As gallant Shanghai fights its way out of the Omicron outbreak, multinational exhibitors at the China International Import Expo have expressed hope they will be able to participate in the fifth edition of the trade fair in November.
In an online meeting held by the expo organizer CIIE Bureau on Wednesday, 15 high-profile corporate executives from different industrial committees of the CIIE Enterprise Alliance expressed confidence in Shanghai's anti-epidemic fight and in the resilience of the China market.
Sun Chenghai, deputy director-general of the CIIE Bureau, said preparations for the expo are underway despite the outbreak in Shanghai-the bureau organized 30 online road shows in the past two months.
Sun said exhibitors have signed up for 70 percent of exhibition areas. They include more than 240 industrial pacesetters and global Fortune 500 companies.
The registration for professional visitors and on-site events during the expo proper has begun. The expo will set up new zones for agriculture seed industry and artificial intelligence.
"With 170 days to go, we'll work hand in hand with our partners, exhibitors and buyers to make the fifth edition another success," Sun said.
A participant since the inaugural edition, L'Oreal Group, a French cosmetics giant, positions itself as a "believer" of the CIIE, seeing the expo as a new collaborative platform for opening-up and a new ecosystem to liaison with industry partners.
As the chairman of the CIIE Enterprise Alliance, L'Oreal is poised to showcase a number of novelties in the upcoming fair, including the latest projects from the beauty tech realm it has harvested, said Fabrice Megarbane, president of L'Oreal North Asia Zone and CEO of L'Oreal China.
The most notable move on this front is the establishment of the first-of-its-kind investment arm in China with a focus on beauty tech, which was announced on Sunday. The company had also initiated the Big Bang Beauty Tech Startup Challenge three years ago in China, and co-supported the second edition with The Oriental Beauty Valley.
"The investment also firmly proves our undoubted commitment to Shanghai and the Chinese market, our sincerity to co-create with industry partners in the ecosystem and our confidence in the Chinese market," he said.
Jean-Christophe Pointeau, president of Pfizer Biopharmaceuticals Group China, said openness is of great significance to the current global environment which has been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Facing the changes unseen in a century, we see that China has never stopped the pace of implementing opening-up when confronting challenges of the pandemic or the turbulence of global situation," he said. "It has steadily advanced the annual CIIE, which provides broader opportunities for industry exchanges and stronger confidence."
Pointeau said the company innovations displayed at previous expos have been gradually transformed from exhibits to commodities. "Through the CIIE, our products became truly accessible to ordinary people in China and brought benefits to Chinese patients," he said.
Doris Xiang, vice-president of government affairs at Ford Motor China, said Shanghai and its neighboring cities are a vital base of production and supply chain for the global automobile industry.
"This online meeting is very timely for the auto industry to voice the positive signal of China's continuous opening-up," said Xiang, adding that the CIIE is an influential platform for the industry to work with partners and build up connections with more local governments.
Yann Bozec, president of Tapestry Asia-Pacific, which owns fashion, footwear and lifestyle brands, said: "Looking back on the past year, the world has been amazed by the resilience and vitality of the Chinese economy. Extraordinary Chinese strength has been an important driving force for global development and prosperity.
"We look forward to writing a more powerful and wonderful China story. I believe we can go through the difficult time together."