President Xi Jinping will deliver the keynote speech via video at the opening ceremony of the third China International Import Expo on Wednesday, the Ministry of Commerce said on Thursday.
Global business leaders and government officials see the upcoming expo as an important platform for global companies to increase their presence in China, especially amid the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
"The expo is particularly significant because of the pandemic. China is the first country to successfully contain the pandemic among major global economies. Thanks to that, our business in China is also recovering quickly," said BMW China chief Jochen Goller. It will be the third consecutive year that the German carmaker attends the expo.
The expo's "brand effect" has attracted more foreign companies' participation, and the scale of the third CIIE will exceed the previous ones, said Gao Feng, a spokesman for the Ministry of Commerce.
"The third CIIE has larger exhibition areas, better arrangements and higher-quality exhibits," said Gao.
The total planned exhibition area at the third CIIE is 360,000 square meters, 60,000 sq m larger than the previous edition, reflecting a broad recognition of both the CIIE and the Chinese market, according to the CIIE Bureau, the event's organizer.
The average exhibition area for the world's top 500 companies and industry leaders this year will rise by 14 percent from last year, according to the bureau.
Gao said the third CIIE has set up six major exhibition sections: consumer goods, medical equipment, medicine and healthcare, automobiles and trade in services.
"Even though the contagion brought many changes and uncertainties to the market, our business in China has proved resilient and recovered fast," said Kamran Vossoughi, president and CEO of Michelin China, adding that the company has stabilized its operations and achieved encouraging results since March.
As a first-time participant, the French tiremaker decided to attend the event at the end of January and believes that China's economic recovery will accelerate during the post-pandemic era, supported by flexible government policies, a large customer base and a well-developed supply chain.
Japan's Fujifilm Holdings Corp will set up an "anti-COVID-19 zone" in its booth to showcase its latest technology and services to fight the pandemic.
"In China, many consumers' impression of Fujifilm still remains in the field of imaging products. We expect to make more consumers understand the transformed Fujifilm through the CIIE, a large and comprehensive platform. It is a wonderful opportunity," said Hironobu Taketomi, president of Fujifilm (China) Investment Co Ltd.
Wang Jun, director-general of the Department of Port Control at the General Administration of Customs, said many exhibitors at the CIIE this year will receive tax breaks if their exhibited products are sold during the expo.