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China International Import Expo: events and agreements signed in the second edition

The second edition of the China International Import Expo (CIIE) ended on Sunday 10 November, with a success that confirmed that of the first edition and showed China's willingness to open up to the world and "inject energy" in the long term in support of the development of the world economy. During the 2019 edition a total of 71.11 billion dollars of provisional offers for annual purchases of goods and services were reached, with an increase of 23% on an annual basis. The most up-to-date report speaks of over 910 thousand visitors from 181 countries, regions and international organizations. There are 64 nations that have participated, together with three international organizations (World Trade Organization, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization and the International Trade Center), over 3,800 foreign companies that have exhibited at the Business Exhibition and at least 391 new products, technologies and services that made their debut at this year's CIIE. The number of registered professional visitors has exceeded 500 thousand, of which over 7000 buyers from abroad. More than 230 companies from all over the world have already joined the third edition of the CIIE, with a combined exhibition area of ​​over 84 thousand square meters. Among them are more than 80 Fortune Global 500 companies or industry leaders, with a total exhibition area of ​​over 50 thousand square meters.

Also in this edition, as in the past year, the Italy-China Foundation, the Italian Chinese Chamber of Commerce and the Aice-Italian Foreign Trade Association, have done their part by accompanying 90 companies from all over Italy. About thirty from Puglia, who participated in the "Casa Puglia" exhibition space organized by the Region, where presentations, events and tastings were held, combining entrepreneurship, tourism, art and culture. This is the major Italian commercial presence present in Shanghai: a commitment that has flanked that of the ICE, present with an institutional pavilion representing our country, one of the guests of honor of this edition.

The event also provided the opportunity for signing various agreements with major Chinese companies: for members and all interested companies, the Foundation and the Chamber of Commerce are available to present the terms of the agreements in more detail and provide indications on how to join the existing collaboration program.

On November 5, Chinese President Xi Jinping, French President Emmanuel Macron, Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio and other important heads of government spoke at the opening ceremony of the Hongqiao International Economic and Trade Forum. . Subsequently, President Xi also visited the Italian national pavilion accompanied by Minister Di Maio. The Hongqiao International Forum, with the title "Openness and innovation for a win-win cooperation", included the opening ceremony and five parallel sessions. The event was attended by about 60 prominent speakers from political, economic and academic circles around the world, who took part in the parallel sessions dedicated to various topics: the business environment, artificial intelligence, the WTO reform, e-commerce and Chinese development 70 years after the birth of the Republic. The Forum represents a high-level dialogue platform for global political, economic and academic communities to make suggestions on how to improve and transform the global economic governance system and propose "Hongqiao Wisdom" for healthy global economic development.

Fondazione Italia Cina, Italian-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Aice as well as closely following the 90 Italian companies that accompanied the CIIE (the most important delegation of companies in our country), also participated in a series of initiatives and signed various agreements. They collaborated as partners in the China-Europe CEO Summit organized by ICBC Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, which took place on November 6th in the National Exhibition and Convention Center. During the morning there was a seminar with Chen Siqing, President of the ICBC Board, Wang Bingnan, Deputy Minister of Commerce of China, along with representatives of important Chinese and international groups. The Forum was followed by B2B meetings between companies and the signing of contracts by the participating companies. About sixty Italian companies took part in the meetings on the invitation of the Foundation, Chamber of Commerce and Aice: the largest group among those coming from the European Union. Furthermore, during the forum a memorandum of understanding was signed between the Puglia Region and ICBC to facilitate commercial relations between Apulian and Chinese companies, in a structured way and with medium-long term interventions.

The three Italian institutions supported the participation of Italian companies in the B2B meetings organized by Bank of China between 6 and 8 November, which were thus able to benefit from the direct meeting with Chinese counterparts potentially interested in undertaking commercial relations.

Fondazione Italia Cina has also collaborated with Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) and ICE - Agenzia, which on the occasion of Minister Di Maio's visit organized a workshop dedicated to Italian exhibitors to CIIE and to selected companies operating in China: the workshop has having seen the participation of over 100 company representatives who were able to obtain information on the tools that CDP offers for internationalization.

On 7 November, the Italy-China Foundation also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Suning Group and in particular its commercial division dedicated to the retail sale of various products (Nanjing Zining New Century International Trading Co., Ltd.). The Group is one of the leading companies in China, ranking third among Chinese private companies in 2019, with eight industrial blocks, including retail sales. Being one of the largest retail companies in China - in the Top 500 Enterprises of the world of Fortune -, it has extensive sales channels and advanced marketing techniques and experience. Responding to the appeal of the China International Import Expo 2019, to promote international trade and achieve profitable cooperation, the parties decided to establish a strategic partnership. Thanks to this cooperation agreement, related to the trade of goods and services, the Chinese Group and its affiliates undertake to consider commercial collaboration proposals with the associates and companies presented by the Italy China Foundation.

The Chamber of Commerce has instead signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Sinopec Group, in particular their European regional office. Sinopec, the second most important group in the world, in addition to the hydrocarbons and mining and petrochemical industries, is developing a project that involves the marketing of different products through an e-commerce platform. This platform was established by Sinopec to promote direct procurement and develop solutions for international trade in industrial products and various consumer goods. Through this agreement, the Italian Members and companies interested in the Epec e-commerce platform can register for free if presented by the Italian-Chinese Chamber and promote their products both at the various Sinopec divisions, as well as in the Chinese and international markets.

On the occasion of this edition of the Fair, moreover, Fondazione Italia Cina and Chic Group offered a dinner to the participating companies, which were attended by the Assistant Consul of Shanghai, Bartolomeo Lamonarca, and Chinese authorities.
At the end of the event a Memorandum of Cooperation was also signed between the China International Import Expo Bureau, a direct emanation of the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, and the Italy China Foundation, the Italian Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Aice. The contracting parties renewed the agreement to strengthen their cooperation and the task of agency aimed at the promotion and participation of Italian companies and subjects at the CIIE 2020 edition (Shanghai 5-10 November). Foundation, Chamber of Commerce and Aice have therefore already optioned an exhibition area of ​​2000 square meters in various pavilions of the Expo, thus confirming their role as official agents for Italy.

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