On 1 November, Finnish news media the GBtimes and the Daily Finland published a signed article by Ambassador Chen Li entitled “The First China International Import Expo: The Opening Market Opportunity for a Better Future”. The full text is as follows:
The Opening Market Opportunity for a Better Future
Last year, Chinese President Xi Jinping announced on the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation that China will host China International Import Expo (CIIE) starting from 2018.
The focus of CIIE is on import. It is an open platform for international economic cooperation, which is built by China for countries all over the world to display their products and services and carry out international trade. It represents China’s principled stand on and solid resolve to economic globalization and trade liberalization.
The first CIIE will be held November 5th-10th, 2018, at the Shanghai National Convention and Exhibition Center. It has attracted more than 2800 companies from over 130 countries. Among them there are over 200 world top 500 companies or leading industrial players. Total exhibition space will cover 270,000 square meters. Over 150,000 Chinese and foreign professional buyers are expected to visit the Expo and enter business negotiation with exhibitors. Apart from the exhibition itself, there will be more than 100 related activities, including 3 parallel forums with the subjects on “Trade and Opening”, “Trade and Innovation” and “Trade and Investment”, to be held at the same time. 80 countries are invited to set up their Country Pavilions at the Expo, where they can project their national images by showing their best products, services and technologies.
China welcomes all countries to board the train of its development either for a fast ride or for a free ride, and products and services with strengths, characteristics and competitiveness are welcome to enter China’s vast market of 1.3 billion population. In the next five years, China is expected to import products and services worth more than 10 trillion dollars. The expo will provide unique opportunities for countries around the world to expand export into Chinese market. China will further open its market and we sincerely hope that CIIE will help promoting trade liberalization and trade facilitation, and contribute to a more vigorous, inclusive and sustainable global economic development.
Finland is one of China’s important trading partners among European countries. According to Finnish customs statistics, the trade volume between China and Finland in 2017 was 7.95 billion euros, which is one of the best records in the trade history between China and Finland. China is Finland’s fourth largest trading partner in the world and has been Finland’s largest trading partner in Asia for 15 consecutive years. We believe that the two countries will share a promising future in the field of economic and trade cooperation.
We are very delighted to see that Finland is actively participating the first CIIE, and the very first exhibit of the Expo is a biofuel car from Finland. As one of the invited countries, Finland will have its own Country Pavilion for trade and investment in the Expo. Minister for Foreign Trade and Development of Finland, Ms. Anne-Mari Virolainen will lead the Finnish official and business delegation to Shanghai to participate the Expo and to attend the 3rd meeting of China-Finland Committee for Innovative Enterprise Cooperation on November 8th. We have learned that the Finnish Country Pavilion covers four themes including forest industry, clean technology, marine transportation and energy industry. Finnish leading companies including Nokia, Finnair, UPM and Valio are among the exhibitors in the Finnish Country Pavilion. In terms of Enterprise and Business Exhibition, 8 Finnish companies including Nokia, Valio and Halti will set up their own booths in the exhibition areas of intelligent and high-end equipment, food and agricultural products, clothing and consumer goods, medical apparatus and instruments, with a total exhibition area of 308 square meters.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of China’s reform and opening up. The reform and opening-up policy has profoundly changed China and led us into a new era of economic and social development. The slogan of the first CIIE is “New Era, Shared Future.” We hope to work with other countries and international organizations to build China International Import Expo into a first-class expo in the world, open new channels for international trade and economic cooperation, facilitate the interconnected growth of global trade and world economy, and achieve mutual benefit and common prosperity under the framework of the “Belt and Road” initiative. I sincerely hope that the Expo will be held successfully and Finland can seize the opportunity to show itself to the world and to introduce high quality Finnish products and services to more professional buyers from China and the world.