Xiamen, China, Sept. 17, 2015, — Around 100,000 businessmen and 4,000 enterprises from 105 countries and regions took part in the 2015 China International Fair for Investment & Trade(CIFIT).
In the four days from Sept 8 to 11, the fair, held in Xiamen, Fujian province staged 1,000 matchmaking events, presented 30,000 projects, 300 business events and 100 themed workshops.
Jack Ma Addressed at 2015 International Investment Forum.
The CIFIT follows global investment trends closely as the new normal of an economic slow-down is leading to restructuring in the global economy. It introduced China’s Belt and Road Initiative, Internet Plus strategy and the Made in China 2025 industrial upgrade plan to a line-up of top-level enterprises from the international community.
Strategy, master plan and Global investment network
- Belt and Road Initiative, a platform for investment
The Belt and Road Initiative, proposed by China’s President Xi Jinping in 2013, has benefited nations along the continental Silk Road and the Maritime Silk Road.
More than 30 Silk Road countries and regions participated in the 2015 CIFIT, including Bahrain, Malaysia, India, Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Hungary, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan.
Five Silk Road-themed events, including the New Silk Road Development forum, Investment Opportunities for Countries along Silk Road and Maritime Silk Road Entrepreneurs Investment Summit, attracted government officials, business leaders, analysts and researchers from around the world to exchange insights on international economic collaboration.
Li Yong, Director General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, said that the world has paid great attention to the Belt and Road Initiative proposed by President Xi in 2013, and that it reflected the eagerness of the world to cooperate in issues of development.
Zayed Alzayani, the Bahraini minister of industry and commerce, said that the Belt and Road Initiative would facilitate growth in financial services and logistics and tourism. He added that it would promote people-to-people exchanges in culture and history which would, in turn, aid sustainable growth in the business circle.
The term One Belt and One Road has attracted much attention among the international community. The idea of raising connectivity to stimulate global economic growth has been recognized globally. OBAOR has been a trending acronym among the 2015 CIFIT participants, including political dignitaries and business leaders.
- Unfurling the Free Trade Zone’s construction blueprint
The establishment of four free trade zones heralds an expansion of China’s efforts in opening up.
Invited by the organizers, senior officials from China’s four free trade zones met with overseas Chinese businessmen at this year’s forum. Five free trade-themed events offered latest updates in regulation reforms in China’s free trade zones.
Representatives of Xiamen’s free trade area briefed attendees on its policies and development plan, and outlined the measures it would take to get involved with the Belt and Road Initiative.
- Internet Plus, new drive for growth
Aligning Internet technology with industrial practices has been earmarked as a major way to transform China industries. In July 2015, a guideline was issued by the State Council aiming to push forward the Internet Plus strategy.
The 2015 CIFIT stressed e-commerce business and Internet financing, two pillars of the Internet Plus strategy.
The 2015 Global E-commerce Conference, sponsored by the China Electronic Commerce Association, focused on the benefits of the Internet Plus strategy in facilitating the upgrading of traditional industries and e-commerce.
The 2015 World Business Leaders Roundtable, organized by the China Council for The Promotion of International Trade provided an opportunity for representatives of countries along the Maritime Silk Road to exchange ideas on cross-border e-commerce.
China’s e-commerce giant, Alibaba Group, hosted a cross-border e-commerce summit to discuss the e-commerce ecosystem and the impact of Internet technology on foreign trade.
Economists, financial experts and business leaders discussed ways of innovating and reforming the financial industry under the Internet Plus strategy, while attending the 2015 Internet Finance Summit and the Global PE Investment Trip & China (Xiamen) Financial Innovation Summit Forum.
- Global arena for exchange and cooperation
The Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries and the Local Government New Zealand held the first China-New Zealand Mayoral Forum as a sideline of the 2015 CIFIT. In attendance were 13 mayors from China and 12 mayors from New Zealand. The forum was held with the aim of ramping up innovation and growth.
Mayors from the two countries shared opinions on cooperation in tourism, education and primary industries.
The Xiamen Declaration was released at the closing ceremony of the mayoral forum, aiming to deepen cooperation between China and New Zealand.
The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) promoted green, sustainable growth and inclusiveness among developing nations during the 2015 CIFIT. The UNIDO Day events included a green industry forum and a BRICS countries investment forum
Expo showcases variety of emerging industry products
The 2015 CIFIT included 100,000 square meters of exhibition space, which was divided into 12 sections. Approximately 1,500 institutions and enterprises staged exhibitions at the fair. 12,000 square meters of exhibition space was taken up by 55 overseas countries and regions.
