The first edition of the Belt & Road Brand Expo 2017 with the theme “Better Life and Beyond” ended successfully at the Shanghai Exhibition Center on December 10, 2017.
The event with the 10,000-square-meter exhibition space assembled under one roof with over 160 companies from 26 countries. Exhibitors from around the world showcased their best products, technologies and cultural artefacts in the food and beverage, cosmetics and skin care, handicrafts, home improvement, jewellery and gems, fashion and accessories, lifestyle, tourism and culture, as well as investment and trade sectors.
The Iran exhibition zone had on display hand-knitted Persian carpets, a handicraft dated back to as long as 260 years ago. Several Iranian exhibitors who attended a Chinese exhibition for the first time were deeply impressed by the huge market and high purchasing power of China’s consumers. During the expo, the Iranian exhibitors showcased Persian culture as well as the country’s centuries-old handicraft art with the aim of providing Chinese consumers with access to products embodying Iran’s culture.
Sri Lankan sapphires showcased at a booth, attendees from over the world had an opportunity to enjoy the aroma of Ceylon black tea from Sri Lanka. Show visitors were also provided an opportunity to sample the many flavours of the black tea.
Russian exhibitors showcased the Russian ice cream, biscuits and puffed grains, all of which drew the attention of visitors. The Russian exhibitors explained that the event served as a networking platform that helps them expand into the Chinese market.
Leading Dominican cigar masters were invited to put on an on-site cigar rolling performance, drawing the attention of many visitors and helping promote the culture that has grown up around the cigar. At the Poland exhibition zone, attracted the most by displaying chrysophoron and beeswax, known in the Eastern European country as “living gems”. In addition to being presented with a dizzying array of accessories, visitors were given an opportunity to get a close look at the country’s signature products.
Exhibitors from Mauritius provided visitors an opportunity to taste their specialty rums, a product that has been proving to be an online sensation.
The exhibitors, who had established online stores on Taobao.com, China’s leading online marketplace for retailers, saw the traffic to their store skyrocket as a result of their presence at the expo.
Chinese companies were the main exhibitors in the enterprise pavilions, with product displays from companies located in Ordos (Inner Mongolia), Huzhou (Zhejiang Province), Hong Kong and Taiwan being featured. Bright Food Group and its subsidiary Shanghai Tangjiu Group, Shanghai Yimin Commercial Group, Liangyou Group, Bright Dairy & Food and Shanghai Maling Aquarius each had exhibits.
The Shanghai Federation of Supply and Marketing Cooperatives teamed up with the city’s time-honored brands to showcase their products. In the role of both traders and exhibitors, they sought opportunities in terms of networking, exchanges and partnerships with companies participating in the event.
During the expo, a comprehensive series of concurrent events were held, including 12 forums and promotional conferences, several of which were hosted by consul generals, commercial attachés and other official representatives of countries with a presence in Shanghai, with a focus on investment and trade, tourism and culture as well as education in the folkloric traditions of each of the participating countries. The planned events included nearly 50 business matching sessions, attended by leading supermarket brands, including Bailian Group, RT-Mart, Auchan, Metro, JD.com, Suning.cn and Yhd.com, as well as several other leading Chinese e-commerce companies. Some sessions featured exotic performances that delivered an education in the tea and incense ceremonies that prevailed during the Han Dynasty.
The upcoming China International Import Expo in 2018 was announced at the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation held in Beijing in May 2017. Recently rolled-out policies are providing companies with investment and trade support as well as creating a friendly legal business environment that assists them in expanding on their globalization efforts.