Expert: 3rd CIIE to help multinationals capitalize on China's vast consumer market
By Global Business and Chen Tong

Monday marks the start of a 100-day countdown to the third China International Import Expo (CIIE). Experts consider the CIIE an important opportunity for global exporters, as China aims to open its vast consumer market to more foreign businesses, despite rising protectionism and nationalism globally.

The third CIIE is scheduled from November 5 to 10 this year. The total planned exhibition area for enterprises at the third CIIE is 360,000 square meters, 60,000 square meters larger than the previous edition, while the average exhibition area for the world's top 500 companies and industry leaders will increase by 14 percent from last year.

More than 90 percent of the planned exhibition area has already been booked, and some participants will feature a variety of products with a focus on the COVID-19 pandemic.

German drug maker Boehringer Ingelheim, attending the expo for three consecutive years, is expected to show off its research projects as well as new solutions related to COVID-19.

"What we are going to do at this year's CIIE is to have 100 square meter booth in the special area around COVID-19 to show and display what we are doing," said Felix Gutsche, CEO of Boehringer Ingelheim China.

People visit the Greenland Global Commodity Trading Hub in Shanghai, east China, July 25, 2020. /Xinhua

People visit the Greenland Global Commodity Trading Hub in Shanghai, east China, July 25, 2020. /Xinhua

It's not only pharma firms that are focusing on the pandemic – even home appliance companies are coming up with specialty products. German kitchenware maker Vorwerk plans to bring a new vacuum cleaner with disposable dust filter bags for this year's CIIE.

The company has seen the benefits from participating in the expo, according to Fredrik Lundqvist, business director of Vorwerk Thermomix Asia Pacific.

"It's a great platform for us to meet Chinese consumers, and also meet our partners in other areas. We see a lot of benefits on participating, definitely also looking at our sales development. Every time in the quarter when we participate, we see increase in sales," Lundqvist said.

With the world still struggling to recover from the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, the third CIIE is set to "tell the world that how China seriously takes and implements all the policies we have announced. China is a country that is very reliable, also very responsible," Liu Zhiqin, a senior fellow at Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China, told CGTN.

Liu also believes that the expo continues to be a great window for global players to tap into the Chinese market and also a testimony of China's commitment to opening-up.

"The most important feature for this CIIE is that the enthusiasm of foreign companies are so high. … We have created huge opportunities and chances for people in different business areas all over the world," Liu stressed.