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China's visa-free policy to boost European participation in CIIE Release date: 2024-03-27    Source:China International Import Expo Bureau

The Chinese government recently adopted a visa-free policy for Switzerland, Ireland, Hungary, Austria, Belgium and Luxembourg, on a trial basis, staring March 14.

This move, representing China's commitment to further opening-up, is expected to encourage more businesses and organizations from these nations to participate in major economic and trade events like the China International Import Expo to further explore the Chinese market.

ABB Group, a Switzerland-based multinational corporation, has showcased numerous innovative products and technologies at the CIIE over the past six years, aiding the green transformation of industries.

"With the strong influence and spillover effects of the CIIE, we look forward to more ABB products and technologies being exhibited in the expo and implemented nationwide," said Gu Chunyuan, chairman of ABB China.

At the 2024 ABB Electrification Innovation Week, Morten Wierod, president of the electrification business area of ABB, announced a plan to invest $100 million over the next three years in China, primarily focusing on research and development to support the energy transition.

Ireland, one of the world's major beef exporting countries, became the first EU country to export beef to China in 2018. At the sixth CIIE, the Irish Food Board (Bord Bia) showcased its new beef products, attracting much attention.

Liu Yupeng, chairman of the Industry and Commerce Association of Ireland, said that many Irish companies have experienced excellent sales in China following their participation in the CIIE.

Hungary, which served as a guest country of honor at the first CIIE, views the expo as a crucial opportunity to boost exports. At the sixth CIIE, Hungarian whole grain biscuits and nut butter impressed attendees with their quality and taste.

Steven Back, chief executive officer of Back and Rosta Information Technology (Shanghai) Ltd, a regular participant of the CIIE, said the expo showcases the best and newest products from exhibitors.

"The scale of the CIIE is immense, with so many people and exhibitors attending. This is possibly something only China can achieve," he said.

Zotter, an Austrian chocolate manufacturer and a regular participant in the CIIE, exhibited over 150 types of products at the sixth CIIE, many of which made their debut at the expo. Helmut Rakowitsch, the Austrian consul general in Shanghai, attributed their successful entry into the Chinese market to the expo.

Belgian conference pears have also gained significant traction in the Chinese market through the CIIE. During the sixth edition of the expo, Dole and Belgian Fruit Valley, the largest fruit growers' cooperative in Belgium, celebrated the 12th anniversary of the pears entering the Chinese market, further increasing the variety's visibility in China. At present, China is the largest importer of Belgian conference pears in Asia.

Luxembourg, located adjacent to Belgium, also plays a crucial role in China-Europe economic and trade cooperation. Over the years, the aviation industry has held a significant position in the economic and trade exchanges between China and Luxembourg, with both countries signing multiple cooperation agreements in this sector.

Luxembourg-based Cargolux Airlines International, Europe's largest all-cargo airline, highly values its cooperation with China and has participated in the CIIE. Representatives of Cargolux have expressed their hopes of leveraging the CIIE to further open up markets and grasp new opportunities.

By Zhao Guangmei