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Import expo to grow despite coronavirus

By Xing Yi in Shanghai ( China Daily ) 2020-07-27

Import expo to grow despite coronavirus

Exhibitors talk on Sunday during a matchmaking session for the third China International Import Expo. [Gao Erqiang/China Daily]

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the third China International Import Expo will be held as usual in November, but on a bigger scale and with new sections, organizers said.

Ahead of the 100-day countdown to the expo, Sun Chenghai, deputy director-general of the CIIE Bureau, told a news conference on Friday that the bureau had overcome difficulties posed by the pandemic and preparations were proceeding as scheduled.

Companies had shown enthusiasm for the business expo, Sun said, adding that it has reached its goal of 360,000 square meters of exhibition area, up 20 percent from last year. The average exhibition area to be occupied by Fortune 500 companies participating in the expo was up 14 percent, he said.

This year's expo, which will run from Nov 5 to 10, will feature four new sections: public health; new energy and environmental protection; smart transportation; and sports.

Invitations have been sent to 40,000 domestic companies, the bureau said, and nine road shows have been staged across the country to attract more buyers to the expo.

On Sunday, matchmaking sessions were held for buyers and exhibitors in the healthcare and agriculture sectors to help them connect before the expo proper. Exhibitors in the two fields also founded special committees to serve as new channels for communication.

Zhu Yi, deputy director of Shanghai Municipal Commerce Commission, said the commission had established four buyer alliances and 18 trade missions that would participate in the expo.

Health authorities have also prepared contingency plans to ensure the safety of the event.

Qin Jing, deputy director of Shanghai Municipal Health Commission, said it will set up five medical posts in different halls at the expo venue, the National Exhibition and Convention Center (Shanghai).

Four medics and three volunteers will be stationed at each medical post, and quarantine zones and separate passages will be set up for people with high temperatures.

Qin said 29 hospitals in the city, including Huashan Hospital, Zhongshan Hospital and Shanghai Public Health Center, have been designated to admit suspected COVID-19 cases from the expo.

The plan also includes regular disinfection of the center's ventilation system and monitoring of its interior and the surrounding environment.

This year, exhibitors will be able to enjoy two new customs policies that will make it easier to import exhibits and sell them after the expo.

Ye Jian, deputy head of Shanghai Customs, said they include a new type of customs guarantee for exhibits, and authorization for the sale of exhibits on cross-border e-commerce platforms after the expo.

For foreign exhibits to clear customs, companies will be required to guarantee their compliance with tax duty laws.

"Instead of paying deposits, the companies can use customs guarantee insurance this year for their exhibits, which will not occupy their capital," Ye said. "The time for goods clearance is also relatively short for customs guarantee insurance."

Customs will allow exhibitors to transfer their exhibits to customs special supervision zones or bonded logistics centers and then sell them on cross-border e-commerce platforms.

"This policy provides a new channel for companies to turn their exhibits into goods," Ye said.

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