Economic Watch: China's high-tech market in spotlight ahead of import expo

Source: Xinhua| 2018-10-05 14:45:08|Editor: Liu
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SHANGHAI, Oct. 5 (Xinhua) -- High-tech products and technology are set to draw the spotlight at China's upcoming import expo, the first of its kind in the country.

From industrial robots and aviation electronics to machine tools and radiation therapy equipment, overseas firms are rushing to bring their latest technology to the China International Import Expo (CIIE) so they can tap into an expanding market amid economic upgrading.

"We hope the CIIE platform can create more interest from the government, experts and hospitals in cancer treatment and help the industry grow," said Gong Anming, executive vice president & China CEO of Swedish medical equipment producer Elekta.

At the CIIE, which is scheduled to be held in Shanghai from Nov. 5 to 10, two advanced radiation therapy devices developed by Elekta will make their debut in the Chinese market.

In China, Elekta has a manufacturing base, an Asian-Pacific training center and a global research and development center.

"China is our second-largest market globally, and we believe it will overtake the United States to become our biggest market in two or three years," said Gong.

Overseas companies like Elekta will display more than 100 new products and technologies at the CIIE, according to expo organizers, bringing cutting-edge products and services to the doors of a huge and open market.

High-end and intelligent equipment will occupy one of the CIIE's biggest exhibition zones, covering 60,000 square meters, according to the CIIE Bureau.

U.S. chip giant Qualcomm will present its frontier technologies in 5G, artificial intelligence (AI), and Internet-of-Things (IoT) at the expo. Zhao Bin, senior vice president of Qualcomm, said the company is dedicated to tapping the Chinese market and values the opportunity of the CIIE.

Eight world-leading machine tool producers will participate in the expo, with more than 10 exhibits making their first appearance in China, Asia or even globally, according to Liang Feng, chairman of the China National Machine Tool Sales and Technical Service Corporation.

Jungheinrich, a leading intralogistics solutions provider based in Germany, will display its automatic narrow aisle truck and auto pallet mover, which can save about 30 percent of warehouse space for companies.

"Our customers in China used to be mostly foreign-funded firms with factories in the country," said Bai Daping, the company's managing director of China, who attended a match-making meeting between exhibitors and buyers ahead of the CIIE. "Now we've got in touch with many Chinese state-owned companies, which is of great help for our future moves to explore the country's the market."

Wikus from Germany has already applied for participating in the second CIIE. Wang Weide, general manager of Wikus Saw Technology (Shanghai) Co., Ltd., said the company will bring to the expo a metal band saw blade that can cut harder new materials and is designed for higher-end Chinese manufacturers.

"The upgrading of the Chinese manufacturing industry is obvious," Wang said. "We hope we can find more Chinese clients and partners through the CIIE and share the opportunities in this leading manufacturing equipment market."

China is already one of the world's largest markets of high-tech products such as industrial robots, chips and machine tools. The CIIE is expected to give new impetus to the country's economic upgrading and make its market more accessible than ever.

"Expanding imports of high-tech products and services can accelerate China's economic restructuring and upgrading and advance a transition to reliance on technology advantages from reliance on low costs and large quantities," said Ye Bo, an associate professor at Shanghai University of International Business and Economics.

Increasing high-tech imports can also reduce the country's trade surplus with the United States and Europe, according to Ye.

China has been the world's second-largest importer of goods for nine consecutive years and made up 10.2 percent of global imports last year. Chinese authorities expect the country to import goods worth 24 trillion U.S. dollars in the next 15 years.

Foreign businesses are coveting market opportunities created by one of the world's fastest growing major economies and the world's biggest middle-income group, who are demanding a better life and higher-quality goods.

Over 130 countries and regions and more than 2,800 companies have confirmed participation in the CIIE, while more than 160,000 purchasers from over 80,000 domestic and foreign companies have registered to attend the expo.

More than 40 companies from countries including the United States, France, Germany and Japan have signed up for the second CIIE in advance to secure exhibition booths, according to the CIIE Bureau.