Expo to up­grade shop­ping choices and re­gional in­te­gra­tion

We aim to build Shang­hai into a world-class shop­ping hub that of­fers the world’s most up­dated, trendi­est and most value-for-money se­lec­tions.”

China Daily (Latin America Weekly) - - China - By ZHOU WENTING in Shang­hai zhouwent­ing@chi­nadaily.com.cn

The China In­ter­na­tional Im­port Expo, with ex­hibitors from around the world bring­ing their best prod­ucts to Shang­hai, is set to bring about up­grades in the city’s shop­ping ser­vices and fur­ther in­te­gra­tion of the Yangtze River Delta re­gion, ex­perts said.

“The expo will link Chi­nese busi­ness pur­chasers with a va­ri­ety of goods from all over the world and make it pos­si­ble for res­i­dents to buy the best prod­ucts on their doorstep,” said Zhang Min, ex­ec­u­tive head of Shang­hai Univer­sity’s Shang­hai Ex­hi­bi­tion Re­search In­sti­tute.

As the world’s first na­tional im­port expo, CIIE is a land­mark un­der­tak­ing in the his­tory of in­ter­na­tional trade. It has at­tracted thou­sands of ex­porters from around the world and about 160,000 Chi­nese buy­ers.

It will pro­vide lo­cal busi­nesses with a com­pet­i­tive edge when tar­get­ing the more than 200 mil­lion af­flu­ent con­sumers in the delta re­gion, who tend to de­mand world-class prod­ucts and ser­vices, Zhang said.

Al­though the delta re­gion ac­counts for just 3.8 per­cent of China’s to­tal land area, its GDP amounted to 19.5 tril­lion yuan ($3.08 tril­lion) last year, roughly 25 per­cent of the na­tional to­tal, of­fi­cial sta­tis­tics show.

Shang Yuy­ing, di­rec­tor of the Shang­hai Com­merce Com­mis­sion, said the city has tapped into the op­por­tu­nity to “im­prove the busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment, and em­pha­sizes con­sol­i­dat­ing and en­hanc­ing our sta­tus as an in­ter­na­tional trade cen­ter”.

“We aim to build Shang­hai into a world-class shop­ping hub that of­fers the world’s most up­dated, trendi­est and most value-for-money se­lec­tions,” Shang said at a cer­e­mony on June 15 that marked the be­gin­ning of the city’s drive to be­come a choice des­ti­na­tion for global prod­uct launches.

Shang­hai has rolled out a se­ries of mea­sures this year to en­sure the expo is a suc­cess and de­velop the city into a dis­tri­bu­tion hub for im­ported goods across China and Asia. One mea­sure made it eas­ier for im­ported goods and ser­vices to en­ter the city, and an­other was the estab­lish­ment of year-round ex­hi­bi­tion and trans­ac­tion plat­forms to sup­port the expo.

The com­mis­sion said the plat­forms were es­tab­lished be­cause the au­thor­i­ties rec­og­nized that the six-day expo would not pro­vide in­ter­na­tional ex­hibitors and buy­ers with enough time to learn about all the busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties in China.

“The plat­forms will also pro­mote the sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment of the expo and en­hance Shang­hai’s brand as an in­ter­na­tional shop­ping des­ti­na­tion,” Shang said.

The Yangtze River Delta E-com­merce Cen­ter, in the Hongqiao busi­ness dis­trict, is an ex­am­ple. Lo­cated near the Na­tional Ex­hi­bi­tion and Con­ven­tion Cen­ter, where CIIE is be­ing held, the cen­ter is de­signed to serve as a year­round off­line dis­play plat­form for cross-border ecom­merce op­er­a­tors from around the world, ac­cord­ing to Huang Zhimin, gen­eral man­ager of Shang­hai Koux­ing En­ter­prise Man­age­ment, the com­pany re­spon­si­ble for the cen­ter’s op­er­a­tion.

“It can be very costly for cross-border e-com­merce oper- ators to trans­port prod­ucts to China once a year just for a six­day expo,” Huang said. “We aim to of­fer them a tran­sit plat­form where they can dis­play their prod­ucts be­tween ex­pos. This will not only help them achieve sig­nif­i­cant cost sav­ings but also of­fers them year-round ac­cess to the lo­cal mar­ket.”

Huang said more than 100 e-com­merce op­er­a­tors have ex­pressed in­ter­est in reg­is­ter­ing for a space at the cen­ter. Some, in­clud­ing vip.com, have opened off­line stores.

Cus­tomers can se­lect from im­ported prod­ucts — mainly cos­met­ics, food and health prod­ucts — at such stores and com­plete on­line cus­toms clear­ance through a mo­bile app. The e-com­merce cen­ter pro­vides an area of nearly 143,000 square me­ters that the en­ter­prises can use as a bonded ware­house.

Thanks to the grow­ing in­te­gra­tion of trans­port, ser­vices and economies in the delta re­gion, the expo’s ef­fect is not lim­ited to Shang­hai but will also spread to cities in the neigh­bor­ing prov­inces of Zhe­jiang and Jiangsu, boost­ing col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween cities in the re­gion, ex­perts said.

Zhao Huiqin, the Party sec­re­tary of Shang­hai’s Qingpu dis­trict, said sev­eral col­lab­o­ra­tive pro­jects have been im­ple­mented, in­clud­ing a plan to ex­tend the Shang­hai Metro to Ji­ashan in Zhe­jiang and Kun­shan and Suzhou in Jiangsu prov­ince, and a plan to build a 5G net­work in the delta re­gion.

Sci­en­tific re­searchers in the delta re­gion also said they were look­ing for­ward to the expo as it will al­low them to view the world’s top tech­nol­ogy in their fields.

“Such a trans­par­ent ex­hi­bi­tion plat­form will pro­vide abun­dant op­por­tu­ni­ties for com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween the tech­nol­ogy sup­pli­ers and pur­chasers to learn each other’s needs,” said Huang Zhen­gren, di­rec­tor of Ningbo In­sti­tute of In­dus­trial Tech­nol­ogy of the Chi­nese Academy of Sciences.

“Greater knowl­edge of such needs will help to ap­ply more re­search re­sults from the coun­try in the mar­ket, even in the global mar­ket,” he said.

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