China
China welcomes first major offline international trade fair since COVID-19 outbreak
  ·  2020-09-04  ·   Source: Global Times

(Li Hao)
China is set to welcome the country's first major offline international trade fair on Friday following its effective prevention of COVID-19, with Chinese President Xi Jinping expected to deliver a speech at the event.  

The event, the China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS), will be held at the China National Convention Center - nearby the famous Bird's Nest, the main stadium of 2008 Beijing Olympic Games - and is expected to be another "banquet" for global business delegations.  

The fair not only demonstrates China has effectively balanced economic development with anti-virus prevention measures, but also that China will continue its policy of opening-up and increase its role in global trade, which has been severely impacted by the virus, analysts said.  

Global Times on Friday morning found the fair's eye-catching billboards remind attendees to wear face masks, and ensure they abide by social distancing rules and wash their hands frequently  

A worker of the fair told the Global Times that all employees and volunteers must undergo nucleic acid testing for COVID-19. He added that after nucleic acid testing is completed, spot checks will be conducted from time to time during the exhibition, including body temperature testing. 

According to the organizer's anti-pandemic prevention measures, the fair suggests that visitors complete their registration for the event online. Although on-site registration is also allowed, a green health QR code and body temperature check are necessary before entering the event.  

"The fair shows China has had the world's best epidemic prevention response, which is closely related to the government's effective governance mechanisms." Zhu Bin, Greater China Investment Advisory Director of the Swedish Trade & Invest Council, told the Global Times on September 4, adding that European companies - such as those in Sweden - have shown they want to attend the offline event, as they believe it is a good chance to share China's business opportunities. 

Officials of China's Ministry of Commerce said on September 3 that international and domestic exhibitors have shown strong enthusiasm for the event, and the number of participating companies and the event's scale have both exceeded previous years. 

More than 100 guests including heads of international organizations, senior government officials, and ambassadors to China confirmed their participation as of the end of August. Over 70 executives of 43 Fortune 500 companies and 20 multinational companies including Ericsson, IBM, SAP, Philips, Siemens, Schneider and Dell have all confirmed their participation.  

Nearly 60 heads of overseas trade associations, including the American Chamber of Commerce in China, the Canada-China Business Association, the China-Britain Business Association, and the Federation of German Industries have also confirmed their attendance. 

CIFTIS has been successfully held for six consecutive years. It has attracted a cumulative total of 10,000 companies, as well as 300 international organizations and foreign business associations from 184 countries and regions, achieving an estimated turnover of $529.33 billion. 

According to Vice Minister of Commerce Wang Bingnan, China's imports of services will exceed $10 trillion in the next 15 years, and China's services market will open wider. 

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