China International Import Expo plays a significant role in facilitating cooperation between China and Kazakhstan in the wake of the Belt and Road Initiative, according to officials, experts and business representatives.
“Since its first edition, the CIIE has adhered to its positioning as an international public product, upheld the principles of open cooperation and mutual benefit, promoted high-quality collaboration in the BRI and consistently advocated for expanding opening-up,” Shi Huangjun, representative of the National Exhibition and Convention Center (Shanghai), said in an address to the Global Conference on the 10th Anniversary of the BRI and the Golden Age of China-Central Asia Engagement event on Sept 7.
Kazakhstan, recipient of an original proposal from the BRI in 2013, was the first Central Asian country to participate in the initiative. The CIIE was launched in 2018, after the first Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation. Since 2018, its businesses have participated in the CIIE for five consecutive sessions.
In 2022, Kazakhstan launched the Export Accelerator, a program for entrepreneurs of small and medium-sized businesses aimed at helping them prepare for the export of goods to foreign markets.
So far, the program has attracted over 1,000 enterprises, including 300 that have exported for the first time and secured their first export contracts, said Gulnar Shaimergenova, director of the China Studies Center in Kazakhstan. She added there is no doubt the CIIE will be a key platform for the implementation of the Export Accelerator program and play a crucial role in promoting global development.
The CIIE has fostered opportunities for businesses from countries and regions involved in the BRI while benefiting the welfare of local people. Over the past five years, the expo has seen an accumulated intended turnover of about $350 billion, with participation of businesses from 171 countries and regions.
As of now, nearly 1,000 businesses from countries and regions involved in the BRI, including Kazakhstan, have signed up for the sixth CIIE, which has a total exhibition area of 75,000 square meters — an increase of about 20 percent compared to the previous edition.
Egemberdieva Asel Yerikovna, deputy CEO of QazTrade, said Kazakhstani enterprises have participated in the CIIE for five consecutive sessions, and the cumulative “intention to deal” amount has reached $430 million.
For the upcoming sixth edition, QazTrade will support 25 businesses to participate and exhibit Kazakhstan’s featured agricultural products, such as camel milk and honey.
“These high-quality products are closely related to a vast number of farmers and herdsmen in Kazakhstan. The CIIE will help improve their well-being for a better life,” according to Yerikovna.
During the event at Nazarbayev University, the CIIE also held a symposium, attracting more than 40 businesses.
“We have operated our factory for 18 years, and this year will be our first time participating in the Import Expo,” said a manager of a dairy company in Alma-Ata, Kazakhstan, adding he hopes the company can leverage the platform of the CIIE to meet more channel partners and expand the influence of its dairy brand in the Chinese market.
The CIIE has helped to introduce more high-quality products from countries and regions involved in the BRI into the Chinese market, thus assisting the Chinese people in pursuing a better life.
Contact：Ms. Cui Yan