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(CIIE) U.S. Companies Look to New Opportunities at China’s Trade Fair

U.S. food and agricultural companies which participated in the China International Import Expo (CIIE) have reaped more than they had expected at the event, said Eric Zheng, president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai (AmCham Shanghai).

From soybeans, sorghum, corn and legumes to pet food, the participating enterprises have signed contracts worth millions of dollars during the expo in Shanghai from Nov. 5 to 10, according to Zheng.

“This has allowed U.S. exhibitors to deeply experience the enormous potential of the Chinese market,” he told Xinhua Tuesday.

“Throughout the expo, the Food and Agricultural Pavilion was bustling with activity, drawing attention from both participants and media,” he said, adding that U.S. exhibitors expressed a commitment to access the Chinese market upon returning home.

This was the first time the United States had a pavilion at the CIIE through collaboration with the AmCham Shanghai and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The efforts involved 17 collaborators from U.S. state governments, industry associations and businesses gathering to showcase American foods and agricultural products.

While the global economy remains in recovery mode, the CIIE, the world’s first import-themed expo, serves as a crucial platform for exhibitors from various countries to promote their products and brands in China, said Zheng.

Zheng believed the Chinese market still has significant potential for further growth in its demand for American food and agricultural products.

“China is the largest export destination for U.S. agricultural products, with the total value reaching 42 billion dollars last year,” he said, “Many small- and medium-sized food and agricultural producers in the United States have expressed their eagerness to expand their products into the Chinese market only to face challenges in finding suitable distribution channels.”

Based in Glenview, Illinois, Hang Tung Resources (USA) Co., Ltd. is an oilseeds and grain company exporting to China since 2014. At least 90 percent of the company’s business comes from China.

“We participated in the CIIE as part of a delegation organized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, marking the first-ever group of exhibitors representing the U.S. federal government in the history of the CIIE,” Sherman Shi, the company’s vice president, told Xinhua.

The company secured business agreements totaling 500 million dollars during the expo, which “surpassed initial expectations” and was “a remarkable success,” said Shi.

“China is a market that we cannot overlook, both presently and in the future. As one of the largest countries in terms of population and with a thriving economy, the Chinese consumers’ demand for general agri-commodities is significant,” he said.