Business / Hangzhou G20

High-level guests head out on town for some shopping

By Du Juan and Zhao Xinying (China Daily) Updated: 2016-09-06 07:43

High-level guests head out on town for some shopping

Turkey's first lady Emine Erdogan (left) visits the Arts and Crafts Shop in Hangzhou on Sept 4, 2016. [Photo/Getty Images]

Many foreign leaders and entourage members attending the G20 Summit managed to squeeze some free time into their busy schedules for shopping and communicating with local artists, adding some light moments to their trips.

Located in the center of the city, Hangzhou Tower, one of the top shopping malls, received groups of leaders from Russia, Thailand and Turkey, as well as the first lady of Canada, to shop or dine over the past three days.

Wang Rong, a saleswoman at Luolai Home Textile Co, one of China's top bedding brands, said she served a Russian group of five people on Sunday.

"The president of Russia, Vladimir Putin, was not here, which was a pity," she said. "I feel really honored that the president's team chose our products."

Wang, who has worked at Luolai for five years, said she is confident in China-made products and believes sales will continue to rise.

Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau, wife of Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, went to Dolce & Gabbana on the first floor in Hangzhou Tower and bought a one-piece dress. She brought her daughter, who checked out some nightgowns.

In addition to shopping, other forms of cultural communication are in evidence at the G20.

Wu Xiaoli, a Hangzhou craftswoman who made sculptures of G20 leaders using dough modeling, a traditional art form in China, was surprised to meet Emine Erdogan, Turkey's first lady.

Wu said Erdogan, who was accompanied by Turkish diplomats, reporters and other staff members, was fascinated by the miniatures, particularly the one of the Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

"The first lady asked the interpreter to tell me that there is an identical sculpture of the president in his office and the president likes it a lot," Wu said.

Wu and 30-plus peers spent half a year creating a set of sculptures of G20 leaders-called World Peace Dream-to celebrate Hangzhou's hosting of the G20 Summit. The set caught the attention of both the domestic and international press before and during the summit.

Wu said: "When Mrs Erdogan learned that both sculptures were made by me and my team, she warmly hugged me three times, saying that she was really glad to see me."

High-level guests head out on town for some shopping

Argentine guests cycle alongside West Lake. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Foreign leaders get some exercise

Argentine President Mauricio Macri and first lady, Juliana Awada, cycled by the side of West Lake on Monday morning. The couple feasted their eyes on scenery such as the Broken Bridge and Zhongshan Park during a tour lasting about half an hour.

Macri and first lady are the highest-level foreigners to have experienced the public bicycle system of Hangzhou.

Besides its scenery, Hangzhou also attracts foreign leaders attending the G20 Summit with its cuisine. Grandma's House, a famous restaurant chain in Hangzhou, has become a top choice.

Thailand's delegation went to the restaurant twice during the summit and the delegation from Turkey also chose this restaurant.

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