(Yicai Global) April 19 -- More than 1,800 firms from nearly 80 countries and regions have already signed up for the second China International Import Expo to be held in November.
The group includes more than 30 Belt and Road countries, public data from April 2 shows. Some 180 of the companies are on the Fortune Global 500 list. President Xi Jinping's signature Belt and Road initiative involves dozens of former Silk Road nations.
Wang Bingnan, China's vice commerce minister, led a delegation to host promotional conferences in Finland and Sweden this month and hundreds of representatives from different firms participated, seeking tickets. Chinese teams have so far held such events in countries including New Zealand, Australia, Indonesia, the US, Brazil, Panama, Italy, and France.
The CIIE is a test field for opening-up policies and institutional innovation, Li Qiang, party secretary of Shanghai and leader of a CIIE team, said during a team meeting in March. The spillover effect of the fair must be enlarged through innovation, he added.
This year's CIIE will be 11 percent bigger in size with a planned exhibition area of 300,000 square meters. More countries are invited to participate to attract more private enterprises and small and medium-sized ones, China News Service reported, citing Liu Fuxue, deputy director of the expo bureau and vice president of the National Exhibition and Convention Center.
The upcoming expo will have a high-end consumer goods zone and add themes such as augmented reality and virtual reality, as well as build outdoor venues for big machinery and vehicles. New products such as those in the fields of the Internet of Things, self-driving cars and blockchain technologies are expected to be launched at the event.
A key node for exhibitors is customs clearance. China's customs will support Shanghai to prepare its Pilot Free Trade Zone with innovative measures for the second CIIE and integrate the Yangtze River Delta, according to a deal that the pair penned on April 16.
Shanghai's customs bureau will strengthen collaboration with CIIE organizers, local governments and participants to go through the requirements for the fair, Commissioner Gao Rongkun said at a political meeting in March. The bureau overhauled over 1,000 groups of goods worth CNY1 billion (USD149 million) that entered the country during the first CIIE, reducing processing time by two-thirds as well as logistics costs, Gao added.
Some 3,600 companies from over 170 countries and regions participated in the first pan-China trade fair last November. More than 400,000 domestic and foreign buyers attended the expo, with a value of USD57.8 billion in penned deals.
Editor: Emmi Laine