5 first-time exhibitors to display their wares

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Photo taken on Nov. 4, 2021 shows an exterior view of the National Exhibition and Convention Center (Shanghai), the main venue for the fourth China International Import Expo (CIIE), in east China's Shanghai. [Photo/Xinhua]

The fourth China International Import Expo is welcoming five newcomers to the trading emporium.

The Republic of the Congo, Kiribati, Mauritius, Solomon Islands and Palestine are showcasing their products and cultural offerings alongside 53 other nations and three international organizations using the Online Country Pavilion.

The online exhibition was developed with 3D modeling and virtual reality technologies, and can be accessed through the official website of the CIIE.

The digital exhibition features four main areas-culture and tourism, economic development, industrial strength and products by companies from countries participating in the expo.

A physical Country Pavilion was present at the first two editions of the expo, but the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted plans for the brick-and-mortar modality last year.

Yok Yee Chan, consul general of Fiji in Shanghai, said: "Unfortunately, because of COVID-19, we are not able to physically participate in the expo this year. Despite this, we have our virtual country exhibition pavilion," she said.

Huseyin Emre Engin, consul general of Turkey in Shanghai, said 13 Turkish companies are exhibiting their products at this year's expo.

"We very much appreciate this hybrid model that's been adopted by the CIIE," he said. "We'll be able to at least bring in more representatives of the companies online and allow them to engage with their Chinese counterparts apart from the companies that we have here."

Sun Chenghai, deputy director-general of the CIIE Bureau, said the virtual pavilion has helped many small and developing countries participate in the expo and share in the opportunities brought by the growth of the Chinese market.

"The CIIE is increasingly recognized as an open platform for global procurement and investment, as well as for cultural exchange and cooperation," Sun said.

More than 1,500 companies from countries in the G20 block, 600 companies from countries and regions involved in the Belt and Road Initiative and 90 companies from the world's least-developed countries are participating in the expo, he added.

"Countries, despite their development stage, can benefit from their participation in the expo," Sun said.

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