Region/Countries: Asia, China Industry: Multiple Sectors Date: December 2018

As part of China’s effort to open its economy, in November 2018 the Chinese government held its first expo dedicated to promoting imports into the country. The China International Import Expo (CIIE), a major global business development initiative, was held at the National Exhibition and Convention Center in Shanghai from Nov. 5 to 10. With Chinese imports expected to hit $10 trillion a year within the next five years, the CIIE was a high-profile event. The expo had over 150,000 participants from over 100 countries, including more than 200 of the Fortune Global 500. The event had seven exhibition areas dedicated to various product categories, from intelligent equipment to consumer goods. 

Foxconn Technology Group and the WEDC partnered to support the participation of 10 innovative Wisconsin companies at CIIE. The event was a unique opportunity to showcase the vast strengths of Wisconsin companies to a targeted audience including central, provincial and local government procurement officials.  

The Foxconn Innovation Pavilion showcased many of the state’s key industries, with 10 Wisconsin firms featured under a “Smart Future” theme. The companies’ specialties include water technology, advanced machinery, health care and smart city applications. The 5,300-square-foot pavilion area hosted the Wisconsin attendees and companies operating within Foxconn’s international brand portfolio. One section was dedicated to four freshwater technology companies, which are well-positioned to contribute to China’s “Sponge Cities” initiative to improve urban water quality for millions around the country. As the centerpiece of the Foxconn booth, this garnered ample attention at the event, and was coordinated by WEDC and The Water Council, a Milwaukee-based organization that supports the global water industry. 

Aside from the water technology companies, the Wisconsin products represented included motors, hydraulics, sludge removal equipment, ginseng, cranberries, jade, timber, building products and biodegradable plastics. 

“China is an important market for Wisconsin exports, and to do business you need a long-term relationship,” said Khay Khong, WEDC’s market development director for Eastern and Southern Asia.  “Participating in the China International Import Expo provided Wisconsin companies with the exposure needed to enter into new markets and to develop new partnerships.” 

The companies that attended and exhibited at the Foxconn Innovation Pavilion were BioGill, BiologiQ, Black Rock Custom Stone Cutting, Dynex Hydraulics, Hong Seng Inc., Inpro Corporation, Roving Blue Inc., SDMC America Technology, STAR Water LLC and Velicon. Representatives from WEDC; the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection; and The Water Council were also in attendance. 

Since China is one of Wisconsin’s top trading partners, WEDC organizes trade ventures to China every year. Companies interested in tapping China’s export market should consider joining WEDC’s global trade venture scheduled for April 5-17, 2019.