BEIJING, July 26 (Xinhua) -- The second China International Import Expo (CIIE) will enjoy greater participation than the previous year, a senior commerce official said Friday.
Over 3,000 companies from more than 150 countries and regions have confirmed their participation in the second import expo, which will be held in Shanghai between Nov. 5-10, said Vice Minister of Commerce Wang Bingnan at a press conference organized for the 100-day countdown to the second CIIE.
These companies come from members of the G20, BRICS and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, as well as nearly 60 countries participating in the Belt and Road Initiative and 40 of the world's least developed countries.
More than 250 of them are industry leaders and on the Fortune Global 500 list, said the vice minister, adding that new products and technologies to be showcased on the second CIIE will outnumber those at the first expo.
Indonesia-based Asia Pulp and Paper Group (APP), one of the world's largest paper manufacturers, confirmed its participation in the second CIIE at the first expo, as its biodegradable food packaging material gained considerable attention.
"Attending the CIIE not only improves the company's overall image, but also promotes our businesses at every level," said Zhai Jingli, vice president of APP China.
The paper manufacturer has signed over 170 million U.S. dollars worth of orders of intent with major importers from China's Zhejiang and Guangdong provinces.
French food giant Danone's first experience at the first CIIE was also a rewarding one, with more than 10 products sourced from New Zealand, Poland and France bearing the same brand successfully introduced into the Chinese market.
Among them, two high-end milk powder products launched at the first CIIE were now the "star commodities" on China's cross-border e-commerce platforms.
"CIIE meets the Chinese people's demands for upgraded consumption and fulfills their aspirations for a better life," said Zou Chunyi, public affairs vice president of Danone Greater China, adding that Danone would continue to seek the huge opportunities made possible by China's wider opening-up.
Automaker Hyundai Motor Group will see its exhibition area double to 1,400 square meters at this year's CIIE to present its technologies and vehicle design concepts.
As for the expansion in exhibition area, Lee Hyuk Joon, vice president of Hyundai Motor Group (China) Ltd., said the CIIE offers great opportunities to Hyundai to display its competitiveness in R&D and to gain a better understanding of Chinese customers' demands.
Ren Hongbin, assistant commerce minister, said that U.S. companies showed greater enthusiasm for the second CIIE as well, with the exhibition area for them expanding 35 percent.
"The increase indicates that the Chinese market boasts enormous attraction to domestic and overseas businesses, including those from the U.S.," Ren said.
Industrialization, investment and trade fueled China's economic miracle, but domestic consumption is the main driving force of growth today, said Nick Leung, chairman of McKinsey & Company in Greater China.
"The increasing exposure of the rest of the world to China reflects China's growing importance as a market, supplier and provider of capital," Leung said.
According to a report released by the Ministry of Commerce, 79.6 percent of Chinese consumers had the experience of purchasing imported goods.
In addition to establishing a platform for overseas firms, China has also reduced tariffs to spur imports, together with measures that facilitate trade, reduce import compliance costs and optimize the structure of imported goods.
In 2018, China lowered tariffs on imported goods on four occasions, which dropped from 9.8 percent to 7.5 percent on average.
Since the beginning of this year, China has repeatedly adjusted import tariffs involving not only vehicles and auto parts, but also many cancer drugs, and has expanded the scope of consumer goods subject to lower import tax rates.
"China will continue efforts to host CIIE every year, giving full play to its role of bringing shared prosperity to our trade partners and achieving win-win results," said Ren.