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Dozens of big businesses sign up for import expo Release date: 2020-05-19    Source:China Daily

Global enterprises are showing strong interest in seizing opportunities at the third China International Import Expo, or CIIE, which is to run from Nov. 5 to 10 in Shanghai, despite the impact of COVID-19.

The CIIE Bureau, one of the organizers of the event, released a second participant list to domestic buyers in early April.

Of the 125 enterprises on the list, nearly one-sixth are first-time participants, which include some heavyweight players in their industries. One-third are Fortune Global 500 companies.

According to the CIIE Bureau, there are newcomers in all six sections of the import expo, namely trade in services, automobiles, consumer goods, intelligent and information technology, healthcare and food products.

This year, Swiss luxury brands holding company Richemont will make its debut at the annual gathering.

The group added its name to the 2020 expo during an online signing ceremony on April 16.

Richemont, owner of several of the world's leading luxury companies, said it will bring 13 high-end brands of jewelry, watches, writing instruments and fashion accessories, including Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Piaget and Vacheron Constantin, to its 500-square-meter exhibition area.

The company has also inked a strategic cooperation memorandum of understanding with the CIIE Bureau, making Richemont the first exhibitor to sign such an agreement in the history of the CIIE.

"Over the years, China has been one of the most valued markets for Richemont," said Jerome Lambert, CEO of Richemont.

He added that "China boasts broad market prospects because the country is in the fast lane toward greater consumption."

The COVID-19 outbreak will not change Richemont's confidence in China's economic recovery, as evidenced by the signing of the third expo and strategic cooperation, Lambert said.

Apollo Future Mobility Group, a Hong Kong SAR-based automobile company, will make its debut at the CIIE with a 650-square-meter exhibition area. Also, two commercial banks from Russia and Kyrgyzstan will exhibit in the Trade in Services Exhibition Hall, according to the CIIE Bureau.

Despite the pandemic, global investors remain optimistic about the Chinese market.

Although the pandemic has had an effect on foreign enterprises operating in China, there was never a large-scale withdrawal of foreign investment from the market, according to the Chinese Ministry of Commerce.

According to the American Chamber of Commerce in China 2020 Business Climate Survey, although American businesses in China are facing problems such as COVID-19, China remains a key priority for most U.S.-invested enterprises in the long run.

According to another recent study released by AmCham South China, 75 percent of surveyed U.S. companies said they will not change their re-investment plans despite the pandemic.

Zhang Xiao, Chinese ambassador to Kazakhstan, said in an article published in the central Asian country that the COVID-19 outbreak has been controlled effectively in China and the country's economic situation will brighten up. The effects won't last long and will be limited to small areas, he added.

James Kimonyo has been Rwanda's ambassador to China since the end of 2019.

He told Chinese media that he was excited to start his journey in Asia starting from China and that he is optimistic about the Chinese market. The CIIE is a platform for him to witness China's sincerity in expanding opening-up and Chinese consumers' huge purchasing power, he added.