- Top-notch exhibitions showcase emerging industries and sci-tech innovations
The investment themed pavilion was divided into six sections, covering invest in China, international investment, China’s outbound investment, international finance, crowd funding and innovative talents.
The industry promotion pavilion encompassed six sectors of real estate, tea, wine, inter-health, e-commerce and time-honored brands. Crowd funding, e-commerce and health sectors were new additions this year.
The inter-health sector exhibition space accounted for a total of 15,000 square meters.
The Talent Project Capital Cooperation zone featured start-up projects, technological innovations, patent right announcements, business match-makings and human resource networking in a 600-square-meter space. A total of 56 high-tech companies and 75 high-tech projects made appearances on the exhibition floor. The CIFIT provided a site for financiers and promising start-ups to connect with each other.
- Silk Road brings the world together
This year marks the 25th anniversary of diplomatic ties between China and Bahrain – a financial hub in the Gulf region. Bahrain is the first guest country of honor from the Middle East for the CIFIT.
CIFIT organizers designated a 1,000 square-meter space to Gulf region nations, including a 200 square-meter space for display of Bahrain’s quality products.
The Bahrain-China Business & Investment Forum and a subsequent match-making event were held to promote bilateral cooperation between the two regional economies.
Another Silk Road country and the guest country of honor in 2014, Malaysia, returned for the 2015 CIFIT with a 1,100 square-meter exhibition area and a delegation of top executives from 200 companies looking for business partnerships with Chinese enterprises and business establishments from other parts of the world.
As the starting point of the ancient Silk Road, Shaanxi province showcased its industrial strength by taking up an 800 square-meter exhibition area. Shaanxi province was this year’s guest province of honor. Thirteen cities from Shaanxi province promoted their respective projects in agriculture, equipment manufacturing, e-commerce and tourism and high-tech development as they sought investment from countries along the Silk Road route.
Top government officials from South China’s Hainan province led a large-scale delegation to the fair and hosted seven themed business match-making events there.
The North Silicon Valley high-tech zone in Zhangjiakou, Hebei province was exhibited as the Star Development Zone in China at a 300-square-meter display area.
Air China, China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation (CRRC), GAC Group and other domestic enterprises raised global popularity through promotional activities during the fair.
- Categorized product exhibitions
After first having emerged as a trade show, the 2015 CIFIT has attached great importance to product exhibitions. The organizers designated special exhibition areas for tea, wine, health products, e-commerce products and overseas products.
According to preliminary data, 1,000 companies displayed products of distinction from across the world to 30,000 individual visitors on site.
Convergence of people and opportunities
The 2015 CIFIT attracted the worldwide business elite in the midst of an economic slowdown. A total of 650 groups and delegations from 105 countries and regions gathered in Xiamen from Sept 8 to 11. 15,382 international business personnel participated in the fair, most of whom were investors and senior corporate management. Among the attendees at the fair were 250 top-level politicians, managerial personnel from multinational operations and heads of business organizations.
- More participating companies and groups
Altogether, 4,000 domestic and international companies took part in the 2015 CIFIT. These included 54 multinational corporations, 30 enterprises run by the Chinese central government and 800 state-run companies from local areas and famous private-sector firms.
Among them were Schneider Electric, Apple, Wal-Mart Stores, Coca Cola, Tesla Motors, Asea Brown Boveri or ABB, Michelin, Hitachi, Canon, Alibaba Group and Jiangsu Yueda Group.
With a goal of facilitating the entering of small and medium-sized enterprises to the global market, 180 business associations sent delegations to the fair, including China-Britain Business Council, Australia International Trade Association and Associates, Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce, Macao Chamber of Commerce, the American Chamber of Commerce in South China, China Electronic Commerce Association, China Association of Private Equity and China Association of Enterprises with Foreign Investment.
- More famous names
Li Yong, Director-General of United Nations Industrial Development Organization, Zayed Alzayani, Bahraini minister of industry and commerce, Khalid Amro Al Rumaihi, Chief Executive at Bahrain Economic Development Board and Zhu Xian, vice-president of the New Development Bank attended the fair.
China Electronic Commerce Association and China Association of Private Equity supported the 2015 CIFIT. Many participating companies were among the Fortune Global 500 companies or Top 500 Companies from China. Top executive personnel such as chairpersons, CEOs, and investment department managers made for the majority of the participating parties.
