Region/Countries: Asia, China Industry: Multiple Sectors Date: July 2020

Why this is important to Wisconsin businesses: Virtual components and a year-round trade hub complement the exhibition's efforts to boost international trade.

The China International Import Expo (CIIE), an annual event announced by President Xi Jinping in 2017 and held for the first time in 2018, demonstrates China’s support for strengthening trade and economic cooperation to promote prosperity worldwide.

Preparation is underway for the third CIIE, scheduled to be held in Shanghai Nov. 5-10. Wang Bingnan, China’s vice minister of commerce, said at a news conference, "As the COVID-19 epidemic has impacted the global economy and trade, we are holding the third CIIE to increase imports and open up the Chinese market." The expo will be critical to rapid economic recovery around the world and building up an open world economy, he added.

The third CIIE has a planned exhibition area of 360,000 square meters, larger by 60,000 than the second expo. The area under contract by exhibitors in consumer goods, medical treatment and trade in services has already exceeded the planned allotment. The average area for the world's top 500 enterprises and leading firms in each sector  is expected to rise by 14% compared with the second expo. Four new zones will be added this year: public health and epidemic prevention, energy conservation and environmental protection, smart transportation, and sporting goods and competitions. For this year's expo, some signing ceremonies and roadshows have been moved online in light of the pandemic.

According to the CIIE Bureau, at least 391 new products, technologies or services were released at last year's CIIE, and the event attracted more than 3,800 companies from 181 countries, regions and international organizations. More than 500,000 professional visitors registered for the second CIIE, including more than 7,000 overseas purchasers. The value of deals emerging from the six-day event topped $71.13 billion, up 23% from the event in 2018.

To complement the goals and outcomes of the exhibition, the Greenland Global Commodity Trading Center was set up just outside the expo venue, offering services such as human resources, customs clearance, supply chain and more. to help smaller companies or those with less experience to quickly start their business in China. Since the center opened in November 2018, it has accommodated 139 companies and organizations from 57 countries and regions, introducing more than 60,000 products, and has received more than 5.6 million customers with a online and offline trading volume of ¥6 billion ($855 million USD) facilitated so far this year.

As a window to showcase China's deepening reform and opening up to the world, the import expo provides an excellent platform and opportunity to enterprises, and links enterprises with governments and each other. Even amid trade disruptions, U.S. companies can still use CIIE as a platform to learn more about the Chinese market.