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Big, influential and international, anniversary fair comes to town

     chinadaily     2018-9-10 14:48:00    

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Participants discuss business opportunities at the Czech Republic's 500-square-meter pavilion. [Photo by WU XIAOPING/FOR CHINA DAILY]

Large crowds drawn by prospects of insights into B&R, investment, development, Liang Kaiyan reports.

 

The formidable juggernaut that is the China International Fair for Investment and Trade successfully kicked off in Xiamen in Fujian province on Saturday, drawing major crowds hoping to get valuable insights into major global shifts and developments.

 

CIFIT's 20th anniversary staging - with the theme "implementing the new concept of development, integrating the Belt and Road Initiative and facilitating bilateral investment" - runs to Tuesday.

 

Organizers said in all, the fair is expected to attract about 120,000 visitors from over 110 countries and regions. They're being drawn by an exhibition area of 130,000 square meters, 6,000 stands and 16 themed exhibitions focusing on such hot-button topics as investing in China, international investment, modern services industries, cross-border e-commerce and emerging industries.

 

CIFIT was set up 20 years ago to be a bridge for strengthening cooperation and seeking mutual development between China and the rest of the world and has since become a window for China's opening-up, said Wang Shouwen, vice-minister of commerce.

 

This year the fair is featuring the Maritime Silk Road Countries Pavilion, boasting an area of 2,000 square meters and 120 exhibitions, which has attracted the participation of over 20 countries involved in the Maritime Silk Road.

 

Among these were 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, including the Philippines and Malaysia.

 

It's the first time these countries banded together in such a way at the fair, to demonstrate the fruits of their engagement and to share details about business outcomes, said Zheng Peizhi, general president of the Malaysia Xiamen Chamber of Commerce.

 

Zheng said that through the pavilion, traditional products from the Silk Road are being showcased such as tea, porcelain and silk - demonstrating their rich links to the Belt and Road Initiative.

 

"We have a clear intention to cooperate on many projects," he said. Malaysia had demonstrated its projects including real estate, he added.

 

John Paul B. Inigo, commercial vice-consul at the Philippine Consulate General in Guangzhou, said his country looked forward to more investment from China.

 

"We have seen a lot of the Philippines' companies come to Fujian province," he said, adding that Manila sought more investment from China, especially for the manufacturing industry.

 

A spotlight at the event also shone on Yunnan province and the Czech Republic, which achieved a high profile through a series of successful initiatives.

 

Organizers said that as the guest province of honor, Yunnan demonstrated its resources in various fields and reached important business and investment deals.

 

Located at the junction of the Belt and Road Initiative and the Yangtze River Economic Belt, Yunnan is set to play a more important role as a new center of China's economic development, said Zhao Ruijun, head of the Yunnan Department of Commerce. "We are improving our business environment and will promote it on an international level to attract top enterprises from home and abroad," Zhao said.

 

The province signed off at CIFIT on a total of 39 investment and business deals - ranging from logistics, health, education and energy - worth a massive 51.28 billion yuan ($7.50 billion).

 

Yunnan is fertile for the development of green energy and possesses a large market for investors from home and abroad, said Zhang Chunhong, deputy director of the province's energy bureau.

 

He said it invited leading companies to come there to further its economic success story.

 

CIFIT's guest host country, the Czech Republic, demonstrated its own business and commercial flair at its 500-sqm pavilion and at a seminar.

 

"It is the first year we are exhibiting here as guest country of honor," said Klara Jurcova, deputy head of mission at the country's embassy in China.

 

She said the fair was the "ideal platform" for promoting her country to important markets and it was also an opportunity for the Czech Republic to introduce its products for export to China - such as cars, high technology and consumer products - and to introduce its investment and tourist industries.


 
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