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Multi-billion-dollar deals inked at CIIE2018 as Chinese companies stuff their shopping bags full of foreign products and services

By Sun Zhao in Shanghai (People's Daily Online)    15:49, November 09, 2018

As the first China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai draws toward a close, it’s time to examine some of the concrete results it has produced.

Both state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and private-owned companies were eager to embrace the foreign products exhibited at the Expo and numerous orders have been placed to broaden the choices of their Chinese customers.

One of the most prominent early deals was China State Shipbuilding Corporation’s agreement with Carnival Corporation and Fincantieri to build two 135,500-metric-ton Vista-class cruise ships for $770 million each, marking a new milestone for the country’s shipbuilding industry, a statement from the Chinese shipbuilding conglomerate said.

China National Machinery Industry Corporation, or Sinomach, landed 21 procurement deals with companies from 16 countries, including the United States, Switzerland, Portugal, Ukraine, Belarus, India, and Ghana, with a total value of $8.4 billion, making the conglomerate one of the top buyers among China’s centrally-administered SOEs. The contracts cover a wide range of areas, including automotive, information engineering, trade in services, food and agricultural products, and finance.

Some of the biggest spenders unsurprisingly come from the energy sector. PetroChina signed large-scale purchase agreements with a number of international energy companies and equipment suppliers from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, United States, Germany, and Japan.

China National Nuclear Corporation announced that in the next five years, its international procurement needs in nuclear power and nuclear fuel industries will exceed $12 billion.

China Huaneng Group signed agreements with 15 suppliers, including Siemens, General Electric, SKF, and Schaeffler to buy more than $2 billion worth of products and services, including gas turbines, bearings, optical fiber preform manufacturing equipment, and coal.

Meanwhile, e-commerce platforms and retailers also announced plans to significantly increase imports to make more quality goods available to Chinese consumers. Alibaba’s CEO Zhang Yong said his company has set a goal to import $200 billion in the next 5 years.

It is expected that during the Expo, Suning.com will place purchasing orders amounting to $17 billion, introducing 5,000 overseas brands to the Chinese market.

NetEase Koala said it has completed nearly $3 billion commodity purchase agreements with more than 110 companies and signed strategic upgrade agreements with nearly 10 representative brands.

In addition, a three-day matchmaking event aimed at facilitating potential buyers and sellers to meet face-to-face at the Expo was attended by 1,178 exhibitors and 2,462 purchasers from 82 countries and regions, leading to 657 agreements or intentions of agreements.

As President Xi Jinping announced at the opening ceremony of CIIE, China plans to import $40 trillion worth of goods and services in the next 15 years. Thus, there is every reason to believe that this Expo is just a starting point as the world’s second-largest economy opens its market wider to the world.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Ma Danning, Bianji)

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