Greater exposure, marketing gains from first expo sparking renewed interest, say officials
European companies are showing greater interest than before in being a part of the second edition of the China International Import Expo in Shanghai later this year, judging by the record participation of companies at the roadshows in major cities since early this month.
Five new companies from Finland expressed their keenness to be part of the ambitious expo during the roadshow in Helsinki, while cleaning solutions provider Elozo Oy has already confirmed its presence for the third CIIE next year. Finnish air purifier maker Air0 is participating in the event for a second time this year, according to the company's co-founder Valle Kulmala.
Kulmala said that Air0 gained several end users and partners after it participated in the inaugural edition of the show last year. More importantly, the event helped the Finnish firm to gain a better perception of the industry and market opportunities, something that other companies from Finland should also seize through participation at the CIIE.
Jusa Susia, head of the East Asia region at Business Finland, said that several Finnish companies will make their presence felt at the second CIIE to demonstrate their strengths in telecommunications, clean energy and biotechnology. The European nation will also seek cooperation with Chinese companies and institutions regarding winter sports and early childhood education.
Wang Bingnan, vice-minister of commerce, said during the roadshow that China was Finland's largest trade partner in Asia for 15 consecutive years. Finnish companies should continue to explore opportunities in the Chinese market, which is estimated to import over $30 trillion worth of products and $10 billion worth of services in the next 15 years.
During the roadshow in Sweden on April 11, natural food supplier Plantamed AB signed an agreement for the second CIIE. Before that, eight other Swedish companies signed up for the exhibition, led by big names such as Volvo and Ikea.
A total of 15 Swedish companies attended the first CIIE last year, covering intelligent and high-end equipment, automobiles, consumer electronics and home appliances, food and agricultural products, medical equipment and healthcare as well as services trade. Swedish companies also signed cooperation agreements totaling $369 million during the event.
Marcus Burmester, marketing director of the Swedish food company Lantmannen, said that they were overwhelmed by the large number of visitors to the CIIE last year. It was an ideal gateway to launch new products, share market information and look for potential business partners, he said.
Gui Congyou, China's ambassador to Sweden, said that the Chinese government will increase imports of high-end products, and urged companies from Sweden to use the expo to further expand their market share.
The Enterprise Pavilion for the second CIIE will be expanded to 300,000 square meters this year, up from the 270,000 sq m for the first exhibition, according to Liu Fuxue, deputy director of the CIIE bureau. Meanwhile, an outdoor experience zone will be added, featuring activities such as unmanned driving and baking.
By April 2, more than 1,800 companies from 77 countries and regions had sent in applications for the second CIIE, and 50 percent of them have inked contracts with the CIIE bureau. Up to 180 Fortune 500 companies have also signed contracts for the show, according to the latest data from the Ministry of Commerce.