China will hold a new exposition for imported goods -- including seafood -- later this year at a vast new exhibition center in Shanghai.
Seafood companies are set to be among the foreign firms to participate in the first China International Import Expo (CIIE), to be held at the CNY 16 billion ($2.33bn) National Exhibition & Convention Center in Shanghai on Nov. 5-10.
Zhong Shan, China's minister of commerce, said CIIE would promote a "new round of high-level opening up as well as a major action to proactively open the Chinese market to the world". Large-sized domestic and foreign seafood companies set to participate include Bright Food Group, as well as some Norwegian companies.
The new exhibit complex boasts over 1.47 million square meters of floor space, nearly two-and-a-half times the floor space of Shanghai Tower, China's tallest building, according to the CIIE website.
CIIE will be a "big deal", several Chinese seafood industry players told Undercurrent News, although seafood companies' presence in the expo overall will likely be small.
CIIE coincides closely with Asia’s largest seafood industry exposition, China Fisheries and Seafood Expo (CFSE), which is held in Qingdao, Shandong province. CFSE, which is in its 23rd year, is held from Nov. 7-9.
Having both events right next to each other on the schedule may test attendance figures, although Victoria Braathen, NSC’s director for China, told Undercurrent the Qingdao event would be well-attended by Norwegian firms.
"The import expo in Shanghai is a welcome and notable initiative", Braathen told Undercurrent in an email. "There will be Norwegian companies present, however the participation from the seafood sector to my knowledge is quite limited. Basically, Norwegian seafood companies have a long tradition of coming to Qingdao, to reconnect and further develop business relations.
“Qingdao is considered a key networking arena in China during the year, and for CFSE around 20 Norwegian companies will exhibit (the Norwegian pavilion is organized by Innovation Norway). We are therefore planning for a solid delegation from Norway to Qingdao in November.”
According to CFSE's website, this year’s Qingdao show will feature more than 1,500 exhibiting companies from over 50 countries and 45,000 square meters of exhibit space.
Another element in this year's CFSE is a Norwegian state visit to China which is scheduled for October, and which will be accompanied by Norwegian businesses. The dates of the visit have yet to be confirmed, Braathen said.