Commitment to globalization and further opening-up
There was a sense of excitement in Shanghai this week as the city, which is one of the symbols of China's economic miracle, played host to the CIIE. It brought back fond memories of my time in Shanghai for the 2010 Shanghai World Expo that ran for six months and attracted a record 73 million visitors. I needed seven visits to see most of it. There have been similarities with this week's event. In the 2010 Expo, Shanghai showcased innovative super capacitor electric buses charging above bus stops and a large fleet of easier access "Expo taxis". Both were deployed in the city afterwards. This time, 440 state-of-the-art electric buses were introduced, to be used going forward on several routes. In both cases helpful volunteers were everywhere.
Of course the CIIE is a trade show, not a public expo, held in the newly completed National Exhibition and Convention Centre (Shanghai) in the Hongqiao Business District – a fitting location as it is the largest conference complex in the world. According to official figures, the pavilions hosted representatives from 172 countries, regions and international organizations with 3,600 businesses and more than 400,000 buyers. Shanghai also seems the most appropriate location as the city is known as both "the City of Experiment" and "the City of Innovation" as well the centre of China's economic powerhouse– the Yangtze River Delta Region. Shanghai has been home to China's first pilot free trade zone since 2013.