Introduction to the 3rd China-CEEC Expo & International Consumer Goods Fair and the 24th China Zhejiang Investment & Trade Symposium

“Platforms like the China International Import Expo and the China-CEEC Expo would be better leveraged for China to import more goods from Central and Eastern European countries (CEECs),” stated President Xi Jinping in his keynote speech at the China-CEEC Summit on February 9, 2021. As China’s only national exhibition centered around China’s cooperation with Central and Eastern Europe, the China-CEEC Expo and International Consumer Goods Fair were actively implement President Xi Jinping’s proposals and remain committed to enhancing the partnership between China and CEECs. This year’s Expo were held in Ningbo from May 16 to 20 under the theme “Practical Cooperation for a Shared Future”, with Hungary as the Guest Country of Honor and Jiangsu Province as the Guest Province of Honor.

High-ranking officials from CEECs such as Hungary, Poland, Serbia, Croatia and Slovakia were attend the Expo in person, along with diplomatic envoys of 11 CEECs to China. This year’s Expo leveraged innovative mechanisms to produce tangible outcomes and generate far-reaching effects, further enhancing, upgrading, and expanding China-CEEC cooperation in fields such as trade, investment, people-to-people, and cultural exchanges. The main activities of this year’s Expo included the Opening Ceremony & China-CEEC Cooperation Forum, the 7th Meeting of the China-CEEC Business Council, the 2023 China-CEEC Mayors Forum, the 6th China-CEEC Dialogue on Customs Inspection and Quarantine Cooperation, the 11th Meeting of the Consultative Board of the Association for the Promotion of Agricultural Cooperation between China and CEE Countries (APACCEEC), the 2nd High-Level Think Tank Forum for High-Quality Development of China-CEEC Local Cooperation, etc..

There were three main exhibition areas: the CEEC Exhibition, the International Consumer Goods Exhibition, and the Permanent Exhibition of Imported Products, with a total area of 220,000 sqm. The CEEC Exhibition’s sections cover CEE specialty goods, trade in services, and the Expo’s Guest Province of Honor and Guest Country of Honor. The CEE specialty goods section focuses on CEE agricultural products, foods, wine, dairy goods, products with EU geographical indications of origin, and offerings from CEEC’s manufacturing industry. The trade in services section showcases tourism destinations and logistics and supply chain-related services. The Zhejiang Pavilion features the achievements of Zhejiang and Ningbo in opening up to the outside world, as well as the China-CEEC Business Cooperation Demonstration Zone and its synergistic zones. The Jiangsu Pavilion showcases the image of Jiangsu Province and the achievements of cooperation in Central and Eastern Europe. The International Consumer Goods Fair has numerous sections dedicated to local boutique products, household products, kitchen supplies, stationery, sporting goods, gifts and crafts, logistics services, and more. The Import Commodities Permanent Exhibition has imported goods from CEECs and beyond on display and sale all year round; during the Expo, its latest expansion (phase II section) had its opening ceremony, inaugurating new sections dedicated to coffee products, rose products, beauty products, handicrafts, and foods. The new CEE Livestreaming Sales Base were also be opened in the pavilion and activities were held, including the “Tour Around the China-CEEC Market” and the 2nd CEEC Barista Challenge - Ningbo Tournament.

The 24th Zhejiang Investment & Trade Symposium (ZJITS) were held concurrently with the China-CEEC Expo. The ZJITS is a comprehensive annual international trade event hosted by the Zhejiang Provincial People’s Government for twenty-three consecutive sessions since 1999. The 24th ZJITS continues to strengthen its connection with the China-CEEC Expo & International Consumer Goods Fair, with a focus on stimulating the flow of investment, technology, and human resources between China and the rest of the world. The ZJITS consists of conference, forums, investment matchmaking sessions, trade negotiations, and other segments. Prioritizing the the “Trade Enhancement Priority Project” based on President Xi Jinping’s “sweet potato economy” metaphor, the ZJITS were use a “1+6+N” model to serve as a main portal for all external investments bound for Zhejiang.