BEIJING, Nov. 8, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- American businessman Owen Messick happily recalls his company's "amazing" experience at the first China International Import Expo (CIIE). "I remember that first CIIE very well. It was quite a big impact for us as a company, and for me personally."
According to Messick, his company, doTERRA, reserved a 9-square-meter booth to test the waters at the inaugural CIIE in 2018. However, that tiny booth netted the American essential oil brand tentative deals worth $380. million yuan (55.48 million US dollars).
"Moved by the spillover effect of the expo, we established a regional headquarters in Shanghai just a month after the first CIIE and began building a factory and our first overseas laboratory in China," said Messick, who is now president from doTERRA China.
The company has expanded its stand to 200 square meters at the sixth CIIE, which is being held from November 5 to 10 this year in Shanghai.
Looking back on the first edition of the CIIE, Messick says he was impressed by Chinese President Xi Jinping's speech at the opening ceremony.
"I think the main message he conveyed was that China is open to the world, that we are open to companies coming to China and being successful here. I think that has encouraged a lot of companies, including ours."
In a letter to the 6th CIIE, the Chinese president reaffirmed China's commitment to high-level opening-up, pledging that China will firmly push forward high-level opening-up and continue to make economic globalization more open, inclusive, balanced and beneficial. .
The Chinese market, a market for everyone
China has a population of more than 1.4 billion and a middle-income group of more than 400 million people, presenting enormous potential in terms of market demand, Chinese Premier Li Qiang said on Sunday. his opening speech at the sixth edition of the CIIE.
According to Li, China's imports of goods and services are expected to reach $17 trillion in cumulative terms over the next five years.
Any country, regardless of its size and strength, can take advantage of the CIIE as an opportunity to access the large market of China. Guinea-Bissau, located on the west coast of Africa, is a good example.
The country is one of the world's largest producers of cashew nuts. More than 80% of its workforce works in the cashew industry, and cashew makes up more than 90% of its total exports. Thus, the cashew is not only a crucial source of income for the local population, but also a key driver of the country's economy.
At the fifth edition of the CIIE last year, Guinean companies were offered a free 18-square-meter stand to display their products, allowing them to enter the Chinese market.
During last year's exhibition, many companies expressed great interest in Guinea-Bissau's cashew industry and some even set plans to invest in the African country, said Antonio Serifo Embalo, ambassador of the Republic of Guinea-Bissau to China.
The sixth edition of the CIIE once again offers free exhibition stands to exhibitors from less developed countries, such as Guinea-Bissau, to help more products from these nations enter the Chinese market.
The CIIE's approach echoes Xi's words. In his letter, the Chinese president said he hopes the CIIE will better serve as a window to foster a new development pattern that creates new opportunities for the world through China's further development, and as a high-level opening-up platform to enable that China's huge market is shared by the world.
Noting that global economic recovery lacks momentum and requires the solidarity and cooperation of all countries, Xi expressed in the letter his hope that the CIIE will play a greater role in providing shared international public goods and services that facilitate better open global economy and enable the world to benefit from win-win cooperation.
Speaking at the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation held last month, the Chinese president stressed that win-win cooperation is the sure path to success.
The CIIE has become an important platform for exhibitors from Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) partner countries to enter the Chinese market and achieve win-win results.
More than 1,500 companies from Belt and Road partner countries attend the sixth edition of the CIIE, with an exhibition area of almost 80,000 square meters, which represents an increase of 30% compared to last year's edition.
"We are seeing signs of a slowdown in the globalization process, with geopolitical tensions, trade barriers and other factors causing many countries to focus more on domestic consumption," said Kevin Kolevar, Dow's vice president of global policy and government affairs. "However, China has always shown signs of openness. As a country with the largest consumer base in the world, China has enormous potential."
He noted that the CIIE symbolizes China's commitment and support to economic globalization and international cooperation and openness, adding that the exhibition not only serves as a platform for global business cooperation, but also facilitates communication and interaction between leaders from different regions.
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