Cambodian official says 3rd CIIE shows China’s commitment to boosting trade, multilateralism

PHNOM PENH, Nov. 2 (Xinhua) — The forthcoming third edition of China International Import Expo (CIIE) demonstrates China’s firm commitment to boosting global trade and multilateralism as well as to actively opening the Chinese market to the world, a Cambodian official has said.

Ministry of Commerce secretary of state and spokesman Seang Thay said Cambodia highly values the upcoming CIIE, and noted, “The expo proves that China is always committed to promoting international trade and multilateralism, despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.”

He made the remarks in a recent interview with Xinhua.

The annual CIIE is the first dedicated import exhibition in the world and has seen fruitful outcomes from the past two trade fairs.

Its 3rd edition is scheduled for Nov. 5-10 in Shanghai, East China, and this year, the average exhibition area for the world’s top 500 companies and industry leaders has increased by 14 percent from last year.

The planned exhibition area for enterprises totals 360,000 square meters, 60,000 square meters more than at the previous edition.

Thay said the expo will be a good opportunity for worldwide companies to tap into the Chinese market.

“Foreign exhibitors will be able to exhibit their products, services and investment projects, not only to Chinese consumers but also to other international buyers and exhibitors,” the Cambodian commerce ministry official said.

The CIIE also plays an important role in boosting trade and investment volumes between Cambodia and China, he said, adding that Cambodia has benefited a lot from the last two expos.

The bilateral trade totaled 9.42 billion U.S. dollars in 2019, up 27 percent from the year before, showed data from the Chinese Embassy to Cambodia.

Lun Yeng, secretary general of the Cambodia Rice Federation, said the third CIIE will add momentum to global economy against the backdrop of COVID-19 and protectionism.

“It reflects China’s commitment to further opening-up,” he told Xinhua, adding, “Undoubtedly, such a large event will help reboot cross-border trade, which has been disrupted by the pandemic.”

The last two expos helped promote Cambodian rice broadly to the Chinese market, he said, adding that the Southeast Asian nation exported 171,896 tons of milled rice to China in the first nine months of 2020, with the volume expected to reach 250,000 tons by the end of this year.

Nguon Lay, president of the Kampot Pepper Promotion Association, said the chinese expo offers opportunities for the export of Cambodian agricultural products, including pepper products to the Chinese and international markets.

“It will further enhance trade and investment ties between China and the rest of the world, including Cambodia,” he added.

Renowned for its delicate aroma and strong spicy taste, Kampot pepper, Cambodia’s geographical indication product since 2010, is currently popular on the European Union market, Lay said.

“We hope that our pepper will also be well known on the Chinese market in the future,” he said.

Lay said that currently, about 380 households grow the pepper plants in Cambodia’s southwestern coastal province of Kampot, with an annual output of around 100 tons, covering the pepper’s four varieties — green, black, red and white.

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