(China Daily 09/26/2017 page12)
The 2017 Guangdong 21st Century Maritime Silk Road International Expo, also known as the MSR Expo, held in Dongguan, Guangdong province, from Thursday to Sunday, attracted some 251,000 domestic and foreign participants.
According to the organizers, contracts worth 219 billion yuan ($33.23 billion) were signed at the event.
The expo hosted delegations from 79 countries and regions, among which 56 countries and regions had exhibition booths. This year, 41 countries set up national pavilions.
"The MSR Expo serves as a crucial platform and carrier for Guangdong to participate in building the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road," said Chen Yunxian, director of the organizing committee of the 2017 MSR Expo at the opening ceremony.
This year, the exhibition was staged over an area of 100,000 square meters, a year-on-year increase of 42.8 percent. In all, there were 1,682 exhibitors from home and abroad; some 67 percent of them foreign exhibitors.
The exhibitors at the expo displayed their products to visitors and sales agencies, hoping to popularize their "treasures". These included local foods, beverages, crafts and wine from South Africa; silk products, saffron and nuts from Iran; bronzes from Pakistan; spices from India; spirits and honey from Russia; and wine and olive oil from Italy. Samba dancers from Brazil also caught the eye of many visitors.
Muzambli Markam, consul general of Malaysia, said that as China is the world's second-largest economy with the world's biggest population, it offers many opportunities to Malaysian companies.
"Malaysian brands have established strong brand awareness in China and we are striving to build further confidence and win over Chinese consumers," said Markam.
Anthony Lie brought "bitter" honey made in the forests of his home country, Indonesia. He said the honey was a special offer for people with diabetes in China.
A large number of innovation-driven products by well-known Chinese brands, including Gree, Sany and Xu zhou Construction Machinery, were also unveiled at the expo. And some new products, including a new type of drone developed by China Aerospace Science & Industry Corp, successfully caught the attention of foreign buyers.
The organizing committee signed agreements with several foreign commerce and business associations to launch the construction of a Guangdong Maritime Silk Road Cross-border Commodity Exhibition and Trade Center. The center, which will be operated throughout the year upon completion, is set to be an extended platform for the annual MSR Expo.
"In the past three years, we have witnessed an expanded exhibition area, more participating countries and greater achievements," Chen said.
"I hope that all the guests and exhibitors at the expo this year seized the opportunities the expo presented, enjoyed their time, made new friends and achieved more fruitful results," Chen added.
The figures provided by the expo organizers show that the expo attracted 4,035 exhibitors and about 450,000 visitors from home and abroad between 2014 and 2016, with a trade volume of 583.3 billion yuan.