By Guo Mingfang
VILNIUS, Oct. 18 (Xinhua) -- Lithuania will make the most of the opportunity offered by the first ever China International Import Expo (CIIE) to boost its presence in the Chinese food and textile markets, a business official said here Thursday.
Daina Klepone, managing director of Enterprise Lithuania, an organization under the Lithuanian Ministry of Economy aiming to promote entrepreneurship, support business development and foster export, made the remarks in an interview with Xinhua.
A total of 18 textile and food companies will represent Lithuania at the upcoming expo in Shanghai with a total exhibition area of 163 square meters, said Klepone, who signed in December 2017 a letter of intent to participate in the CIIE on behalf of the Lithuanian government.
She said Lithuania, as the first country to sign a letter of intent to attend the expo, will send a high-level delegation to the event, which will include the Lithuanian president and the minister of economy.
"We find this exhibition as the opportunity to expand Lithuania's presence in the markets that are rapidly growing in China: food and fashion," and as possibilities to create markets for new products and services as well, she said.
"So far, European clothing represents only a small part of the entire market, and it is estimated that next year the Chinese clothing market will be the largest in the world and the demand for middle class brands will be the strongest," she added.
Believing that Chinese customers like to try new, high-quality products, she expected to see many traditional Lithuanian food products like milk and other diary products become part of the Chinese menu very quickly.
"We want the Chinese audiences to learn more about Lithuania and about our goods through this exhibition. We are sure that this exhibition will create more success stories of bilateral trade," she said.
Klepone said Lithuania highly appreciates every effort that the Chinese government is making towards opening its market to foreign companies, and attaches great importance to the expo as it already started preparing for the event in January.
"Our companies are very interested in this vast market and looking for every opportunity to participate in such international business events as China International Import Expo," she said.
The competition for qualification at the expo among the companies was intense and some companies showed interest in participating even after registration was closed, she added.
"The selection of companies that are going to Shanghai proceeded carefully: Enterprise Lithuania evaluated if a company was mature enough for exporting to China because it is a big market and it is not easy to get into," she said.
The CIIE will be held in Shanghai on Nov. 5-10. So far, more than 2,800 companies from more than 130 countries and regions have confirmed their participation in the upcoming international expo.