Expo a vital platform for HK-based enterprises to get into wider markets

Officials and business leaders officiate at the launching ceremony of the promotion campaign for the sixth China International Import Expo in Wan Chai, Hong Kong, on Wednesday. The sixth CIIE will be held in Shanghai from Nov 5 to 10, 2023. (CALVIN NG / CHINA DAILY)

Officials and business leaders called on Hong Kong companies to actively participate in the 6th China International Import Expo (CIIE) in November, stressing the top national event is a significant platform for Hong Kong enterprises to further strengthen economic and trade exchanges with the nation and explore opportunities in international markets.

They made their remarks at a Wednesday media conference in Hong Kong to promote the expo, which will take place in Shanghai from Nov 5 to 10. It will be the first CIIE to be held following the resumption of normal travel between Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland earlier this year.

The media conference was the first event of a serial promotional campaign for the expo. The organizers of the conference said that they chose Hong Kong as their first stop, as they attach great importance to the Hong Kong market, which is promising, dynamic, and able to act as a superconnector between the mainland and overseas.

They also revealed at the meeting the progress made in the preparations for the 6th CIIE, which will have exhibitions with various themes such as food, agricultural products, automotive technology, consumer goods, medical services, etc. Several CEOs of global companies have confirmed they will attend the event in person, according to the event organizers. 

Supported by the Bank of China (Hong Kong), the promotion conference was held by the China International Import Expo Bureau, the National Exhibition and Convention Center (Shanghai), the Commercial Office of the Economic Affairs Department of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the HKSAR, and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council. 

Liu Yajun, deputy director-general of the Economic Affairs Department and head of the Commercial Office of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the HKSAR, said that the CIIE is an essential channel for Hong Kong enterprises to enter the mainland market. 

Since the first CIIE was held in 2018, it has attracted more than 1,000 Hong Kong companies to attend. Even during the pandemic, more than 200 Hong Kong companies participated in the CIIE each year, according to Liu. 

A member of the audience at the event takes a photo of the presentation promoting the CIIE. (CALVIN NG / CHINA DAILY)

Xu Haifeng, deputy chief executive of the Bank of China (Hong Kong), said that by participating in the CIIE, Hong Kong enterprises could make full use of the opportunities presented by the vast mainland market, thus further integrating into national development.

Many Hong Kong companies joining the promotion conference also recognize the expo’s significance and expressed their intention to attend this year’s event. 

Axel Cheung, senior vice-president of Fung Group China, said that his company — a multinational group with a centurylong history in supply chain management — has participated in the CIIE for the last five years and is preparing for the sixth expo. 

Cheung said he has witnessed the CIIE overcome many challenges, including the pandemic and the uncertain global situation, to bridge the Chinese market with the world over the past few years, demonstrating China’s determination to open up. 

Rick Mo Tiande, head of the Business Development Unit of Automotive Platforms & Application Systems R&D Centre, a leading local vehicles research and development organization, said his company displayed an automated vehicle at last year’s expo, and received a large number of inquiries. Many mainland governments even invited him to discuss cooperation, Mo said. 

Simon Yeung, the founder of Time Medical Systems, a Hong Kong-based company providing dedicated magnetic resonance imaging systems, said this year will be the company’s sixth year at the CIIE. It plans to exhibit a brand-new medical device for babies, which has just received certification from the US Food and Drug Administration, and which features the latest technology. 

Based on his previous experience of attending the expo, he believes the new product and technology can be quickly introduced to the mainland after debuting at the national expo event.