China International Import Expo (CIIE) scheduled for November in Shanghai "is hugely beneficial" to Belgian businesses as it offers opportunities, said a Belgian business leader Friday.
Bernard Dewit, head of the Belgian-Chinese Chamber of Commerce (BCECC), said this during a conference held here to brief on the first such expo hosted by China. More than 200 representatives from European Union (EU) political and business circles attended the conference.
"The Expo is hugely beneficial because it allows for contact between Chinese businesses and local customers and producers and buyers, that is something that will save us a lot of time. And if infrastructure can be improved and with better communication, there will be great opportunities on the horizon, in particular for Belgium's small- and medium-sized companies," he said.
"Ultimately, it will help bring companies closer together," he added.
Addressing the conference, Chinese Ambassador to Belgium Qu Xing said competitive Belgian commodities and service products are welcome to enter the Chinese market.
According to the ambassador, China-Belgium trade totaled 23.3 billion U.S. dollars in 2017, up 7.8 percent year-on-year. Today, China is Belgium's second largest non-EU trade partner.
Ari Epstein, head of the Antwerp Diamond Center, told the conference said he believes the CIIE will provide opportunities for Belgian businesses to increase trade and establish long-term relations with Chinese companies.
The Nov. 5-10 CIIE is expected to bring together enterprises from more than 100 countries and regions. More than 250 companies have sent letters of intent to take part, according to CIIE organizers.