CIIE attendees praise achievements of BRI

2023-11-10 11:07:42China Daily Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

Visitors line up to try hams from Spain during the sixth China International Import Expo in Shanghai on Wednesday. (ZHU XINGXIN/CHINA DAILY)

Initiative hailed for enhancing ties, improving infrastructure, livelihoods

Attendees at the sixth China International Import Expo hailed the Belt and Road Initiative as it facilitates trade and economic cooperation, promotes cultural exchanges and enhances infrastructure and livelihoods in participating countries and regions.

Among the 72 exhibitors in the Country Exhibition area at the CIIE, 64 are countries involved in the BRI.

Additionally, over 1,500 attending companies in the Business Exhibition area come from nations and regions involved in the BRI.

Malta, which signed a memorandum of understanding to join the BRI at the first edition of the CIIE in 2018, brought its bluefin tuna to China for the first time this year. At its booth, a bluefin tuna is on display for sampling, attracting a large number of visitors.

"Malta was among the first European Union member states to join the BRI. I believe it enhanced and will continue to strengthen the relationship and cooperation between Malta and China. We support the initiative because this cooperation, on such an international level, will eventually benefit everyone," said Charlon Gouder, CEO of Aquaculture Resources Ltd.

Poland has participated in all six editions of the Shanghai event. So far, over 170 Polish companies have participated in the CIIE, showcasing products, including consumer goods, medical devices and services.

"We regard the CIIE as a critical part of the BRI cooperation along with the China-Europe Railway Express, which efficiently connects the Belt and Road and makes Poland a vital stop.

"Besides helping us expand exports and business, the BRI also brought many Chinese firms to Poland for the construction of remarkable infrastructure," said Andrzej Juchniewicz, chief representative of the Polish Investment and Trade Agency in China.

The BRI has also brought opportunities to the South American country of Peru, as it is "building more than commercial relationships between the two countries", said Ysabel Zea, co-founder of Warmpaca, a Peruvian firm engaged in the alpaca fur business.

Having also participated in all six CIIE editions, Warmpaca is excited about its business prospects, thanks to the improving logistics brought by the BRI, Zea said.

"Chinese companies are now engaged in a big port outside Lima that will allow ships to come and go in 20 days straight from Lima to Shanghai. It will help us so much in lowering freight costs."

Zea said her company has seen continuous orders from Chinese consumers over the past six years, which has greatly increased the incomes of local craftspeople and improved their living standards.

Beyond the business sector, the CIIE and BRI promote cultural exchanges among nations.

Honduras, which established diplomatic relations with China in March and joined the BRI in June, attended the CIIE for the first time this year.

Gloria Velez Osejo, the country's minister of culture, arts and heritage, said she hopes to make her country known to more Chinese and that the two countries can achieve shared growth with joint efforts.

"We are happy to be here promoting our country, products and culture and getting to know each other. The BRI and the relationship between the two nations will enable us to work together to attract investment, empower businesses and achieve prosperity in cultures, products and people," she said.

Dusan Jovovic, a Serbian artist, gave a welcome message to CIIE visitors by integrating Serbian symbols of family reunion and hospitality in the country's pavilion, which he designed.

"I was so surprised to find that the Chinese people are very familiar with our culture, which I owe to the BRI. The Chinese culture is so mind-blowing that I will definitely come with my friends and family again," Jovovic said.


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