Beijing, Nov 5 (efe-epa).- The third China International Import Expo (CIIE) opened its doors Thursday with fewer attendees and participants than in the last two years due to the global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the list offered by the official website of the Exhibition, last year almost 4,000 businesses participated in the event, a figure that this year has dropped to just under 2,800.
State media sidestepped the attendance drop, focusing instead on the 70 percent of ‘Fortune 500’ companies (the 500 largest in the world) that had already participated the two previous years, and that 50 firms from that list joined the expo for the first time in 2020.
Despite a reduction in signatures, the total area of ??the exhibition has expanded by about 30,000sqm compared to last year, when they exceeded $70,000 million in agreements for the purchase of goods and services.
Due to capacity restrictions – limited to 30 percent – the number of visitors is also expected to drop from the nearly 1 million registered last year to about 400,000; according to state news agency Xinhua, adding that it will still be “one of the busiest events in the world” this year.
The limitations on entry to China due to the COVID-19 pandemic have made it difficult for companies from other countries to be present.
President Xi Jinping said China is estimated to import goods worth up to $22 trillion over the next decade.
Xi spoke again of his commitment to the country’s economic openness, while promising more transparency in its legal framework regarding foreign investment and the protection of intellectual property. He also announced more support for cross-border e-commerce and a cut in the list of technologies whose import is restricted. EFE-EPA