The term “crisis” in Chinese script is composed from the two characters “risk” and “opportunity”
An interview with Mr Li Xinhua, Economic Minister for the City of Ningbo
Are registrations for CICGF 2009 in line with last year despite the economic crisis?
Li: Yes, statistics show the number of pre-registered visitors is currently equal to last year. This gives us much confidence in this time of economic crisis.
What makes CICGF special /different from other global consumer goods shows?
Li: One important reason is the proximity to manufacturers, which is not the case at other consumer goods fairs. CICGF is held in Ningbo. Zhejiang Province, of which Ningbo is a part, is China’s and the world’s largest consumer goods manufacturing base. 70% of exhibiting enterprises are within hours’ or even minutes’ driving distance from the fair venue, making it much easier for buyers to explore directly and make up their minds.
The financial crisis in the UK has been very hard-hitting. Has this had any impact on the number of exhibitors or visitor registrations from the UK for the fair?
Li: The global financial crisis has had an impact on some Chinese companies. However this also gives CICGF an opportunity to develop, since export-oriented companies prefer to attend CICGF in order to meet customers and to attract their orders. There will be a large British delegation in attendance, organized by the British Consulate-General in Shanghai, and it will include many other individual visitors. In a financial crisis, people might reduce their purchases of luxury and expensive goods, while continuing to buy less expensive items essential for daily life.
Many consumers have a negative attitude towards China and Chinese products, what has been done to alleviate this?
Li: The main reason for the negative attitude is the lack of understanding and communication between the overseas customers and Chinese companies. Therefore, with better communication and understanding, the cooperation between the two will surely be improved. On the other hand, Chinese companies should try hard to improve their product quality, in order to meet international standards.
What measures have been taken to improve the quality of consumer products, i.e. safety standards, ecological standards, design, etc? Is this something that is being emphasized at the CICGF 2009?
Li: Yes, the following measures will be taken to improve the quality of consumer products at CICGF 2009:
• All exhibiting companies have foreign trade license issued by the government.
• Promotion of intellectual property right protection will be carried out and an office will be set up for this at the fair.
• Special teams will be organised at the fair to improve product quality.
The fair in 2008 at Ningbo’s state-of- the-art exhibition facility had 4,000 stands exhibiting over 100,000 products from branches such as the clothing and household textile sector, electronic and household appliances, basic commodities, furniture, office, sport and leisure goods, as well as decorations, gifts and fancy foods. Visited by 70,000 buyers from 113 countries, it was also a commercial success: the export trade volume amounted to $1,073 billion US, the volume of basic commodities trade $290 million US, for household goods $206 million US, for fancy foods $37 million US and for other branches $23 million US. Most purchases were made by the USA, Europe and Japan. 350 journalists from 120 world-famous media visited the exhibition in 2008.
The role of Ningbo in China’s commercial life has also contributed to the exhibition’s success. With 5 million people the Ningbo metropolis near Shanghai is an important hub for Chinese imports and exports. Nearly 20% of Chinese consumer goods are currently manufactured in and around Ningbo.
The coastal city of Ningbo has a population of 5.6 million and is situated south of Shanghai in the densely populated Yangtze Delta. The prospering city is the economic hub of the Zhejang province. Ningbo has a long, 7000 year history as a commercial and trading city. Its deep water harbor is the largest in China and the fourth largest in the world in terms of cargo handling capacity. A yacht harbor and golf course complement the city’s modern, affluent image, as do the international shopping malls and boulevards. Around 20% of the Chinese everyday and basic commodities are manufactured in Ningbo and the surrounding area. This makes Ningbo the perfect location for the International Consumer Goods Fair.
Direct contact CICGF:
Ms. Tang (Jency), Ms. Chi
Tel: 86-574-87178075 / 87178074
Fax: 86-574- 87327443
Further information and pictures available on request.
We would be grateful if you could send a copy of any published or editorial reference to the above mentioned press contact.
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