CIIE brings various delicious foods from all over the world to Chinese consumers

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By Ying Jian

The China International Import Expo (CIIE) is the world’s first import expo held at the national level, an innovation in the history of global trade. The event has truly enhanced consumers’ sense of gain and served as a broad platform for intensifying exchanges and trade among various countries across the globe.You can’t possibly get a good understanding of a country without tasting its food. The Food and Agricultural Products exhibition area of the CIIE covers a large area and attracts nearly 2,000 food companies from more than 100 countries and regions all over the world. As the person in charge of the area, I’ve got the privilege to witness how various foods turned from exhibits at the CIIE into goods and were brought to the dining tables of millions of families. At the 1st CIIE, the sweet pineapple from Panama won favor with a lot of consumers and importers. Not long after the expo was concluded, the governments of China and Panama officially signed a protocol on phytosanitary requirements for the import of fresh pineapples from Panama to China. After the signing of the protocol, our CIIE team for recruitment of exhibitors traveled to the foreign land for a field visit to the orchards and relevant companies, in a bid to know better their comprehensive strength and jointly formulate a marketing plan that is suitable for the Chinese market. Considering that unnecessarily long logistics cycle may affect the quality of the fresh products, the CIIE team put forward multiple solutions to the problem, including following strict rules in selection of products, perfecting packaging techniques, and improving transport efficiency. These solutions have effectively facilitated the entry of Panamanian pineapples into China. In addition to recruiting exhibitors, most of the time my colleagues and I need to help solve various problems in the import of products from overseas enterprises. It normally takes more than eight days for imported fresh milk to be put on shelves through the traditional logistics process. However, the shelf life of milk is usually only 15 days. Thanks to the trade facilitation measures rolled out for the CIIE, a foreign company is now able to complete the whole process from milking cows on the farm to sterilization, bottling, testing, shipping, customs clearance, and hitting the shelves online and offline simultaneously in 72 hours. The company has joined Chinese e-commerce platforms and carried out in-depth cooperation with multiple offline shopping malls and supermarkets in China, offering consumers more choices of products. The amazing efficiency in the import of products like the fresh milk at the CIIE has not only helped quality foreign products quickly enter Chinese homes, but also opened a highly-efficient and convenient new channel for international businesses that hope to seek trade in China. The 3rd CIIE is slated to be held in from Nov. 5 to 10 in Shanghai. How can we achieve greater outcomes during the expo this year while continuing with COVID-19 prevention and control? To realize this goal, we have been committed to innovating ways of recruiting exhibitors, and carried out relevant recruitment and roadshow promotion activities both online and offline. So far, we have received a great number of applications for the expo. Companies from various countries have shown tremendous enthusiasm for the event, which has proven that the exhibitors at the previous expos have indeed found opportunities for development in China. (Ying Jian is the head of the team in charge of the Food and Agricultural Products exhibition area of the CIIE and the senior manager of the import expo exhibition department of the National Exhibition and Convention Center (Shanghai)).Visitors watch and take pictures of a bluefin tuna weighing 255 kilograms being cut into parts in the Food and Agricultural Products exhibition area of the 2nd CIIE on Nov. 7, 2019.

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