Damascene Rose in CIIE: an ongoing story of love-Xinhua

Damascene Rose in CIIE: an ongoing story of love

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2022-11-04 16:49:33

- In 2018, Roula Ali Adeeb, from Syria, brought with her the rosa damascena to the four-leaf clover-shaped exhibition center in Shanghai and took part in the first China International Import Expo (CIIE).

- The four episodes of the CIIE so far have witnessed a romance between the rosa damascena and the "four-leaf clover" in the Chinese coastal city. And the story is still ongoing.

BEIJING, Nov. 4 (Xinhua) -- In 2018, Roula Ali Adeeb, general manager of BioCham Natural Extracts & Oils from Syria, came to the China International Import Expo (CIIE) for the first time, bringing with her the Damascene rose to the four-leaf clover-shaped National Exhibition and Convention Center in Shanghai.

Through four years of the CIIE, Damascene rose has planted a seed, sprouted, bloomed and developed a romance story with the "Shanghai clover."


"We were honored to be able to join the CIIE in 2018. It was very, very impressive experience. It was for us like seeing the light at the end of the tunnel," said Roula, who had been through a tough time in the war-torn country.

Thanks to the help of Chinese partner Dong Jingyan, she was able to introduce Damascene rose products to China, it was like planting a seed of hope, "I surprisingly found it was welcomed by the Chinese market -- the rose oil, the hydrolats, the dried roses."

This photo taken on Nov. 2, 2022 shows the west entrance of the National Exhibition and Convention Center (Shanghai), the main venue for the upcoming fifth China International Import Expo (CIIE), in east China's Shanghai. (Xinhua/Fang Zhe)

Not only did her products attract lots of buyers during the six-day exhibition, but she also got a chance to display and sell rose products in the Greenland Global Commodity Trading Hub(G-hub), next to the National Exhibition and Convention Center in Shanghai, where the CIIE took place.

Yearning for luck and success in the world's most populous consumer market, Roula registered for the second CIIE in 2019. During that time, the expo enabled her to increase the annual sales of Syrian local products and expand her business.


In 2020, Roula couldn't attend the CIIE in person because of the COVID-19 epidemic. Syrian Import Pavilion, however, had grown substantially, with many more Syrian enterprises and products.

"More Syrian enterprises have participated in this expo since the third CIIE," said Tarek Al-Shaybe, who registered his rose products company Dakka Kadima for the third CIIE held in 2020.

Photo taken on Oct. 15, 2022 shows decorative installations near an entrance of the National Exhibition and Convention Center (Shanghai), the main venue for the China International Import Expo (CIIE), in east China's Shanghai. (Xinhua/Fang Zhe)

From the CIIE, Tarek and his team found that China had a huge market for food and cuisine, so they started adjusting their business strategy, introducing more food products including rose jam and rose sweets.

"The customers can find such food products at the Syria Import Pavilion in the CIIE and other branches of the Pavilion, in addition to many other Syrian products such as Aleppo soaps, olives, woodworks, natural cosmetics, Damascene brocade and rose tea," said Tarek, who registered for the 5th CIIE.

During the four versions of CIIE, a large number of Syrian products of all types have gathered under the name of "Syrian Import Pavilion" in the G-hub.

"Now the CIIE is not just benefiting individual companies, but opens a wider market to the Syrian industries as a whole and helps the country," said Tarek.


This year, the Damascene rose will shine in the Trade in Services Area of the clover-shaped venue for the first time.

Syrian people take part in the picking process of the famous Damask, or Damascene Rose, in the town of al-Marah, north of the capital Damascus, Syria, on May 19, 2022. (Photo by Ammar Safarjalani/Xinhua)

"The Syria Import Pavilion used to sell products only. But since the beginning of this year, it has provided a wide range of services such as design, technology and investment services," said Tarek. The efforts aim at showing that "Syria not only has outstanding products and industries, but also provides high-quality professional services."

"We designed the interiors of many Syria Import Pavilion stores in important Chinese cities such as Shanghai, Beijing, Wuhan, Tianjin and others to make consumers feel like shopping in Syria in person," said Mohammad Bakdash, a new exhibitor and CEO of Ram Agency.

Saying that the Damascene rose "undoubtedly inspired us in our work, as it is the ambassador of Damascus to the world," Bakdash believed that his company, besides developing business partners in China and other countries, was also to shift the global perception of Syria after the country's image was distorted and depicted as war and destruction.

They worked a lot to show the world the real Syria and spread the culture of Syrian products. They promoted it through campaigns, advertising videos, packaging design, marketing research and so on.

"I expect great success for the exhibition, because it is a golden opportunity for companies to display their products and services in the most important international exhibition within a prosperous market that is open to the world," said Bakdash, who was working on a 3D digital image of rose on his computer. 


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