom­i­nated by ship­ping, fish­ing, aqua­cul­ture, and oil and gas,” said Wu Jun, deputy di­rec­tor of the Guang­dong Pro­vin­cial De­part­ment of Com­merce.

“It now in­cludes sec­tors such as ma­rine chem­istry, bio­med­i­cine, ocean power, sea­wa­ter use, ma­rine tourism, ocean en­gi­neer­ing and con­struc­tion.”

Com­pared with pre­vi­ous ex­pos, the 2017 expo has added more cul­ture and the hu­man touch, by in­tro­duc­ing prac­ti­cal Chi­nese train­ing pro­grams in dif­fer­ent fields.

The expo’s or­ga­niz­ing com­mit­tee will also sign co­op­er­a­tion agree­ments with the economies par­tic­i­pat­ing in Chi­nese train­ing pro­grams, with 15 busi­ness as­so­ci­a­tions from dif­fer­ent coun­tries.


Open­ing cer­e­mony of the 2016 Guang­dong 21st Cen­tury Mar­itime Silk Road In­ter­na­tional Expo in Dong­guan. Lin Jiang, deputy di­rec­tor of the Cen­ter for Stud­ies of Hong Kong, Ma­cao and Pearl River Delta at Sun Yat-sen Uni­ver­sity

Over­seas at­ten­dees par­tic­i­pate in last year’s Guang­dong 21st Cen­tury Mar­itime Silk Road In­ter­na­tional Expo.

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