The CIIE is China’s first import expo held at the national level, an innovation in the history of global trade. The first CIIE was held at the National Exhibition and Convention Centre (NECC) and organised by Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China and Shanghai Municipal People’s Government supported by the World Trade Organization and the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation and organised by the China International Import Expo Bureau and the National Exhibition and Convention Center (Shanghai) Co. Ltd.
172 countries, regions and international organisations, more than 3,600 companies with a total exhibition area of 300,000 square meters, and more than 400,000 Chinese and foreign buyers attended this mega event and explored business deals.
The Chinese economy is developing steadily with a medium-high speed of growth. In the following five years, China is expecting to import goods and services worth more than $ 10 trillion, which provides a historic opportunity for enterprises to enter the huge Chinese market.
China was the sixth export destination of Sri Lanka in 2017 with $ 415 million worth of exports contributing to 3.6% of total export earnings of Sri Lanka. On the other hand, China was the second import origin for Sri Lanka with $ 4,605 million worth of imports which accounts 19.6 % of total imports. This situation has created the need for reducing the trade gap between the two countries by building better market access for the established Sri Lankan export products such as tea and gems and jewellery and diversifying in to other potential product sectors such as rubber products, apparel, coconut kernel products, processed food, etc.
The EDB organised Sri Lanka’s participation at the first China International Import Expo (CIIE) held in Shanghai from 5-10 November with two product pavilions and a Sri Lanka country promotion pavilion.
The first CIIE has provided an excellent platform for the participant companies to enter into the Chinese market and further consolidate the existing market linkages. This will result in increase of Sri Lanka’s exports to the China market which was the objective of participation of Sri Lanka in this event.
Six government organisations Sri Lanka Tea Board, National Gems and Jewellery Authority, Sri Lankan Airlines, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, Coconut Development Authority and three investment promotion projects joined the Sri Lanka National pavilion to showcase the strength of the country in the sphere of trade, investment, travel and tourism. Sri Lanka participated at many parallel forums, business meetings and B2B sessions to make maximum of Sri Lanka’s presence at the Fair.
11 tea companies (Euro Asia Corporation Ltd., Euro Scan Exports Ltd., Food & Nature Ltd., Tea Talk Ltd., Sinolan Tea Ltd., Sunshine Tea Ltd., Mabroc Teas Ltd., Russel’s Group of Companies, Lions Management Ltd., Samley Teas Ltd., World Mart Ceylon Ltd.), five coconut kernel products companies (Hero Nature Products Ltd., Tradlanka Agricultural Enterprices Ltd., Wichy Plantation Company Ltd., A.S. Agri Exports Ltd., Kaushalya Organic Industries Ltd.) a company producing chemical paint for food processing companies (Ferrow Chemicals Ltd.) a spice company (Rathna Producers Cinnamon Exports Ltd.) and 11 gems and jewellery companies (Githsara Gem & Jewellery , Roshan Gem Centre, Gamini Gems & Jewellery Ltd., Piyasiri Gems Ltd., Oriental Gem Craft, The Choice, Sun Shine Gems & Jewellers, Solar Gems Jewellery Ltd., Premadasas Gems & Jewellery Ltd., Vogue Jewellers Ltd., Regal Gems) joined hands with the EDB to showcase to quality Sri Lankan products to the discerning Chinese buyers.
Sri Lankan companies in the food and agriculture sector achieved their objectives in participating at CIIE. They were able test market for demand, acceptance and competitiveness, identified and appoint agents/representatives/distributors, entered into agreements and some of them had introduced new products to the market.
The Managing Director of World Mart Ceylon Ltd. (WMC) stated, “The exhibition was a success for World Mart Ceylon Ltd. We have appointed a sole agent in China and also there are 36 agents who are interested to do business with us and right now we are negotiating with them. We also received of $ 15000 to $ 17 000 initial orders by this visit.”
The Marketing Director of Kaushalya Organics Industries Ltd. said, “The participation at CIIE was extreme worthy and received inquiries for organic virgin coconut oil and moringa tea in a considerable quantity on each on the spot.”
The visitors at the Expo were of high standards with the real business interest. Sri Lanka pavilions attracted many a Chinese and foreign business decision makers who were interested importing Ceylon tea, coconut products, spices, processed food products, gems and jewellery, rubber products, handicrafts, etc. and investors and tourist and travel interests.
Considering the outcome of Sri Lanka’s participation this year and the requests of Sri Lankan participating companies, the EDB wishes to organise this event in the next year as well with the objective of diversifying Sri Lanka’s export product basket to China and to increase Sri Lanka’s exports to China.
Source at: Daily FT