Like the 61-year-old Canton Fair, the China International Import Expo (CIIE), to be launched in Shanghai in November, will provide a new business platform for domestic and overseas enterprises to discover business opportunities, organizers said at an event to promote the CIIE and the Canton Fair in New York on March 28.
The CIIE marks a significant step for the Chinese Government to push forward a new round of high-level opening up and to implement its Belt and Road Initiative, Zhou Shanqing, Economic and Commercial Counselor of the Chinese Consulate General in New York, said during a promotion conference.
The event was cohosted by the China Foreign Trade Center, the organizer of the Canton Fair, and the Greater New York Chamber of Commerce and attracted more than 60 representatives from local enterprises.
Ma Chunzhi, Vice President of the China Foreign Trade Center, said that the Canton Fair, established in 1957 and held every spring and autumn in Guangzhou in southern China's Guangdong Province, has evolved into an all-round platform for opening up, allowing domestic and overseas enterprises to "sell to and buy from the world."
"Sixty years ago, the Canton Fair was like a window to the outside world and now, the CIIE is like a door, which opens up the country at a higher level," said Ma.
The First CIIE will be held from November 5 to 10, 2018. So far, more than 1,000 companies from over 120 countries and regions, including nearly 100 Fortune Global 500 companies and various industry leaders, have confirmed their participation.
The promotion conference aimed to enhance the perception of the Chinese market among U.S. enterprises and encourage them to discover business opportunities through the CIIE and the Canton Fair, Ma added.
Facing a potential trade war after U.S. President Donald Trump signed a memorandum on March 23 that could impose tariffs on up to $60 billion worth of imports from China, Zhou said that China and the United States should see the bigger picture, since the demand and potential for bilateral trade remain high.
Zhou remains optimistic about the prospects of China-U.S. trade, despite the current obstacles. He added that deepening cooperation on the local level and among companies to tap into more potential will help increase bilateral trade and ease problems.
(Reporting from New York)
Copyedited by Rebeca Toledo