Exhibitors from 64 countries and regions. An intended transaction value of RMB 4.9 billion. Over 700 thousand visitors (from Guangzhou Municipal Commerce Bureau)
On September 26, Guangdong 21st Century Maritime Silk Road International Expo 2021, jointly held by Department of Commerce of Guangdong Province, Guangdong Provincial Development and Reform Commission, China Council for the Promotion of International Trade and the People's Government of Guangzhou City, came to a successful close. With rigorous, practical and detailed implementation of safety protocols and security meausres, the 2021 MSRE adopted the “one conference and one exhibition” and “general exhibition + professional exhibition” patterns, and yielded fruitful results. According to statistical data, the Expo provided an exhibition area of 70 thousand m2 for more than 1,200 exhibitors from 64 countries and regions, with intended transaction value reaching RMB 4.9 billion, which indicate a year-on-year increase of 17%, 25%, 20% and 26% respectively. More than 12 thousand deals were sealed. More than 700 thousand online and offline visitors were attracted. More than 50 economic and trade exchange events were organized. This year’s Expo was fruitful both in terms of economic and trade cooperation and cultural exchange. It showed countries and regions along “The Belt and Road” our ability and confidence to join hands in the face of current hardship and work towards the recovery of world economy.
The Increase of International Friends
This Expo attracted 64 countries and regions across 5 continents, including the US, Canada, Columbia, Poland, Belgium, Spain, Thailand, Turkey, Kenya, South Africa, Fiji and Solomon Islands, etc., among which Iceland, Belgium, Moldova, Northern Macedonia, the US, Panama, Bolivia, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Cameroon, accounting for 17% of all the countries and regions, were here for the first time, which fully embodies the recognition of Maritime Silk Road Expo and Guangzhou’s high-level openness from countries along “Belt and Road”.
Iceland attaches great importance to this international exhibition, as this year marks the 50th anniversary of the diplomatic relation between China and Iceland. For their first exhibition in the Expo, they brought their renowned wool knitwear, natural sea products, mineral water, high-tech skin care products and products with their featured designs. According to Han Weilian, deputy director of Iceland’s embassy in China, he had in-depth conversations with many suppliers and distributors from Guangdong. “Actually, many products in Iceland are produced in Guangdong. I’m looking forward to further cooperation.” Zhang Guang, chief representative of representative office of Bolivia Economic and Trade Investment Administration in China, who also attended exhibition for the first time, expressed his expectation to further link up with Guangzhou through this international communication platform. Omayma Zaidan, Egypt’s cultural counsellor in China, and I.Negm, head of Egyptian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said their exhibition in this MSRE was fruitful and companies benefited a lot from it. They looked forward to including more companies into the exhibition so as to expand the scale of the exhibition and benefit more from it.
“The Maritime Silk Road Expo has become one of the most important international platforms for publicizing culture and tourism in south China.” As an “old friend” of MSRE, Edward Waweru Kimani, deputy director of Kenya’s embassy in China, put his emphasis on introducing Kenya’s breathtaking views and Kenya Airline. He said he was looking forward to attracting more Chinese tourists to travel there after the epidemic. “My goal is to increase the number from the current 90 thousand per year to 500 thousand per year.”
Theme Forum Spreads “Guangzhou’s Voice”
One theme conference, five concurrent sessions and four special events were successfully held during this year’s expo. They have voiced out Guangzhou’s openness to cooperation with countries and regions along the “Belt and Road” in respect to economy, trade, technology and green development.
Firstly, leap at the opportunity of two cooperation zones. In order to do justice to the construction of two cooperation zones, many experts and scholars, including Robert Koopman, chief economist of WTO, gathered at Opening-up and Cooperation 30 Forum, where they weighed in on how to deepen the cooperation among Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao and how to establish inclusive global value chains for the “Belt and Road.” Secondly, increase self-dependence level. Academician invited many academician at home and abroad, including Su Guohui, Fang Binxing, Deng Wenzhong, Liu Huanbin and Ye Siyu. They exchanged their ideas in the form of academician dialogue to discuss how to speed up the breakthrough of original and leading technologies and promote scientific and technological innovation ability of Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. Thirdly, consolidate human community with common health. To help with international anti-epidemic cooperation, Health Silk Road International Cooperation Forum invited Yukio Hatoyama, former Japanese prime minister, Zhang Fenglou, former deputy health minister of China, and Michael Levitt, winner of Nobel Prize in chemistry in 2013, etc., to discuss “health responsibility and digital health silk road” through online and offline channels. Fourthly, tell stories of Guangzhou and Greater Bay Area. For the first time, MSRE published the 2021 Maritime Silk Road Forum Journal. Featuring “gathering wisdom along silk road, spreading Guangzhou’s voice,” it interviewed 11 officials, heads of business associations or famous scholars at home or abroad, including Liang Zhenying, vice chairman of the CPPCC National Committee, Khanal, former prime minister of Nepal, and Wei Jiaxiang, minister of transportation of Malaysia, and invited them to tell their stories with Guangzhou, with Greater Bay Area and with the “Belt and Road” construction from different perspectives. Fifthly, strengthen financial support for cooperation zones. To alleviate the difficult and costly financing problems that Guangdong’s overseas cooperation zones and companies and companies inside cooperation zones generally face, Department of Commerce of Guangdong Province officially issued the Supportive Measures for Development of Financial Service in Guangdong’s Overseas Economic and Trade Cooperation Zones at Forum on High-quality Development of Guangdong’s Economic and Trade Cooperation Zones. Sixthly, embrace new exhibition patterns. Maritime Silk Road New Exhibition Economy Development Forum invited leading figures in exhibition industry at home and abroad, including Wang Jinzhen, former vice president of China Council for the Promotion of International Trade and former chief representative of International Exhibitions Bureau in China, and Pietro Piccinetti, director and general manager of Roman Exhibition Company, to analyze the opportunities that new exhibition patterns can bring to the industry from the perspective of new online exhibition platforms.
