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CIIE key to opening-up, lucrative deals inked Release date: 2022-11-30    Source:China Daily

Central SOEs, subsidiaries sign agreements at annual import expo with foreign partners for more mutual benefits

With China creating more favorable conditions to expand high-level opening-up, the annual China International Import Expo has become a key driving force for its centrally administered State-owned enterprises to connect with foreign enterprises and ensure the stability of supply chains, said senior corporate executives.

The government organized central SOEs to set up 99 trading groups to participate in the fifth CIIE held in Shanghai in early November. More than 17,500 purchasing professionals from nearly 1,300 central SOEs and their subsidiaries took part in the grand event this year, according to the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council, China's Cabinet.

Central SOEs — including China National Petroleum Corp, China Eastern Air Holding Co Ltd, Sinochem Holdings Corp Ltd and COFCO Group — signed purchase and cooperation deals with multinational companies such as Honeywell, Pratt & Whitney, Saudi Aramco, Kuwait Petroleum, ABB, Dow Chemical and Cargill during the fifth CIIE.

According to a report presented to the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, China will steadily expand institutional opening-up with regard to rules, regulations, management and standards, while stressing higher-level opening-up.

China has developed itself while making contributions to the world in the past decades through opening-up. The country has become a powerhouse of global economic growth, an advocate of global openness and a provider of international public goods, said Peng Huagang, secretary-general of the SASAC, the country's top State asset regulator.

By leveraging its strength in international operations, Sinochem Holdings Corp Ltd sealed cooperation deals worth over $11 billion with over 50 partners from more than 10 countries and regions, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Japan, Singapore and Malaysia during the fifth CIIE, the Beijing-based group said in a statement.

Meanwhile, four of its Europe-based subsidiaries — Syngenta Group, Adisseo, Elkem and Krauss-Maffei — participated in the expo, bringing innovative products, technologies and solutions in the fields of seed, digital agriculture, animal nutrition, new materials and intelligent equipment to the Chinese market.

These subsidiaries signed multiple supply contracts with various Chinese partners, with the total sales volume surpassing $1.6 billion.

With China entering a new era of green and innovation-led growth, Sinochem Holdings said it has made many breakthroughs in the purchasing value and scope, partners and fields of cooperation, and has purchased an increasing volume of digital, green and low-carbon products.

Empresarios Agrupados and Ghesa Ingenieria y Tecnologia, two Spain-based international subsidiaries of China Power Engineering Consulting Group Co Ltd, signed a strategic framework agreement during the fifth CIIE with a Chinese partner to jointly conduct engineering services in Mexico.

Under this agreement, the two Spain-based firms will provide survey and engineering services for the 346-megawatt internal combustion engine power plant project in Mexico.

These two companies were acquired by CPECC, a subsidiary of Beijing-based China Energy Engineering Corp, in 2020.

"The CIIE has opened a brand-new world for our businesses to better connect with both Chinese and foreign companies to develop projects across the world, especially in markets related to the Belt and Road Initiative," said Javier Perea, EAI's managing director and CEO.

ConocoPhillips China Inc, a branch of US-based ConocoPhillips Co, and China National Offshore Oil Corp, the country's top offshore oil and gas driller, launched the Penglai offshore wind farm pilot project as a result of a deal reached during the fifth CIIE.

The project will harness wind energy to supply power to the Penglai oilfield, China's largest offshore oil and gas production base, under a production-sharing contract. The oilfield is located in Bohai Bay.

"This pilot project represents a first-of-its-kind integration of offshore wind power being harnessed solely for offshore oil and gas facilities in China," said Bill Arnold, president of ConocoPhillips China Inc.

"We believe it will become a benchmark for future low carbon emission offshore oilfield developments," Arnold said.

The newly launched wind farm project offers an optimal solution for meeting the oilfield's power demand, which is expected to increase year by year as development continues, according to the US company.

COFCO Group, China's largest foodstuff producer and grain trader by sales revenue, signed over $10 billion worth of purchase contracts with various foreign partners during the fifth CIIE.

In addition to importing edible oils, sugar, meat, alcohol and dairy products from overseas markets, the company purchased grain and bulk commodities such as wheat, corn and cotton to meet demand from domestic processing enterprises. It will introduce high-quality agricultural and grain products with different tastes from more regions around the world into the home market, said Luan Richeng, COFCO's president.

After the fifth expo concluded, the CIIE Bureau — the event's organizer — unveiled data that showed the total value of contracts grew by 3.9 percent year-on-year to $73.52 billion.

"Wider and deeper collaboration between Chinese companies and businesses around the world further testify to the country's commitment to opening-up," said Li Jin, chief researcher at the China Enterprise Research Institute in Beijing.

He said the majority of SOEs will raise their investment in areas like green industries, new materials, cloud computing, big data, artificial intelligence, the internet of things, mobile applications, integrated circuits and other fields to stay competitive during the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-25), as sustainable growth and digitalization have become key growth drivers.

By Zhong Nan