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Inaugural CIIE excites global business community

By Yang Yang in Shanghai | China Daily | Updated: 2018-08-11 01:40
The National Exhibition and Convention Center (Shanghai) is where the CIIE will be held in November. PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY

Foreign companies say they are looking forward to the opportunities and exposure 

The international business community has expressed high expectations for the first China International Import Expo (CIIE) and is looking forward to the opportunities it will present when the six-day event kicks off in less than 100 days.

According to the organizer, more than 2,800 companies from 130 countries and regions have confirmed their participation in the event that will be held at the National Exhibition and Convention Center in Shanghai from November 5 to 10.

"CIIE will bring a very strong exposure to our company by introducing us to high-level government officials, influential trade professionals, including many existing and potential customers, and also hopefully the general public, and this could result in recruiting opportunities for us," said Laurent Castella, head of Market Region Asia, GF Machining Solutions, during a recent media briefing in Shanghai.

Founded in 1802, Swiss company GF is an industrial leader in three areas: the transportation of liquids and gases, lightweight casting components in vehicles and high-precision manufacturing technologies.

Castella pointed out that one of the reasons why GF has been around for close to two centuries is the company's commitment to keeping up with the changes in the industrial landscape. As part of efforts to stay ahead of the curve in the fourth industrial revolution, GF has been working with key universities in the world to develop more intelligent products and processes. The company also intends to bring these cutting-edge technologies to China, Castella added.

An official of ZF Friedrichshafen AG, a traditional German automobile parts manufacturing enterprise, also views CIIE as an excellent opportunity to enhance technical exchange with its Chinese counterparts.

"ZF is a strong supporter of the Chinese automobile industry," said Andreas Weller, president of ZF Friedrichshafen AG's Asia-Pacific. "As an active player in both Chinese and global auto industries, ZF is pleased to take part in CIIE, which is an important means for the sustained opening-up of the Chinese economy, and a great opportunity for global enterprises to enhance technical exchange and business operations here."

According to Weller, the company has a vision called "Vision Zero" which involves the creation of products and solutions that can contribute to an accident- and emission-free world. To achieve this goal, ZF will rely on extensive research and development activities on smart mobility, automated driving, e-mobility and connected vehicles.

The CIIE has attracted many leading technological companies to showcase their advanced products and solutions, but some of the big names are still reluctant to sell their products in China due to restraining measures from their own governments, said Liang Feng, president of China National Machine Tool Corp.

However, Liang is confident that this would soon change when these major corporations witness China's determination to reform and further open up its market.

"China has attached great importance to intellectual property rights protection and all the regulations are made according to international regulations," Liang said. "International companies can rest assured that their patents will be protected in China."

A one-stop service will also be provided for all exhibitors to safeguard their intellectual property rights at the inaugural CIIE in Shanghai, according to the organizer of the event.

In addition to smart tech machinery and automobile industries, food and agricultural industry giants have also expressed high expectations.

"We are looking forward to CIIE this fall when we will showcase many of our products. We will display some innovative products such as chocolates and coco," said Robert Aspell, president of Cargill Asia-Pacific.

Aspell added that the US-based company, which made its first investment in China in the early 1970s, will be looking to better align its operations with the strategic interests of China by focusing on food security and safety.

Jean-Philippe Poulin, president of Lesaffre Greater China, a global leader in yeast and fermentation, also showed interest in investing in China.

"We expect the exhibition to demonstrate how we can invest in China, and we will also try to convince other big companies to invest with us to create an innovative platform in China," Poulin said.

He added that establishing partnerships with different suppliers, experts and different technologies will help to increase and improve the practices in China, and even possibly result in the introduction of new products dedicated to the Chinese market.

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