Sierra Leonean exhibitors see CIIE as pathway to Chinese market

The China International Import Expo (CIIE) not only serves as a platform for traders from different countries to exhibit their products but also offers abundant opportunities for them to tap into the vast Chinese market, Sierra Leonean exhibitors have said.

Alhaji Abu Bakarr Kamara, a palm oil producer in Sierra Leone, said since his participation in the CIIE years ago, he has experienced enhanced trade opportunities with Chinese business partners.

Kamara said in a recent media interview that the past experiences have bolstered his confidence, adding that “I have realized an increase in trade volume, and it has helped me learn a lot about doing international business with China.”

“I am sure that by participating in the expo, our companies can engage with more and more Chinese consumers, understand their preferences and explore avenues for market expansion,” he added.

Sierra Leonean enterprises’ active participation in this year’s expo reflects their confidence in this international platform.

Isatu Bangura, CEO of Rosel Beauty, a local producer of shea butter and black soap, said China has been the world’s fastest-growing major economy for years, and its economy will continue to expand.

“I am firmly convinced that by leveraging the opportunities provided by the CIIE, our businesses can expand their global presence, foster partnerships and explore new business horizons,” she said.

Bangura applauded China’s efforts to advance a high-standard opening up, adding that the policy spanning decades has a significant effect on China’s economic structure and international engagement.

Acknowledging Sierra Leone as one of the beneficiaries of the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative, she said the initiative has contributed greatly to global economic growth by strengthening connectivity and promoting economic cooperation.

An increasing number of local businesses will continue to leverage Chinese platforms to enter the Chinese market and expand their global presence, she said.

The sixth CIIE, in Shanghai from November 5 to 10, signifies the event’s first full return to in-person exhibitions since the onset of COVID-19.

This edition of the CIIE has set a new record with 289 Global Fortune 500 companies and industry leaders in attendance. Over 3,400 exhibitors and 394,000 professional visitors have registered for the event, signifying a full recovery to pre-pandemic levels.

This year’s CIIE has attracted attendees from 154 countries, regions and international organizations and marks the debut of 11 countries in the Country Exhibition, with 34 countries set to make their first offline appearance.

According to a recent global online poll conducted by CGTN, more than 90 percent of the respondents believe China’s hosting of the CIIE over the last six years has fully released a strong signal of its continued high-level opening up to the outside world and believe the CIIE will be an important opportunity for a turbulent world and a global economy with a weak recovery. 

(With input from agencies)

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