The first, inaugural China International Import Expo, 5 – 10 November, 2018, concludes this Saturday with abundant enthusiasm.
Among the 3,000 companies from 130 countries worldwide, including 200 companies in the Fortune 500, a range of sectors, products and national talents are being exhibited.
60 British companies, represented by International Trade Secretary Liam Fox, Minister for Trade and Export Promotion Baroness Fairhead, and HRH Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, are showing the best that Britain has to offer. 30 are exhibiting in the National Pavillion while the remaining 30 are exhibiting in the Enterprise and Business sector.
The UK is being celebrated as a ‘country of honour’ at the CIIE, as bilateral trade relations between the UK and China, already worth over £65bn, continue to gain pace in the run-up to Brexit.
In 2017, the UK reached a record high volume of exports to China: £22.3bn in comparison to £17.4bn in 2016. Northern Powerhouse regions were significant contributors to that record.
The North West accounted for 10.9% of the total export of goods with £1.8bn, Yorkshire and the Humber contributed 3% of the total with 0.5bn, and North East contributed 2.5% with £0.4bn.
It’s an impressive and encouraging achievement and there’s still so much more room for expansion – for more businesses to embrace the opportunity for sustainable growth through export.
For local businesses, the journey towards a fully-fledged export strategy and events like the CIIE might start even closer to home.
ACOLINK, a Northern business bridging and enabling trade opportunities between the UK and China, is hosting a series of events to help Northern Powerhouse businesses understand more about China before undertaking the export journey.
Anita Zhang, CEO of ACOLINK says, “CIIE is a great reflection of China’s ‘Open for Business’ stance and the efforts to encourage more import. These are exciting times, especially as a business bringing more China opportunities closer to local businesses. As a strategic partner to CIECC (China’s Ministry of Commerce) we can see how China’s gearing up to mobilise and encourage more import. Just in the next five years, the value of imported goods and services to China is expected to surpass $10 trillion.”
The CIIE will be a great step forward in achieving the same kind of significant growth in China’s import volume of UK goods and services. Already, it’s having a positive, tangible effect on the Golden Era 2.0 of UK-China trade relations as it has boosted the number of exhibitors at the Best of British trade show.
This year 300 British business exhibited at the show, also held in Shanghai from 18 – 21 October, double the amount compared to the previous year.
British Consul-General in China, John Edwards, says, “The CIIE comes at a very important point as China enters the next period of reform and opening up. The CIIE is not a one-off but sustained opening-up.”
It can be a gateway for British businesses new to exporting to China. The exhibition marks the fortieth year of China’s Opening Up and Reform Policy, but it also marks an important shift from China as solely a manufacturer, to China as an international platform with a network of global exchange.
Business will gain a broader, enriched understanding of the new trends and future developments of their industry as well as other sectors. The CIIE is a platform, not only during the week-long expo but through its year-long online exhibition, for like-minded companies from 130 countries to exchange ideas and get to know each other.
The convivial and collaborative environment of the CIIE means that meaningful business links can be forged between companies in various sectors. It’s a trade event aimed at making exporting to its vibrant, exciting market more accessible to exporters of all sizes and experiences.
ACOLINK’s Let’s Do China initiative has joined forces with Northern Powerhouse Export campaign and Exporting is GREAT to bring export opportunities closer to local businesses. The first workshops will be running in Newcastle (20 November), Leeds (22 November) and Manchester (28 November).