In his message to the sixth China International Import Expo (CIIE), Chinese President Xi Jinping said the annual expo, first held in 2018, has leveraged the strength of China’s enormous market, fulfilled its function as a platform for international procurement, investment promotion, people-to-people exchanges, and open cooperation, and contributed to a new development pattern and global economic development.
According to official data, the sixth edition attracted nearly 3,500 enterprises from 128 countries and regions. Through the CIIE, they promoted their star goods and new products among the world’s consumers, expanding their trade cooperation and global presence.
This year also marks the 20th anniversary of the China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership. China and the EU are each other’s second largest trading partner. In 2022, their bilateral trade reached US $847.3 billion. Against the backdrop of accelerating globalization and deepening economic globalization, their economic and trade cooperation has developed steadily. The presence of the large number of European companies at the CIIE showed the importance they give to cooperation with China.
The Irish gin decorated with Chinese cultural elements on display at the Ireland National Pavilion at the sixth CIIE. Yu Jie
A Market for High-Quality Products
Ireland has a long presence at the CIIE. Many Irish enterprises and institutions have been taking part in it since 2018. Due to the pandemic, Ireland had a national pavilion online in 2021 and 2022. “This is the first year now since the pandemic that we have an offline Ireland pavilion, so we’re very excited to be here,” Joseph Keating, trade counsellor of the Irish embassy in China, told China Today.
The Ireland National Pavilion, decorated in green, the Irish national color, was jointly organized by the Irish embassy, the Irish consulate general in Shanghai, and four state agencies – Bord Bia, Enterprise Ireland, Industrial Development Agency Ireland, and Tourism Ireland. They displayed Ireland’s top brands and agricultural products, accompanied by a traditional tap dance, which attracted many visitors to take photos.
China is Ireland’s fourth largest goods trading partner and Ireland’s fastest growing major import market. The bilateral trade in goods has been hitting a new high in recent years. According to official statistics, the volume of China-Ireland trade in goods reached €28.33 billion in 2022, up almost 38 percent year-on-year.
It was the Industry & Commerce Association of Ireland’s third time to take part in the CIIE. It brought products from member companies, including whiskey, gin, milk powder, organic chocolate, and skin care products. “The products of our member companies have sold very well in China after the promotion at the CIIE in the previous years. We want to promote more high-quality products through the CIIE among more customers in China,” Liu Yupeng, chair of the association, told China Today.
China’s diversified demand means opportunities for high-quality foreign products. “In recent years, China has moved to be the largest middle-class society in the world. They are now demanding higher-quality import products. So we’ll be delighted to be able to supply some of that… Given Ireland’s geographical location, purest water, and freshest air, we’d like to share the products that we have with Chinese consumers and get them interested in the high-quality products,” Keating said.
China is Ireland’s sixth largest food export market and its third largest dairy export market. It is also the second largest pork export market for the island nation. Bord Bia, the Irish government’s food agency responsible for promoting Irish food and drink exports, brought dairy products, meat, and seafood this year. The beef products came to the Chinese market for the first time.
“China is a good market for lots of different products. Chinese chefs know how to cook different types of food. In China, people are paying more attention to their health and nutrition. So I think the market for our products is getting bigger and bigger all the time,” Conor O’Sullivan, manager of Bord Bia in China, told China Today.
An independent stand of NYO3 debuts at the sixth CIIE.
Rising Healthcare Consumption in China
The marine industry is an important economic pillar of Norway. China has become one of the fastest growing markets for Norwegian marine product exports, creating development opportunities for the North European country.
NYO3 is a dietary supplement brand from Norway featuring Antarctic krill oil. According to Bao Junyu, head of NYO3 Asia Pacific, krill oil’s phospholipid type – a compound of fatty acid, phosphoric acid, and other constituents – is similar to human phospholipids, so the oil can be better absorbed by the human body, giving it anti-aging properties.
After participating in the CIIE for five consecutive years, this time NYO3 had an independent stand, bringing 32 nutrition products and globally debuting its new anti-aging products.
“Through the platform of the CIIE, we have established many partnerships. This year is the first year after the pandemic, and the overall market is recovering. We set up our own booth to show our next year’s plan and layout in the global market, hoping to seek more strategic partners,” Bao told China Today.
The rise in China’s health awareness and consumption has led to rapid growth of the health product market. The market size of China’s health products is expected to exceed RMB 300 billion by the end of 2023. In 2022, the global market size of health products with krill oil reached nearly RMB 2.6 billion, maintaining a compound annual growth rate of 10.2 percent. The Chinese market size was RMB 535 million, accounting for nearly 20 percent of the global market and showing its strong potential.
“The Chinese market has always been a great focus,” Bao said. “Affected by the pandemic, the overall global consumption has declined. But the health product market in China is still growing fast. We have made some good achievements in technology and product innovation. There is still a lot of potential for our development in the future.” He said the company will tailor its products to specific groups, expand offline retail stores, and integrate further with krill oil-related industries in China.
Landcent’s new series of products for agricultural safety makes its debut at the sixth CIIE.
Garlic-Inspired Anti-Germ Innovation
Garlic, regarded as a fungicide since ancient times, has widespread medicinal use. Scientists have found allicin, the sulphurous compound that gives garlic its distinctive odor, on mummies in Egypt and speculated that it was used for embalming. Netherlands-based enterprise Landcent is a health innovation company that supplies new materials for antimicrobials, agents that kill microorganism. It has attended the CIIE for three consecutive years, looking for partners to jointly promote sustainable development and biosafety.
It has developed a new synthetic material, allicin E, that it says destroys pathogenic bacteria.
“Allicin E is not directly extracted from garlic, but is the product of organic synthesis, which has the features of broad sterilization and green safety,” Lin Huali, CEO of Landcent, told China Today. According to experimental data from the School of Pharmacy of Fudan University and the Shanghai Institute of Organic Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, allicin E is 41.6 times more efficient than natural allicin.
During archaeological excavations last year at the Sanxingdui site in Sichuan Province, the site of an advanced Bronze Age civilization, allicin E-based products were used to remove mold from ivory artifacts and protect the people handling the artifacts. At the fifth CIIE last year, a robot developed by Landcent was used to disinfect the exhibition halls.
“Landcent is a global company with joint laboratories and branches in Asia, Africa, and Europe. We develop new material products tailored to local markets. In China, we mainly focus on the field of everyday life and agriculture,” Lin said. “Through the platform of the CIIE, we reached cooperation with many trading groups, and felt the improvement of China’s business environment. In the future, we look forward to more research and cooperation on innovative drugs in China.”
At this year’s CIIE, Landcent launched a series of new products for agricultural safety. One of them can be used for disease prevention in the poultry and aquaculture feeding industry. One can protect fruits and vegetables from mildew and keep them fresh. Another can regulate plant growth and enhance their disease resistance.
After the launch of the new products, a trading group from Henan Province signed a letter of intent with Landcent. In the past two years, buyers from Sichuan and Shandong provinces had also placed large orders.
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