Smooth International and Domestic Circles
Orders of domestic and foreign trade were on the rise. During the exhibition, foreign trade base area received 400 thousand inquiry emails. The number of online intended orders reached 12 thousand and intended transaction value reached RMB 2.6 billion. In imported food area, intended transaction value reached RMB 400 million at fruit section and RMB 500 million at dairy section, among which famous diary companies including Yantang, Fengxing, Classy-Kiss, Chenguang and Simplelove signed cooperation agreements that were worth RMB 300 million with distributors.
Cooperation in digital economy was booming. Digital economy area invited suppliers from industries like IDC, finance, securities, Internet, logistics and IT to purchase on-site, with signed projects worth RMB 600 million. In Silk Road E-commerce area, intended transaction value reached RMB 600 million and on-site transaction value reached RMB 100 million, among which Walmart, a cross-border e-commerce platform, closed RMB 53 million’s worth of deals, Haers closed RMB 36 million’s worth of on-site deals at their special cup and bottle trade fair, and ASD closed RMB 12 million’s worth of cooker deals.
A dazzling array of imported goods with their own national characteristics are well-liked by consumers. Among them are Polish dairy products and amber ornaments, Japanese sake and soju, Iranian Persian carpet and saffron, Korean skin care products, Sri Lankan black tea, Turkish rose oil, Thai fragrant rice, Lao Beer, Cambodian Rice, wine from northern Macedonia, edible bird's nest from Southeast Asia, American coffee, and European wine. The International Cooperation and Exchange Exhibition Area has seen the wish to “Buy the Whole World in Guangzhou” come true. The exhibition area serves as a high-quality platforms for the supply and marketing of products from countries and regions along the “Belt and Road”, contributing to building Guangzhou an international consumer city. The head of the Guangzhou Coffee Industry Association said excitedly after visiting more than 10 national booths one after another, “I am very pleased to be able to contact so many overseas coffee manufacturers and enterprises on the MSRE. Our members will have greater opportunity to purchase high-quality coffee beans. It will also benefit the growth of Guangzhou’s coffee industry.”
Technology Builds New Silk Road
A large number of spectators are attracted to the area where top Chinese technology firms are, including Advancing Agriculture, the leading company in agricultural science and technology, equally famous as DJI Technology, Xpeng Motors, known as making autonomous cars which understand Chinese better, Ledman, a leader in LED ultra high definition display, and Baidu’s Apollo, which provides solutions to intelligent driving. Enterprises such as National Supercomputing Center in Guangzhou, Glory Data, Hotwon, Amethystum, and Nexans gathered here. Four exhibition groups including Japan, the USA, Hong Kong and DTDATA have brought us advanced technology and experience in data center operation and management, innovation park construction and cloud computing applications.
The person in charge of the Guangzhou Mino Equipment exhibition said that they have seen a surge in overseas orders during Covid-19 pandemic thanks to the intelligent manufacturing technology which has overcome the difficulties of cross-border on-site investigation and monitoring. They hope to see more cooperation between countries like Thailand, Malaysia, Poland and South Africa, which boast a huge market.
The person in charge of the DJI Technology exhibition said that the exhibition has deepened overseas business ties with Belgium, South Africa, Australia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Israel, Dubai and many other countries. At the same time, they think highly of Guangzhou’s digital industry and believe the prospect of cooperation.
KFIAQ Environment has displayed an independently developed new air purification material AOP-KF solid base and different types of medical air disinfection equipment. Geng Liang, the company’s strategic account manager, said that they have reached cooperation intention with more than 10 enterprises during the expo.
Products exhibited by Micagent including the smart screen, the integration of patrol network, and the pricing software for taxis are all well received. They have met more than 30 enterprises during the expo, among which 18 ones have reached cooperation intention with them. “Many customers would like to see the display of the new equipment in person and our exhibition turns out to be satisfactory,” said the company’s on-site manager.
Culture and Tourism Connect the Peoples
During the expo, nearly 50 supporting events including forums, business activities, performances and the like are held. Many guests, experts and industry representatives came together, contributing to the development of “Belt and Road Initiative”.
More than 20 promotions of cultural tourism resources and exotic performances were staged during the expo. Different civilizations and cultures exchanged and collided here, magnetizing numerous spectators around to take photos. The special performance of coffee cupping, delivered by Mexico and Panama, not only bring spectators fun, but also enable them to know more about coffee. Presentations from Zimbabwe and Cameroon showcased the little-known African backcountry travel and investment opportunities. Instrumental and dance performances staged by Poland, Spain, Argentina, Indonesia and some other countries electrified everyone. It is worth mentioning that the world’s first maritime real scenes light drama, planned by Guangdong Zhenyuan Culture Group, was staged on this expo. The play tells a story of three generations of Chinese merchants on the Maritime Silk Road, who always honor their promises. The Expo has upgraded its International Cooperation and Exchange Area to create an immersive experience through multi-dimensional interaction, gradually realizing the “Two-Line” synchronized spectacles. The spectators are allowed to immerse themselves in the charm of the new Maritime Silk Road, to understand the cultural and customs of the countries and regions along the “Belt and Road”. Therefore, people-to-people exchanges between China and countries along the routes are deepened.