MANILA, March 15 (Xinhua) -- The Philippines is looking forward to the first ever China International Import Expo (CIIE) to be held in Shanghai in November, seeing the event as a good platform to showcase Philippine products and services, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said Thursday.
The CIIE will be the biggest ever overseas trade fair that the Philippines will participate in, with over 100 product and service exporters as well as investors and government representatives attending the event, the minister said at a CIIE roadshow conducted in preparation for the event.
"The CIIE is a major international event that reiterates China's strong support for trade liberalization, as well as their way to actively open the Chinese market to the world," Lopez said while launching a CIIE information mission at the roadshow.
He said the CIIE can open doors of opportunity to Philippine investors, and help them gain access to the huge China market.
China is the Philippines' top trading partner in 2017 with a total bilateral trade valued at 23.82 billion U.S. dollars. China also ranked fourth biggest export market for the Philippines last year and the Philippines' top import source.
Lopez appealed to Filipinos to take advantage of China's huge market. "Accessing to this market will surely leapfrog the level of business transactions between the Philippines and China," he said.
The CIIE information mission will also be held in Cebu City in the central Philippines and Davao City in the southern Philippines.
The CIIE, to be held on November 5-10, will cover a total exhibition area of over 240,000 square meters, with eight exhibition areas, including one for country pavilion, six for trade in goods and one for trade in service.
More than 3,000 enterprises from different countries and regions have confirmed to attend the expo, according to officials from China's Commerce Ministry.