* The inaugural China International Supply Chain Expo (CISCE) is the world's first national-level supply chain expo. Among its 515 participating companies, about 130 are foreign.
* Themed "Connecting the World for a Shared Future," the five-day expo resonates with China's repeated emphasis on the importance of stable industrial and supply chains.
BEIJING, Dec. 2 (Xinhua) -- "It's very spacious and interactive," said a visitor who had just had a look at the Li Auto car model L9 on display.
Powered by Snapdragon solutions, the new energy model wows visitors with its built-in smart devices and voice and motion control at the inaugural China International Supply Chain Expo (CISCE).
The CISCE kicked off in Beijing on Tuesday. Running through Saturday, the expo is the world's first national-level supply chain expo. Among its 515 participating companies, about 130 are foreign.
Themed "Connecting the World for a Shared Future," the five-day expo resonates with China's repeated emphasis on the importance of stable industrial and supply chains.
People visit the booth of Syngenta Group at the exhibition area on green agriculture chain during the China International Supply Chain Expo (CISCE) in Beijing, capital of China, Nov. 30, 2023. (Xinhua/Li He)
NEW PLATFORM FOR COMMON DEVELOPMENT
The expo is being held to create an international platform for all parties to strengthen communication and cooperation and seek common development, said Chinese Premier Li Qiang on Tuesday when addressing the opening ceremony.
It also aims to connect upstream, midstream and downstream enterprises in the industrial chain, and to contribute to building a stable and smooth global supply chain.
The expo provides a platform for companies to meet and connect with potential business partners, suppliers, distributors, and customers from both domestic and international markets, said Nguyen Thi Mien Ha, brand manager at Vietnam's SAO THAI DUONG Joint Stock Company, adding "this networking opportunity can lead to mutually beneficial collaborations and partnerships."
Noting the global supply chain has been disrupted by many factors such as the pandemic and geopolitical tensions, Chairperson of Progressive Business Forum Gwen Ramokgopa said she appreciates China's initiating the expo and bringing diverse participants together.
"When we are together, we can get to know one another and the rules that govern all of us, and also get to know the needs of individual countries," she said.
Referring to the expo as "an excellent idea," Plinio Innocenzi, professor at the University of Sassari and former scientific attache at the Embassy of Italy in Beijing, said the expo can be a common forum where participants can discuss opening-up, adding that he expects a greater Italian presence at next year's expo.
Noting that many global giants including Google, Amazon and Intel are participating in the expo, Adam Fong, managing director of Greater China at Scan Global Logistics (SGL) said that some of SGL's cooperative partners and clients also came, allowing SGL to get the latest information from them at the expo.
"Successful enterprises go global. As a logistics provider, we need to adjust to their needs accordingly. For example, we learned about our client Geely Auto's methanol-fueled vehicles, which wasn't mentioned in our previous exchanges," Fong said, adding this will help them "get pre-prepared."
Visitors learn about a new energy vehicle at the booth of Chinese automaker Geely at the smart vehicle section of the China International Supply Chain Expo (CISCE) in Beijing, capital of China, Dec. 1, 2023. (Xinhua/Li He)
The expo also includes forums and seminars, where industry experts and scholars can share insights, industry trends, and technological advancements.
Tomasz Szypula, president of the Polish National Federation of Entrepreneurs, attended the Clean Energy Forum. He said it provides a platform for companies to learn from another, with so many Chinese companies present at the expo.
"We believe this symposium and this exhibition come at a very appropriate time in history ... Open supply chains have added tremendous value throughout the world, and we should all strive to ensure that this continues to be the case in the future, for the benefit of all," said David Muls, senior director of the Madrid Registry in the Brands and Designs Sector at the Smart Vehicle Forum.
Zhang Shaogang, vice chairman of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, said that even before the start of the expo, many participating enterprises and institutions have already reserved exhibition areas for the next expo.
This photo taken on Nov. 28, 2023 shows the exhibition area of intelligent vehicles during the China International Supply Chain Expo in Beijing, capital of China. (Xinhua/Cai Xiangxin)
CHINA'S FUNDAMENTAL ROLE
China, as a responsible global power, has repeatedly proposed to enhance cooperation in the global industrial and supply chains at multilateral platforms such as APEC, the Group of 20 and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.
In 2022, as the rotating chair of BRICS, China initiated fortifying supply chain collaboration. It also hosted the International Forum on Resilient and Stable Industrial and Supply Chains and jointly launched an initiative with other countries to bolster the resilience and stability of industrial and supply chains.
China, with a population of over 1.4 billion, stands as the world's most promising market. As the world's second largest economy, China boasts a complete industrial system and a comprehensive supply chain.
The smooth operation of China's supply chain matters for global industrial and supply chains, and China has been helping stabilize the chains with its own stability and prosperity.
Proactively opening its doors to the world, China has emerged as a primary trading partner with over 140 countries and regions, securing its position as the world's second largest importer for 14 consecutive years.
Accounting for about 30 percent of global manufacturing output, the scale of China's manufacturing industry has consistently held the top position globally for an impressive 13-year streak.
"I don't think in the near future, the role of China as the main supplier of goods for the world would change so much," said Innocenzi, referring to the fundamental role China plays in stabilizing the global supply chain.
Apple's production is inseparable from a global supply chain, and China is a very important part of that, showing the importance of manufacturing in China for Apple's global supply chain, said Isabel Ge Mahe, vice president and managing director of Greater China at Apple.
"We will continue to invest in opportunities and innovation in China," she added.
Stressing that "a thriving China contributes significantly to global growth," Atakan Bozkurt, CEO of Burger King (China), said China's role in global supply chains is pivotal and multi-faceted, shaping various industries and influencing international trade dynamics.
The world's first national expo themed supply chain will undoubtedly show the world China's commitment to maintaining the stability, security and smooth flow of a global industrial chain and supply chain, Bozkurt added.
With its strong industrial and production capacity, China's positive role in the global industrial and supply chains is prominent, said Ahmet Faruk, China affairs consultant at the World Turkish Business Council, noting that international expos including the CISCE and the China International Import Expo have showed China's determination to open up to the world.
By holding such an event, China is clearly demonstrating its commitment to promoting global development and efforts to stabilize the global supply chain, said Alf Barrios, Rio Tinto's chief commercial officer and China chairman, adding "We fully support its intent and want to play our part."
A mascot of the China International Supply Chain Expo (CISIE) is seen at the expo held in Beijing, capital of China, Nov. 29, 2023. (Xinhua/Cai Xiangxin)
China has also been promoting and enriching global industrial and supply chains through the Belt and Road Initiative, which drives international cooperation.
Over the last decade, Chinese enterprises have engaged in a series of cross-border collaborative investment projects within Belt and Road cooperation, covering industries including agriculture, energy, infrastructure, digital economy, and new energy vehicles. The concerted effort has robustly upgraded industrial structures and optimized supply chains in participating countries.
Khaled Hanafy, general secretary of the General Union of Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture for Arab Countries, hopes that China will build more logistics hubs in Arab countries to help them be more integrated in Belt and Road cooperation.
China should be a leader to guide the development trend of a global supply chain through Belt and Road cooperation, he said.
(Video reporters: Xia Zilin, Pang Yuanyuan; Video editors: Yu Jiaming, Yin Le, Liu Yutian, Zhang Yueyuan)■