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MNCs find in expo launchpad for new products

By CHENG YU and MA SI | China Daily | Updated: 2022-11-05 06:55
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The booth of ZEISS at the fifth China International Import Expo in Shanghai. ZHANG WEI/CHINA DAILY

A rising number of multinational corporations will launch their newly developed products and innovative solutions in China first at the fifth China International Import Expo, which kicked off in Shanghai on Friday.

The trend, experts said, demonstrates MNCs' growing confidence that the expo has evolved over the years into a global platform for foreign trade. It also shows MNCs' high expectation that the larger Chinese market will also benefit from the spillover effect.

"As the world's first national-level exhibition for imports, the CIIE is a good reflection of China's dual-circulation development model, which is designed to promote internal consumption while opening the domestic market to external trade," said Kentaro Fujiwara, CEO of leading Japanese cosmetics firm Shiseido's China branch.

"The expo has provided a window for Shiseido to showcase its own innovation and achievements to the world. It is also a platform through which we can deepen our involvement in the China market, fully demonstrate our strengths in beauty and innovation, and continue to bring new products and technology to both Chinese and global consumers," he said.

At this year's expo, the Japanese company is displaying more than 40 new products from 22 popular brands. A series of brands, including skincare brand Urara, will make their debut.

"Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, the success of the CIIE demonstrates China's commitment to opening its markets wider and promoting global economic growth," he said.

CIIE data showed more than 1,500 new products, technologies and services made their debut at the expo over the past four years.

Industry experts said COVID-related uncertainties and impeded globalization will affect the growth prospects of emerging markets, but the great potential of the Chinese market will drive the growth of leading foreign companies.

Hou Yang, chairman and CEO of Microsoft Greater China, said the tech giant has attended every CIIE and this one coincides with the company's 30th anniversary in China. The CIIE, he said, has evolved into a good platform to share ideas, connect with customers and partners and share innovations not only from Microsoft but also its customers and partners.

"This year … we plan to showcase solutions built on Microsoft technologies — both by local partners seeking to have a greater global impact and international partners seeking opportunities in China," Hou said, adding the company's booth will particularly highlight innovation around sustainability, industry transformation and healthcare aimed at empowering efficiency, resilience and better outcomes.

Frank Meng, chairman of Qualcomm China, said after more than four years of development, the CIIE has turned exhibits into commodities and exhibitors into investors. This has been the firsthand experience of Qualcomm's participation at the CIIE.

"This year, our participation has once again shown our confidence in the long-term sustainability of the Chinese market and the determination to work with Chinese partners to develop domestic and international markets and drive win-win development in the era of everything being intelligently connected," Meng said.

The constant changes in the company's exhibits over the past four years, he said, have shown that 5G is empowering various industries, and Qualcomm has a growing number of partners in China. The scope of cooperation has continued to expand as well.

Zhang Yansheng, chief researcher at the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, said:"The fact that the CIIE is organized every year demonstrates that China honors its commitment to high-level opening-up and is sharing its development dividends with others to shore up globalization.

"The world is in urgent need of more trade orders and increased demand to revive the staggering economic recovery, as well as communication to reach consensus and repair global industrial and supply chains."

A report delivered to the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China emphasized that the country would promote high-standard opening-up, and this year's CIIE is showing the event has aligned itself with the goal.

Tetsuro Homma, executive vice-president of Panasonic Holdings Corp, said the company regards the CIIE as a strategic global exhibition, and an important platform for communication with the world. This year, the company will showcase its environmental technologies and solutions.

"As China pursues high-quality development, we will strengthen cooperation with Chinese and foreign companies and enhance our localization level to achieve win-win growth," he said.

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