11 Nov 2020
Opening a transformed world
“Those who do not make their way to the Great Wall are not true heroes.” President Xi Jinping quoted this Chinese proverb when opening the third edition of the China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai last week.
As the only significant economy to expand in 2020, Mainland China is in pole position to lead the world out of the string of recessions generated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Our aim is to turn the Mainland China market into a market for the world, a market shared by all, and a market accessible to all," Mr Xi said while remotely delivering a keynote speech at the CIIE opening ceremony.
To achieve such an aim, Mr Xi said the country needed to nurture industries which would grow rapidly during the opening up, expand foreign trade innovatively, improve the business environment and increase cooperation worldwide.
He used the occasion to announce a further opening-up measures.
“Our aim is to turn the mainland market into a market for the world, a market shared by all, and a market accessible to all," Mr Xi said.
Hong Kong team
Organised by the Ministry of Commerce of the People's Republic of China and the Shanghai Municipal People's Government, the third CIIE took place in Shanghai from 5 to 10 November. The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) led 45 Hong Kong companies to participate in the event, introducing diversified Hong Kong quality products and services and promoting Hong Kong as an Asian international trade platform and service industry hub.
Food and services
The enterprises exhibited at the Hong Kong Service Pavilion and Hong Kong Product Pavilion, promoting a wide range of goods and services to businesses from the mainland and beyond.
The Hong Kong Product Pavilion promoted mainly the city’s high-quality food. In addition to established Hong Kong brands such as Lee Kum Kee, Knife, Lion & Globe and AUSupreme, the pavilion also featured relative newcomers, including beverage brand Tai Ti and plant-based meat substitute brand Omni Pork. A performance stage debuted at the pavilion this year to showcase the charm of Hong Kong products and Hong Kong’s unique food culture. Demonstrations included producers making special Hong Kong snacks on site for tasting. High profile Hong Kong magicians were invited to perform signature magic using Hong Kong food.
The service pavilion showcased the city's multiple services firms in many sectors - including infrastructure and construction, logistics, marketing, professional services and innovative technology - and helped mainland companies access global business opportunities. Exhibitors included Hong Kong science and technology firms that had rolled out solutions targeting the COVID-19 pandemic, such as home anti-epidemic bracelets and genetic and virus testing kits. These technologies were promoted to visiting mainland and global enterprises seeking to overcome the challenges the pandemic poses.
The CIIE is an important platform for Hong Kong companies to expand into the mainland market. In the first two editions, Hong Kong companies benefited from their participation, with many exhibitors signing cooperation intention documents or sealing orders on the spot. This year, new elements were added to the two main pavilions to bring more quality options, resources, products and services to the mainland market.
The exhibition expanded in scale and the Hong Kong pavilions grew to 1,700 square metres, 20% larger than the allocation in the second exhibition last year. Exhibitors underlined Hong Kong’s long-standing role in connecting mainland and overseas companies by using global resources and connections in international trade, finance, aviation, logistics and other sectors. Hong Kong’s excellent skill sets in supply-chain management, logistics, brand marketing, innovative technology and other fields were showcased at the CIIE.
The HKTDC also offered business-matching services at the CIIE, arranging for buyers to attend on-site or online one-to-one business matching meetings with Hong Kong companies.