Sharing Opportunities and the Future: CIIE Stories of Developing Countries

BEIJING, Nov. 10, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — A news report by on the China International Import and Export Expo (CIIE):

Recently, National Exhibition and Convention Center (Shanghai) again welcomed new and old friends of the China International Import and Export Expo (CIIE).

This is Zhang Tongyang’s fifth time at the CIIE. Back in 2018, when he received a message from the Chinese Embassy that there was going to be a “China International Import and Export Expo,” Zhang and his fellow colleagues were in the middle of honey-picking in the virgin forests of Zambia. It was that unexpected journey to Shanghai that raked in great popularity for their wild honey. Benefited by the giant spillover effect of the CIIE, they have closed many big deals, while gaining a stronger reputation in China’s market, enhancing their sales from less than one ton in 2018 to nearly 20 tons today. Inspired by Zhang’s experience, the bee product industry in Zambia also began to change. In the past, honey exported from Zambia to European countries were raw materials; in contrast, now practitioners in the local bee product industry have gradually been exporting pre-packaged products, which won them more fame in the international market.

Each year at the CIIE, a booth with adorable stuffed toy alpacas has always been a crowd-pleaser. To introduce Peruvian handicrafts to more people in the world, Ysabel Zea and her Chinese business partner Ma Yuxia have brought cute alpaca dolls — a representation of the Peruvian national treasure to CIIE for six years in a row. With large increases in export volumes to China, more and more Peruvian artisans have been willing to take on such handicraft. Oswaldo Suaña Mamani was the very first craftsman who became a partner of Zea’s company. The bigger number of orders from the Chinese market improved his standard of living: Not only did Mamani buy his own car, he also remodeled his residence into a three-storied house. Now, he is also engaged in training other artisans, and that means opportunities for more families to transform their lives for the better.

At this year’s CIIE, more attention was paid to participants from the developing and the least developed countries. The fact is, these countries were widely invited since the very first CIIE. Meanwhile, some free booths and subsidies for the exhibition were also provided to help the local products from the least developed countries enter China’s market.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the proposal of the Belt and Road Initiative. Hence, the sixth China International Import and Export Expo has also enjoyed wider attention and productive discussions. Nowadays, the world is afflicted with imbalanced development. In such context, platforms like the BRI and the CIIE have increased the supply of global public goods, granting the countries who were lagging behind important opportunities to better involve themselves in the global economy. These efforts will facilitate common development in a more inclusive and balanced way. And in that respect, the participating countries and companies are the most legitimate ones to have a say.

From our interviewees, what we heard most is how the CIIE allows the industries in their countries to be seen and chosen, and how a large number of developing countries have gained the chance to take part in global market competition. “New era, Shared Future” — this year’s slogan best describes their CIIE stories.

China Mosaic
Sharing Opportunities and the Future: CIIE Stories of Developing Countries