(Yicai Global) Nov. 6 -- The China International Import Expo is expected to become the latest cooperation platform for China and Europe, according to the vice chairman of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in the country.
The chamber's corporate members are very positive about participating in the first CIIE, Carlo Diego D'Andrea told Yicai Global a few days before the expo kicked off in Shanghai, where he is also the business organization's board chairman.
More than 500 firms from Europe will attend the weeklong event, D'Andrea said, adding that many members expect the CIIE to help further deepen their cooperation with China. The trade fair is set to run from Nov. 5 to 10 at the National Convention & Exhibition Center.
China is the EU's second-largest export market and the top source of imports. EU exports to China reached EUR118.6 billion (USD16.9 billion) in the first seven months of this year, while imports hit EUR217 billion (USD31 billion), figures from the European Commission's Eurostat statistics service show.
Various high-quality European food and beverages granted China's version of the EU's protected geographical designation of origin will go on display in the 160-square meter EU Pavilion, according to the CIIE's official website. The European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Phil Hogan will also be on site to tout the trade bloc's agrarian bounty.
Well-known high-end European producers of mechanical, medical and electronic communications equipment and automakers are also looking forward to closer ties with China. Many European companies will also stage the world premiere of their products at the CIIE, Yicai Global has learned.
The expo will help many countries reduce their trade deficits with China, and the EU also expects it to signal the implementation of China's detailed plan for further reform and opening-up, D'Andrea said.
Shanghai was selected as the CIIE's host city because it is pivotal in China's reform and opening-up, he noted, adding that Shanghai needs to actively tackle its major structural challenges and ensure that domestic and foreign firms can compete on an equal basis.
Editor: Ben Armour