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Yiwu fair aims to piggyback off CIIE

By Yuan Shenggao | China Daily | Updated: 2019-11-20 07:33

Officials say autumn event will attract over 400 firms from 57 countries and regions

Yiwu in East China's Zhejiang province, dubbed the "world's supermarket", is looking to expand its circle of business friends through the organization of an autumn fair, just a few days after the second China International Import Expo in Shanghai held from Nov 5 to 10.

The China Yiwu Imported Commodities Autumn Fair, which opened on Nov 13, three days after the closing of the CIIE, aims to ride the major international expo's wave, according to the local government.

With a focus on the display of goods for everyday consumption such as food, wine, cosmetics and mother and baby products, this year's fair has attracted 407 companies from 57 countries and regions including the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Canada, with a total exhibition area of 5,000 square meters.

Among all exhibitors, 20 showcased their products to global buyers at the second CIIE in Shanghai and expected to continue their winning streak in Yiwu, the largest wholesale market of small commodities in Asia at the fair, which will last till Nov 27.

Yiwu fair aims to piggyback off CIIE

The 3 Oceans Wine Company, founded in 2007 after Qianjin Steel in North China's Hebei province acquired the 4.3-square-kilometer Palandri Vineyard in Western Australia, is among them.

"Our products sell well overseas because the wine produced in Western Australia is famous for its high quality," said Zhang Chenguang, a sales manager from the company. After taking part in the CIIE events for two consecutive years, the company gained more confidence in expanding business in the Chinese market.

"Deals worth $8 million were reached during the first import expo in Shanghai. This year, the number is estimated to be larger," Zhang said.

He explained that they attended the autumn fair in Yiwu after the CIIE because they hoped to find more business opportunities in East China, which the company sees as a key market for its domestic sales. "Yiwu can serve as a springboard for our business expansion in China," the sales manager said.

Tendekayi Tigere is the CEO of Tiger Jewels Private Limited, a company in Zimbabwe which trades art and leather products.

After gaining a foothold in Africa and Europe for years, Tigere turned his eyes to China. He told China Daily that the country has the potential to become "a rising vast market for art".

"We plan to make China a distribution center for our business in Asian countries due to the immense population of this country," the African businessman said.

As early as in 2008, Yiwu started to develop a market for imports to transform itself from an export-oriented city to a global trade center. In the first three quarters of 2019, the value of imports in Yiwu surpassed 7 billion yuan ($1 billion), a year-on-year increase of 194.8 percent.

With the opening of the autumn fair, a 120,000-square-meter incubation area for import trade was launched in the city at the same time.

A total of 150,000 products from over 150 countries and regions have been gathered in Yiwu and are waiting to be purchased by Chinese buyers, said Zhao Wenge, chairman of Zhejiang China Commodities City Group, operator of the Yiwu Import Trade Incubation Area.

According to official information, the incubation area is designed to be a long-term display and trade platform, helping fuel the matchmaking between Chinese purchasers and global products, as well as between overseas companies and the Chinese market.

With its vast selection of cheap goods, simplified business procedures, application of information technologies, and integration of trade, entertainment and dining, the area will further facilitate international trade in Yiwu, Zhao said.

"The establishment of the incubation area is a new attempt for the reform and innovation of Yiwu's import market," said Lin Yi, Party secretary of the city.

The top official noted the city is striving to build a new import market featuring both online and offline sales channels, and further globalization under the auspices of the Belt and Road Initiative.

"Driven by both import and export markets, Yiwu is embarking on a journey to become a citywide trade zone," Lin remarked.

In an address to the launch of the incubation area, an Arab businessperson surnamed Arafat hailed the new area as an excellent platform which allows foreign merchants to sell more quality goods to Chinese consumers.

"Economic and cultural exchanges and cooperation between China and Arab countries are being constantly deepened these years," Arafat said. "The support the Chinese government has given shows the strong determination of the country to expand imports and push economic globalization."

"More Arab companies and businesspeople are willing to tap into the potential of the Chinese market," said Arafat, who has joined hands with his business partners in bringing over 300 kinds of Arab products to the incubation area in Yiwu.

Yiwu fair aims to piggyback off CIIE

 Wang Jian (center), mayor of Yiwu in Zhejiang province, at the booth of the United Kingdom during the autumn fair in Yiwu. Photos provided to China Daily

 Yiwu fair aims to piggyback off CIIE

From left: A staff member introduces red wines to a visitor at the autumn fair. Representatives attend the opening ceremony of the fair in Yiwu.

(China Daily 11/20/2019 page16)

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