New era, shared fu­ture

Up­com­ing China In­ter­na­tional Im­port Expo of­fers big op­por­tu­ni­ties for for­eign prod­ucts

Global Times – Metro Shanghai - - FRONT PAGE - By wang HaN

rst C in In­terna ional Im­port xp (C E) ill soon e ld t th Na­tional xhi­bi­tion Co en on en­ter ghai etwee ber 5 an 10 Unde e slo­gan New hared Fu­ture he xpo is xpect d to e an tant lat­form for Ch es and for­eign­ers to do usines to ther and trengthen op­er­a­tion. t is egarded as ig­nif­i­cant or the hi­nese govern­ment to give up­port o trad lib­er­al­iza­tion and lob­al­iza­tion and ctively open he hi­nese et th world.

As CIIE fast ap­proaches, how much do for­eign­ers know about the expo? What mes­sages do for­eign­ers think China hopes to con­vey to the world by or­ga­niz­ing this ground­break­ing event? And most im­por­tantly, what are po­ten­tial op­por­tu­ni­ties that CIIE will bring to the rest of the world?

Some for­eign­ers in Shang­hai shared their opin­ions with the Global Times about CIIE. Anna from Ger­many said she has heard of the expo. “It is pretty well-known in Ger­many, es­pe­cially in my com­pany,” she told the Global Times.

Anna said that, as a for­eigner, she would like to know the pro­ce­dures of set­ting up a busi­ness in China through this event. “Ba­si­cally, just the trans­parency of how I do busi­ness in China, how I can set up my com­pany and how to work things like visas,” she added.

Ital­ian Edoardo has vis­ited China a few times and said he learned about CIIE through his friends. He said he would like to see a wide va­ri­ety of prod­ucts, from food to ma­chin­ery to what­ever else China is ready to im­port from Italy.

Like­wise, Grace from the US told the Global Times that she was in­formed about this event by her friends in Shang­hai. She said she is in­ter­ested in see­ing tech­no­log­i­cal prod­ucts in par­tic­u­lar. An­other in­ter­vie­wee, Mex­i­can na­tional Homero, said he has seen ad­ver­tis­ing about CIIE at lo­cal air­ports and streets.

Pres­ti­gious event

So what are some mes­sages that China might in­tend to tell the world by or­ga­niz­ing CIIE? Obed from Kenya said, “It is a clear mes­sage to the world that you can also ex­port things to China.”

He ex­plained that, pre­vi­ously, China was known as a ma­jor ex­porter to other coun­tries. But with CIIE, peo­ple in other coun­tries now know China is also open to im­port­ing prod­ucts.

Sim­i­lar ideas were echoed by Edoardo, who thinks that China is telling the world that it is the right time for for­eign­ers to sell their prod­ucts in China. As for Grace, she be­lieves CIIE shows that China wants to cre­ate re­la­tion­ships with other coun­tries, make mean­ing­ful con­nec­tions and do busi­ness deals. “I think this is re­ally smart,” she added.

Like­wise, Anna said that China may want to con­vey a mes­sage that it is an im­por­tant player in global busi­ness, and that the pres­ti­gious event is “a re­ally good op­por­tu­nity for in­vestors from all over the world to get to know China and seize their chance of open­ing a busi­ness here.”

It is note­wor­thy that all of our in­ter­vie­wees agreed that the or­ga­niz­ing of CIIE shows that China in­tends to open up fur­ther to the rest of the world.

“I’ve been to China a cou­ple of times in the span of five years. Each time I have come, it seems much more open; it keeps chang­ing and mod­ern­iz­ing. It has be­come more in­ter­na­tional and open,” Grace told the Global Times.

Di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion of de­mands

“I came to China for the first time in 2012, and com­pared to now, I think it has changed so much. I think it is im­pres­sive how fast and open-minded China is now. I like it,” Anna told the Global Times.

Edoardo be­lieves open­ing up to the world is the right path for China. “I guess that the en­tire world, es­pe­cially Europe and Italy, has been wait­ing for this,” he said. “I’m sure that now China can buy many prod­ucts from us [Italy] and maybe help our econ­omy grow again.”

So what new op­por­tu­ni­ties does China in­tend to bring to the rest of world? Many in­ter­vie­wees said the expo is a good chance for for­eign in­vestors and man­u­fac­tur­ers to know more about the Chi­nese mar­ket and Chi­nese clients.

Mex­i­can Homero be­lieves CIIE pro-

vides a plat­form for for­eign­ers to see the “di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion of de­mands” in China. “There are ex­am­ples of ev­ery type of taste and pref­er­ence at this expo. So for a lot of brands and pro­duc­ers, it is re­ally mean­ing­ful to un­der­stand that kind of in­for­ma­tion,” he said.

African in­ter­vie­wee Obed said CIIE is an op­por­tu­nity for for­eign busi­ness­men to come to China and meet po­ten­tial clients more di­rectly. Anna said many peo­ple around the world still are not fa­mil­iar with China.

One bil­lion con­sumers

“A lot of peo­ple in Europe, for ex­am­ple, they have dif­fer­ent ideas of China. They think ‘China I don’t know’,” Anna added. “But with this im­port expo, they can know China a lit­tle bet­ter and seize op­por­tu­ni­ties here.”

Sim­i­larly, Edoardo said China it­self is a big op­por­tu­nity. “You have over one bil­lion peo­ple, so ba­si­cally one bil­lion con­sumers who are now dis­cov­er­ing the rest of the world. I hope you will love my coun­try and our prod­ucts,” he said.

When asked what prod­ucts from their coun­try should be ex­ported to China, our in­ter­vie­wees gave dif­fer­ent an­swers. Obed, for in­stance, said Kenya is known mostly for agri­cul­tural prod­ucts, such as tea, flow­ers and cof­fee, as well as the min­eral iron.

Homero thinks Chi­nese con­sumers might be in­ter­ested in Mex­i­can hand­i­crafts. Edoardo said Italy is known for high-end car brands like Fer­rari and Maserati, foods and fur­ni­ture, which are all ideal prod­ucts for ex­port.

“In Italy, we like Chi­nese prod­ucts very much, so I guess the Chi­nese will love Ital­ian prod­ucts,” he added.

“It is hard to say what I want to ex­port, be­cause I think China and Ger­many are al­ready main­tain­ing re­ally good busi­ness re­la­tions. You have many Ger­man cars here, and we have a lot of Chi­nese prod­ucts in Ger­many,” Anna told the Global Times.

Photo: Yang Hui/GT

Work­ers dec­o­rate steps out­side the Na­tional Ex­hi­bi­tion and Con­ven­tion Cen­ter to wel­come the China In­ter­na­tional Im­port Expo.

Anna from Ger­many Homero from Mex­ico Grace from the US

Pho­tos: Yang Hui/GT and Chen Xia/GT

Obed from Kenya Edoardo from Italy Main: Peo­ple walk on the square in front of the Na­tional Ex­hi­bi­tion and Con­ven­tion Cen­ter, which is de­signed with CIIE el­e­ments; Be­low: Pil­lars dec­o­rated with plants and flow­ers on a square of the venue

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