- Attractive to developed and emerging economies alike
A total of 49 business delegations from state governments and business associations within the US took part in the 2015 CIFIT. The American Chamber of Commerce in South China organized a delegation of 100 US enterprises to attend the fair, 50 of whom are based in the US. More than 120 business delegations from European nations such as UK, Germany, Spain and Italy also attended.
A total of 19 business groups from BRICS countries joined the fair to discuss multilateral business cooperation between the emerging nations. Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and other Southeast Asian countries sent delegations to the fair. Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, the continental Silk Road countries in Central Asia, sent ice-breaking delegations.
Bahrain, a traditional financial powerhouse in the Middle East, played the role of guest country of honor at the fair.
Focus on hot topics to build a new international investment landscape
The 2015 CIFIT touched on China’s national strategies such as the Belt and Road Initiative, Internet Plus, and Pilot Free Trade Zone. A total of 353 delegates from 32 countries and regions delivered speeches regarding financial innovation, cross-border e-commerce, industrial investment and merger and acquisition to an audience of 32,000.
- The 2015 International Investment Forum guides investment trends
The 2015 IIF included a main forum, five sub-forums, a press conference and a salon for investment experts.
The main forum was held under the theme “Intellectually Building a New International Investment Landscape” as a sideline to the 2015 CIFIT opening ceremony. Representatives who attended and spoke at the forum included Li Yong, director-general of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), Ma Yun, president and chairman of China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba, and Zayed R. Alzayani, Minister for the Industry and Commerce of Bahrain. Ma Yun said that traditional Chinese enterprises should grasp the opportunities brought by the Internet Plus program and take advantage of the Internet to develop their businesses in the following three decades. Li Yong expected more companies, regions and countries to find cooperation partners and business opportunities through the platform of the CIFIT. The topic “the appeal of manufacturing to investment” was also discussed at the forum.
The topics of the five sub-forums involved “Investment Opportunities in Countries along the Silk Road”, “Construction of China Free Trade Zones and Chinese Entrepreneurs in Overseas Countries and Regions”, “Investment Opportunities in BRICS Countries”, “Cooperation on International Productivity in Internet Plus Era”, and “Development of Global M&As and Opportunities for Chinese Enterprises”, which were in line with China’s national strategies.
Five reports were released during the forum. The reports released were the Development Report on Upgrading and Diversification of African Industries by the UNIDO and All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce, the 2015 World Investment Report (Chinese Version) by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the China South-South Cooperation Report (Investment Version) by the China Center for International Economic Exchanges (CCIEE), and the Annual Report on Global M&A Market (2015) and Annual Report on Law Services for Global M&A Market (2015) by the China Association of Private Equity (CAPE).
Moreover, more than 20 members of the Committee of International Investment Experts participated in the salon and discussed the Belt and Road Initiative and international investment trends.
- Special topic forums facilitate the development of related industries.
With the help of over 30 institutions, such as the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of the State Council and China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, the CIFIT organizing committee hosted 33 forums on various topics, from investment in Silk Road countries, financial capital and pilot free trade zones, to Internet and cross-border e-commerce.
The forums were divided into five categories and functioned as platforms for participants to learn about global economic trends and help promote the development of related industries.
The first category was about the Silk Road, which included the Entrepreneur Summit of Countries along the Maritime Silk Road and the 2015 Modern Service Industry Development and Cooperation Forum. The second was about multi-lateral and bilateral investment promotion, which covered the 2015 Symposium for Multinational Corporations, the Sino-US Enterprises Investment Cooperation Forum and the 8th Sino-Germany Economic Cooperation Forum. The third was about financial innovation, which consisted of the 10th Asia Investment Fund Summit, the 2015 Financial Leasing Development Forum and the 2015 Internet Finance Summit. The fourth was about industrial investment, which covered the 2015 Fujian Businessmen Youth Leader Summit and the Emerging Industry Investment and Financing Conference. The fifth was about cross-border e-commerce, which involved the 2015 Global E-commerce Conference and the Cross-border E-commerce Summit on Internet and Foreign trade.
- Promotion activities increase cooperation and negotiation
During the CIFIT, 13 foreign countries and regions such as Bahrain, US, Spain and Australia, and 12 provinces and cities such as Shanxi, Jiangxi and Shanghai, launched their promotion events. The events provided participating businessmen with ideal opportunities to cooperate with each other. The CIFIT has become one of the most effective platforms for countries and regions to promote their investment policies, business environment and investment programs.
Fruitful results of 2015 CIFIT
The 2015 CIFIT promoted exchanges and negotiations among different companies, regions and countries through exhibitions, forums and business communication activities.
