Shanghai Trade Centre

China International Import Expo: a golden opportunity for Australian businesses

Napoleon once said of China: “Let her sleep, for when she wakes she will shake the world.” Now in the 21st Century, this is becoming a reality – China’s period of economic stagnation is long gone.

In the next five years, China is expecting to import products and services valued at more than US$10 trillion. Given the consumption uplift from middle-class families in China, we see tremendous growth ahead for Australian exporters to the region. Australia was the third highest selling foreign market on Alibaba’s annual ‘Singles Day’ promotion in 2017, the world’s biggest shopping event which saw US$25 billion of sales in 24 hours.

Shanghai to showcase opportunities to enter the Chinese market

In May 2017, Chinese President Xi Jinping announced a very important initiative, an annual China International Import Expo (CIIE) starting from 2018. The CIIE aims to provide foreign businesses with a significant opportunity to explore and enter the Chinese market and 150,000 purchasers are expected to attend. It is designed to open up the domestic market to the rest of the world, promote globalisation and an open global economy.

The first CIIE will be in Shanghai, the trade center of China, from 5th to 10th November 2018. The 2018 CIIE will be located at Shanghai’s huge National Exhibition and Convention Center (NECC). Shanghai will be going all out to support the 2018 CIIE. The city will place great emphasis on exhibition services, including facilitating customs clearance beforehand. The expo will support the comprehensive expansion of Shanghai’s new round of opening-up and develop the city into a hub to distribute imported goods across China and Asia.

CIIE exhibit categories for products and services

The exhibits will be divided into the following areas:

1. High end Intelligent Equipment
2. Consumer Electronics and Appliances
3. Automobile
4. Apparel, Accessories and Consumer Goods
5. Food and Agricultural Products
6. Medical Equipment and Medical Care Products
7. Trade in services including tourism, emerging technologies, culture & education, creative design and service outsourcing

1700 companies, the latest products

So far, more than 1700 companies from across the world have applied to attend the expo. Over 900 applicants have signed contracts for the expo, 34% from the Belt and Road countries and regions. Nearly 100 of the applicants are among the Global 500 heavyweights in their respective industries.

The CIIE is set to be a launch place for the newest products. Australian natural health company Blackmores will display their medical equipment and health care expertise at the expo and aim to use the expo to expand their market and plan to set up branches in China.

The CIIE will be the world’s first national-level expo that focuses on imports and is a pioneering undertaking in the history of international trade. It will be an excellent platform for Australian businesses interested in exporting to China and showcase their products and services.

Austrade support for Australian businesses

For Australian businesses exhibiting, the Australian National Pavilion will serve as a focal point for Australian capability.  Austrade is also offering qualified Australian companies attending support such as national branding, Australian business lounge facilities and networking help from Austrade’s China team. For companies  who want to find out how they can be involved and what is on offer, Austrade is offering free webinars in early June covering these sectors:

1. Services and technology
2. Consumer goods
3. Health
4. Education
5. e-Commerce
6. Tourism
7. Urban development, transport, creative design and the arts

If you are interested in being a part of the China International Import Expo, feel free to contact your local Accru advisor who will assist you to get started on your China journey. You can also find out more by visiting the CIIE website and the Austrade CIIE website.

By Jean Zhang, Accru Felsers Sydney