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CIIE to start in 173 days

Yuan Shenggao
Updated: May 15,2020 09:04 AM    China Daily

The third edition for China International Import Expo will take place in 173 days. Despite the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, preparation of the expo has been faster than previous years with new faces and products to showcase in November.

Launched in 2018, the CIIE is the world's first national-level annual expo centered on promoting importation, and is held in the National Exhibition and Convention Center in Shanghai. Through the end of April, more than 75 percent of the planned exhibition area was reserved by 1,300 foreign companies. That number continues to increase, according to the CIIE Bureau, one of the expo's organizers.

The current result has been hard-earned with the sudden COVID-19 pandemic disrupting normal business and social life around the world.

But organizers have managed to overcome the difficulties with innovative working methods.

According to Sun Chenghai, deputy director general of the CIIE Bureau, the preparation efforts for the third edition have not been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. The CIIE Bureau has come up with a range of new methods to approach and seek cooperation with businesses such as online promotional events.

On Feb 26, the CIIE Bureau organized its first online signing ceremony for four exhibitors-French tire manufacturer Michelin, yeast maker Lesaffre, Japanese pharmaceutical company Takeda and electronics company Seiko Epson.

"We have confidence in the future of the Chinese economy despite the current novel coronavirus outbreak," said Kamran Vossoughi, CEO of Michelin China.

"We believe the impact of the pandemic will be short-term and the expo will be held successfully."

Others praised the approach of the CIIE Bureau, whose corporate executives spoke to media about their companies and products before signing the exhibition contract in their own offices and showing them to the online audience. Besides signing ceremonies, the CIIE Bureau also launched an online overseas roadshow on April 9 featuring the different sections of the expo. The roadshow is in the form of a webinar with the German Chamber of Commerce in China.

Liu Fuxue, deputy director general of the CIIE Bureau, said at the event that CIIE will help turn the challenge into opportunities and provide a platform for businesses to explore the Chinese market. Serving as a bridge between international companies and domestic buyers, the bureau has published the information of two batches of signed-up exhibitors on the expo's website and official social media platforms. The list of the first batch of exhibitors was unveiled more than one month earlier this year than last year.

It is the first time the CIIE Bureau will attract exhibitors while simultaneously matching buyers with exhibitors.

Zhang Jing, assistant general manager of China Eastern Aviation Import & Export Corp, said early access to exhibitor information will give purchasers more time to prepare for matchmaking and business negotiation.

The outbreak of the epidemic posed some obstacles for the exhibition's preparation, but the CIIE Bureau has used internet technologies such as video-conferencing and various other communication channels to bring business partners together despite the distance.

Meanwhile, the CIIE Bureau has been updating the latest news about its major events on its official website, as well as Chinese and English social media platforms.