- Three types of match-making events
Match-making events for industries: A 600-square-meter exhibition area was set up for industries such as infrastructure, service trade and information technology to hold match-making events. Hundreds of investors held nearly 2,000 such events within three days.
Match-making events for regions: Over 30 events were organized by guest countries, provinces and countries along the Silk Road, which served more than 400 companies and institutions.
Hot-topic-oriented match-making events: A 3,600-square-meter service area was set up for match-making events among listed companies, investment funds, Taiwan-funded enterprises, talent programs, pilot free trade zones and exchanges among countries along the Silk Road. A total of 16,000 events were organized.
- Three ways to launch match-making events
The first way of launching a match-making event can be done through an exhibition. Places set for investors to discuss and negotiate were provided in exhibition areas. Over 3,000 activities of such kind were organized with the participation of hundreds of enterprises and ten delegations.
The second method is through a forum. Dozens of forums were held to promote exchanges among different companies, regions and countries.
The third method is through the Internet. An online CIFIT platform was developed and upgraded with the cooperation of institutions such as the Beijing Financial Assets Exchange. It was aimed to provide one-stop services to investors and financiers.
- Enhance business communication
High-end business communication activities, such as exchanges among countries along the Silk Road, exchanges on capital and investment programs, and dialogues between investment institutions and provincial governors were launched. They drew in participation of more than 1,000 enterprises. Six press conferences on investment plans were also organized to deliver the latest investment information. Additionally, 10 project road shows and a dialogue between politicians and entrepreneurs were held. It was hoped that the road shows and the dialogue would attract investment and promote exchanges and help share resources among the participating businessmen.
According to statistics, the 2015 CIFIT rolled out a total of 30,000 investment programs, among which over 9,000 were newly proposed this year. These included 1,800 high-quality overseas programs.
A total of 1,571 investment programs were signed, worth 510.3 billion yuan ($80.1 billion). Of this figure, foreign investment accounted for 231 billion yuan, outbound investment accounted for 37.1 billion yuan and regional cooperation investment accounted for 242.2 billion yuan.
Mainland, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macao advance together
Cross-Straits exchange and collaboration among Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macao and the mainland has been a central topic at the 2015 CIFIT.
- Taiwan’s enthusiasm to participate
The attendance from Taiwan reached 4,000, with all six of Taiwan’s industry associations participating in the fair. A total of 85 business groups from Taiwan participated in the fair.
Zhan Huosheng, president of the Cross-Straits Common Market Foundation and Zheng Fuxiong, deputy chairman of Taiwan Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers’ Association each led a delegation to the fair.
The Taiwan Federation of Industry, Taiwan Mergers & Acquisitions and Private Equity Council, Association of Women Entrepreneurs, Association of Cross-Straits Medical Services Exchange and World Trade Center Taichung were among the dozens of groups and organizations from Taiwan that attended the fair.
- Diversified topics over cross-Straits exchange
The Association of Economy and Trade Across Taiwan Straits and the Taiwan Trade Center jointly hosted the 10th Cross-Straits Economic & Trade Cooperation and Development Forum.
More forums covered the topics in the development of environmental science and technology, inter-health industry and elderly care sector based on cross-Straits cooperation.
- Efficiency and proliferation in match-making
More than 100 Taiwan-based enterprises engaged in face-to-face investment negotiations with government agencies and companies from the mainland at a dedicated match making event.
The eighth Cross-Straits (Quanzhou) Produce Procurement Conference attracted 2,000 suppliers and buyers.
This year, organizers made more efforts to arrange small-sized conferences, booth visits and field studies for Taiwan businessmen to get a better sense of their investment targets.
- Macao and Hong Kong’s participation
Hong Kong and Macao, two of the mainland’s biggest investment sources, were each assigned an exhibition space exceeding 100 square meters. The two regions have sent delegations to the CIFIT for years.
Invest Hong Kong and Hong Kong Trade Development Council hosted a symposium focusing on leveraging Hong Kong’s advantages to “go global” and a match-making event.
The Macao Trade and Investment Promotion Institute joined hands with multiple business associations in Macao and curated a series of events at the fair to promote business opportunities and increase economic cooperation.
Nearly 80 business groups from Hong Kong and Macao came to join the fair in Xiamen. He Zhaokang, a top official at Invest Hong Kong said that under the Belt and Road Initiative, Hong Kong would act as a pivotal link and offer financing, logistics and legal services to Chinese companies looking to go global.
Mirroring China’s aim to expand its opening-up strategy and collaborate with the rest of the world, the 2015 CIFIT has focused on innovation, transformation and boosting investment, in the midst of challenges in the global economy.