China Daily (Hong Kong)
New philosophy and pattern underlined at expo
Over 60 countries and regions taking part with exhibitions spanning some 70,000 sq m
The 2021 Guangdong 21st Century Maritime Silk Road International Expo opens on Friday in Guangzhou, the provincial capital. The three-day event has attracted more than 1,000 exhibitors from 64 countries and regions.
Themed “new philosophy and new pattern for a new stage”, this year’s event consists of both forums and exhibitions. The forum section comprises one themed convention, five parallel seminars and four supporting programs, while the exhibition section has three general exhibition areas and four specialized exhibition areas. More than 40 supporting events on cooperation and communication will be held, according to the expo’s organizing committee.
The general exhibition areas are respectively for international cooperation and communication, international platforms and brands, and foreign trade bases; and the specialized exhibition areas, for artificial intelligence, digital economy, Silk Road e-commerce, and imported food. The total exhibition space is around 70,000 square meters.
Sixty-four countries and regions — including the United States, Canada, Cuba, Mexico, Russia, Belgium, Spain, Japan, South Korea and Thailand — have set up national booths at the expo despite the COVID-19 pandemic. This is 13 countries and regions more compared with the 2020 session.
The expo has a dedicated space for members of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership and China’s trade partners in Europe, Asia, Africa, the Pacific and the Americas. Exhibits include cultural and tourism offerings and typical products of these countries.
Guangdong delivers 22 percent of the country’s total foreign trade and plays an important role in the stable development of China’s trade, said the expo’s organizing committee.
To support the country’s new dualcirculation development pattern, the expo has, for the first time, set up an exhibition area for foreign trade bases in Guangdong province.
More than 40 foreign trade bases are participating. They include a bags and suitcases base in Shiling town in Guangzhou’s Huadu district; a lighting products base in Guzhen town in the city of Zhongshan and a stainless-steel products base in Xinxing county in the city of Yunfu.
The foreign trade bases exhibition is displaying exhibits online and offline. It will also hold livestreams to aid communication between participating companies and global buyers amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
More countries and regions involved in the Belt and Road Initiative are using the digital economy as an engine to drive the upgrading and interconnectivity of information technology infrastructure, according to the expo’s organizing committee.
For the first time, the expo has set up a dedicated space for AI, the digital economy and Silk Road e-commerce. The three themed exhibitions focus on fields such as AI, robots, drones, intelligent manufacturing, new energy vehicles and autonomous driving.
Participating companies include China’s agricultural drone maker XAG; autonomous driving open platform Apollo; XPeng Motors; US network infrastructure provider CommScope; and Japan’s Nissen, a company of Nippon Seisen Cable.
During the expo, visitors are able to come close up to the local specialties, traditional art and tourism resources from 64 countries and regions in Asia, the Americas, Africa, Europe and Oceania.
More than 20 cultural activities will be held during the expo. They include a Polish accordion performance, a Cuban salsa dance, a Panama Geisha coffee tasting and an event for promoting tourist destinations in Fiji and Zimbabwe.
Strict COVID-19 precautions have been put in place, said the expo’s organizers. The health conditions of staff members are to be monitored and recorded on a daily basis. Foreign participants are required to stay in China for more than 21 consecutive days before coming to the expo. They are also encouraged to receive a full series of COVID-19 vaccine before participating.