Plaudits for long-running trade and investment fair
After 16 years of development, the China International Fair for Investment and Trade continues to maintain its high-quality form and content.
This September, China has a string of high-profile economic events including the China-ASEAN Expo and the World Economic Forum's Summer Davos session that begins in Dalian on Sept 11.
But the 17th CIFIT in Xiamen between Sept 8 and 11 stands out with its increasing popularity and influence, said Liu Dianxun, director of the investment promotion agency at the Ministry of Commerce.
Liu, who is also deputy-secretary general of the CIFIT organizing committee, said enthusiasm for the fair by overseas participants has never faded.
This year, foreign companies and organizations have 705 exhibition booths, more than double the number last year.
Three American chambers of commerce - AmCham China, AmCham South China and AmCham Shanghai - organized 51 booths. The 700-square-meter US Pavilion is the largest by a country in CIFIT history.
For the first time, South Africa became the fair's "guest of honor country". A high-level delegation of 62 South African companies attend a series of investment promotion activities during the event.
"The global economy is undergoing fundamental changes and faces complexities," said Liu. "The CIFIT has transformed from a China trade platform to a multilateral opportunity."
The 17th CIFIT also serves as a highly informative forum for global investors with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development releasing its 2013 world investment and trade reports during the fair.
"As a weathervane of international investment, the CIFIT is different from other trade shows. It guides companies to further explore the global market," Liu said.
The ongoing fair won plaudits from participants from around the world.
UNCTAD Secretary-General Mukhisa Kituyi said the CIFIT has become an iconic event on the global trade and investment calendar.
"Since its inception nearly two decades ago, the CIFIT has yielded a rich harvest, attracting the participation by ever-increasing numbers of business executives from around the world to address the most prominent issues in international investment and to share business opportunities," Kituyi said.
Namibian Deputy Prime Minister Marco Hausiku said his country has benefited greatly from the fair.
"Since 2004, Namibia has participated every year and has built a network to facilitate China's investors. This year, the CIFIT will deepen economic cooperation between China and African countries," Hausiku said.
Karin Finkelston, Asia-Pacific vice-president of the World Bank's International Finance Corp, said the IFC has cooperated with the fair for about a decade and it provides a platform to enhance cooperation and promote innovation and creativity through trade and investment.
Forrest Monroy, Seagate Technology's global vice-president, said "win-win" means a lot in today's business world and the CIFIT offers opportunities to companies eager for partners.
"Cloud computing is changing the global IT industry and the fair will help Seagate establish ties with China's companies specializing in cloud computing services," Monroy said.
Contact the writers at firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
(China Daily 09/10/2013 page5)