In order to expand economic and trade ties, boost interconnectivity and achieve mutual benefits and win-win situation, the 7th Silk Road International Exposition and the Investment and Trade Forum for Cooperation between East & West China was held in Xi'an, west China's Shaanxi Province from November 16 to 20.
The event has drawn the participation of guests from more than 50 countries and regions, including Tajikistan and Azerbaijan, who gathered to seek extensive consultation, joint development, and shared benefits of the new opportunities of international cooperation.
During the expo, more than 20 important conferences and forums in four categories were held, and six exhibition areas were set up in Xi'an International Convention and Exhibition Center to showcase developments in international exchanges, open cooperation platforms, regional cooperation, modern agriculture, advanced manufacturing and modern services, respectively. These exhibitions offered a comprehensive display of the achievements of the joint development of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and further facilitated international economic and trade cooperation.
In the international exchange exhibition area, 72 institutions from 28 countries and regions such as Canada, Estonia and Spain showcased their distinctive products, attracting a large number of visitors for shopping.
In the Azerbaijan exhibition area, pomegranate juice, pomegranate wine and other related products drew many consumers. Azerbaijan is one of the main producers of pomegranate, which was introduced to China more than 2,000 years ago and has thrived in the ancient predecessor city of Xi'an known as Chang'an till now.
"This is the first time that Azerbaijani products are exhibited at the Silk Road International Expo, and we hope to take this opportunity to establish a long-term partnership with Chinese distributors," said Teymur Nadiroglu, Minister Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary and trade representative of the Embassy of Azerbaijan to China.
The two countries have carried out long-term cooperation in the fields of construction, energy, logistics, tourism and other fields, and Azerbaijan will further tap the huge potential of its food and beverage products in the Chinese market in the future, he said.
In the Tajikistan exhibition area, the LED screen showed the local geographical features and cultural customs, and the booth was full of local pecan sauce, juice, mineral water and other specialties to attract visitors.
"Our products are very popular. I am full of expectations for the Shaanxi market and hope to bring more quality products from Tajikistan to Shaanxi," said exhibitor Wisban Ashan.
Since its inception, the Silk Road International Expo has helped Shaanxi establish economic and trade cooperation with more than 220 countries and regions around the world, and carry out close cooperation with over 100 international sister cities. A comprehensive, wide-ranging and multi-level opening-up pattern is gradually in shape, lending strong steam to Shaanxi's steady economic and trade development.
"Singapore is Shaanxi's fourth-largest trading partner. By the end of last year, Singapore had invested nearly 300 projects in Shaanxi, and 8 Shaanxi investors had invested 170 million U.S. dollars in Singapore," Deng Jun, deputy director of Sichuan representative office of Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry, said at the economic and trade cooperation round-table of the BRI countries and regions during the expo.
In recent years, Wilo SE and Metro AG, two German companies from North Rhine-Westphalia, have established branches in Shaanxi. Meanwhile, going-global Shaanxi enterprises such as ShaanGu Group are also developing in NRW, according to Feng Xingliang, chief representative of the Beijing representative office of the NRW Global Business, adding that it is hoped that the two sides will carry out closer cooperation in the future.
A display board in the exhibition hall has recorded Shaanxi's development from a relatively less open inland province to a pioneer in opening-up. From infrastructure construction to mineral development, from cross-border e-commerce to photovoltaic power stations, from landmark projects to "small yet smart" projects, green development and digital economy are becoming new themes of the joint development of the BRI.
"Via the BRI, Chinese green energy enterprises are continuing to help BRI countries and regions develop green power through sci-tech innovation, and provide green new growth drivers for local social and economic development," said Li Wenxue, vice president of LONGi Green Energy Technology Co., Ltd.
At present, the company has built manufacturing bases and set up branches in several BRI countries such as Uzbekistan, Kazakstan and Vietnam, and its business covers more than 150 countries and regions around the world.
Hitachi Energy has been a foreign investor in Shaanxi for years. In June this year, the company opened a manufacturing base of its power quality products in Xi'an, which is the largest power capacitor manufacturing base of Hitachi Energy worldwide.
Mao Xuzhi, vice president of Hitachi Energy China, said that the joint development of the BRI and the energy transformation of other countries in the world offers broad market opportunities, which gives the company greater confidence in investing in China.
As eastern starting point of the ancient Silk Road, Shaanxi now is an important base for China to open to the west in the new era.
"We hope to take this expo as an opportunity to deepen cooperation with all parties in areas such as connectivity, trade and investment, sci-tech innovation, industrial development, and people-to-people exchanges, and work together to help jointly develop the BRI to achieve new development of higher quality and higher level," said Zhao Yide, secretary of the CPC Shaanxi Provincial Committee and director of the Standing Committee of the Provincial People's Congress.
"We will continue to create a first-class business environment and provide better services for friends at home and abroad to breed innovation and start businesses in Shaanxi," Zhao added.