(Yicai Global) July 16 -- The China International Import Expo, scheduled to take place in Shanghai this November, will facilitate foreign goods purchases as the world's second largest economy looks to import more.
The Ministry of Commerce expects China to import more than USD8 trillion worth of goods over the next five years, with a quarter coming from countries based along the Belt and Road trade route, a network of economies in Asia, Africa, Europe and even South America looking to improve trade connections.
Given the vast size of China's market, a number of foreign brands are looking to increase exports to the country and plan to use the CIIE to showcase their latest products.
The world's largest yeast maker, France-based Lesaffre, is hoping to meet potential partners and explore business deals at the event, its Greater China President Jean-Philippe Poulin told Yicai Global. The expo, running its inaugural occasion in November this year, is totally different from other events Lesaffre has attended before, Poulin said.
Kuok Khoon Hong, chief executive at leading Asian agribusiness firm Wilmar International is also excited for the expo.
"The Chinese economy has great potential for growth," he said. "Chinese people are becoming better off [financially], bringing new opportunities for the grain, oil and food processing sectors. We plan to seize the country's opening up to expand our investment and trade cooperation in China."
China is Wilmar's most important market for business development, he added, saying that the Singaporean firm exports USD10 billion worth of products to China each year and that there is plenty of space for growth.
"This long-awaited expo is exciting as it can help businesses exchange and share resources," added Wei Wenzhong, general manager of Shanghai Ted Foodstuffs Development.
China's commerce ministry will use the expo to build a platform and promote consumption, its spokesman Gao Feng said in a routine press briefing. The ministry hopes to increase the supply of goods and services, promote mid- and high-end consumption and let buyers benefit from China's economic development, he added.
The expo is targeting the "newest, most stylish and cost-effective" products in the world, according to Sun Chenghai, deputy director of the China International Import Expo Bureau. The organizers are looking to work with world class exhibitors offering unique, quality goods, he said.
Electric car giant Tesla will be putting its Model S and Model X on show, alongside the Model 3, which is set to hit the Chinese market next year. Many other top automakers, such as General Motors, Mercedes Benz, Volkswagen, Ford and BMW, will also be showcasing their latest rides.
Bringing in foreign brands will be beneficial to Chinese firms, and force them to improve their own products and supply chains, said Zhang Zhao, general manager of sales at New Hope Liuhe, a distributor of feed and meat products.
In order to keep up with demand from exhibitors, the expo bureau has increased the exhibition space to 270,000 square meters, from 210,000, according to an executive in charge of invitations. The extra space still isn't enough, he added.