Events provide platform for companies to make deals amid COVID headwinds
The launches of the 130th session of the China Import and Export Fair and the upcoming fourth China International Import Expo will not only help reinforce the global supply chain, but also create a concrete path to convert exhibits into commercial goods and exhibitors into investors in the country, business leaders said.
With business opportunities soaring despite challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic, the China Import and Export Fair (Canton Fair), through its online and offline showcases, will provide a much-needed platform for companies to place new orders across global industrial and supply chains, said Woo Tae Hee, vice-chairman of the Seoul-based Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Lu Chunping, sales director of Guangzhou Zhujiang Brewery Co Ltd, a Guangdong province-based brewer and Canton Fair exhibitor, said the fair, which ended on Tuesday, is a key platform for opening-up, boosting global trade activities and promoting China's dual-circulation development paradigm.
Under the dual circulation model, the domestic market is the mainstay while the domestic and foreign markets reinforce each other.
After participating in the Canton Fair for 15 years, Lu said the event has become vital for Pearl River Beer to expand its footprint in the global market. Its export value and profits grew by 23 percent and 20 percent year-on-year, respectively, in 2020.
"The Canton Fair has also helped us gain more direct access to consumer demand around the world," he said. "We have used its platform to conduct market research to better understand flavor preferences of overseas consumers, and implement precise marketing strategies."
For example, consumers in Southeast Asia, Africa and the South Pacific region enjoy beer products with high alcohol content, while buyers in Western Europe prefer beer with a bitter taste, he added.
The Chinese company exports more than 10 varieties of beer, with diversified products to meet the needs of overseas consumers.
The event also benefits international businesses. Nick Koay, chairman for the Greater Bay Area of the Malaysian Chamber of Commerce and Industry in China, said he has participated in the Canton Fair for 15 years. The products of his factory in Zhuhai today are sold to about 30 countries and regions, and 95 percent of his regular clients are from the fair.
Backed by its complete supply and industry chains, China has been able to guarantee production amid the pandemic, which many other economies haven't been able to do, said Wang Jian, a professor who specializes in international trade at Beijing-based University of International Business and Economics.
Wang said the upcoming fourth China International Import Expo, which is to be held in Shanghai from Nov 5 to Nov 10, will advance the common growth of industry, supply and innovation chains. It will also attract more advanced technologies and foreign direct investment into China.
"For the fourth consecutive year, we will display our latest sustainable and innovative solutions at the CIIE," said Yoichi Miyazaki, chairman and CEO of Toshiba (China) Co Ltd.
"As we head toward the 50th anniversary of Toshiba's business in China next year, our participation at the CIIE once again confirms our confidence in the Chinese market."
Steven Lien, president of Honeywell China, said its CIIE booth area this year will be more than double the size of last year's setup. Lien said the expanded booth size will fully demonstrate the US conglomerate's commitment to the expo as Honeywell participates in the event for the fourth consecutive year. The company will continue to increase its investment in both innovation and manufacturing areas in China in the coming years.
Apart from the six-day annual exhibition, foreign companies can also enjoy extended services of the CIIE, such as yearlong trade platforms. Shanghai has built a total of 56 CIIE "6 + 365" trading service platforms since the first exhibition, according to information released by the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Commerce.
Nearly 180,000 types of exhibits had been introduced by the end of July this year, involving 1,390 exhibitors. A total of 146.47 billion yuan ($22.66 billion) worth of goods have been imported, according to government statistics.