China-South Asia Exposition
China-South Asia Expo is approved by the State Council of China and co-sponsored by the Ministry of Commerce of China and the People’s Government of Yunnan Province. It also invites business departments of South Asian countries to co-sponsor the Expo. The predecessor of China-South Asia Expo is the South Asian Expo. After several years of cultivation and development, the scale of South Asian Expo has been expanding, playing an important role in promoting economic and trade exchanges between China and South Asian countries. In order to meet the needs of the development of the situation and further strengthen the mutually beneficial cooperation between China and South Asian countries, in October 2012, the State Council of China approved the upgrading of the commodity exhibition of South Asian countries to the China-South Asia Expo. As of 2018, five sessions have been successfully held.
Review of China-South Asia Expo
The 1st China-South Asia Expo in 2013
The first China-South Asia Expo was held from June 6 to 10, 2013, together with the 21st Kunming Import and Export Fair. Vice Premier Ma Kai attended the meeting with 35 delegations from nearly 30 countries and regions including 467 foreign dignitaries, distinguished guests and Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan guests, as well as more than 600 delegates from 23 enterprises and financial institutions. The total number of foreign (overseas) exhibitors exceeded 1200, with a cumulative foreign trade volume of 17.466 billion US dollars. There are 409 domestic cooperative projects with a total investment of 537.8 billion yuan. The contracted projects cover tourism, energy development, infrastructure, trade, education, environmental protection, modern logistics and other fields. The first China-South Asia Expo has become an important bridge between China and South Asian countries for mutually beneficial cooperation and an important platform for China and South Asian countries to expand economic and trade exchanges with other countries and regions.
The 2nd China-South Asia Expo in 2014
The 2nd China-South Asia Expo and the 22nd the 21st Kunming Import and Export Fair were successfully held in Kunming from June 6 to 10, 2014. Vice Premier Wang Yang and six foreign dignitaries attended the exhibition and addressed the opening ceremony. A total of 431 foreign dignitaries from more than 30 countries and regions attended the meeting. A total of 15,000 exhibitors and 55,000 professional buyers attended the exhibition. There were 3,188 indoor exhibition booths and 7,500 square meters outdoor exhibition area. The total number of exhibitors in 46 countries (regions) and 24 provinces, districts and municipalities in China participated in the exhibition. In addition, the cumulative foreign trade and economic transactions of the 2nd China-South Asia Expo Fair amounted to US$21.13 billion, an increase of US$3.57 billion, or 20.4% over the first US$17.46 billion; 508 foreign investment projects were signed, with a total contracted amount of US$708.2 billion, a net increase of 110 billion yuan. The contracted projects cover tourism, energy development, infrastructure, trade, education, environmental protection, modern logistics and many other fields.
The 3rd China-South Asia Expo in 2015
On June 12, 2015, Li Yuanchao, member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Vice President of China, attended the opening ceremony of the 3rd China-South Asia Expo and the 23rd China Kunming Import and Export Fair. President Yaming of Maldives, Prime Minister Tongxing of Laos, Speaker of the National Assembly of Bangladesh Chowdhury, Vice Premier Huang Zhonghai of Vietnam Government, Minister of State and Commerce of Cambodia Sun Zhantuo, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs of India Singh, Prince Banada of Thailand, Secretary of the CPC Yunnan Provincial Committee Li Jiheng, Vice Minister of Commerce Wang Shouwen delivered speeches at the opening ceremony.
The third China-South Asia Expo and the 23rd China Kunming Import and Export Fair have accumulated 25.19 billion US dollars in foreign economic and trade transactions, an increase of 19.8% over the same period of last year; the foreign trade contracts and transactions completed 12.61 billion US dollars, an increase of 8.6% over the same period of last year (7.09 billion US dollars in exports and 5.52 billion US dollars in imports); the utilization of foreign capital 9.58 billion US dollars, an increase of 55% over the same period of last year; 12 foreign economic contracted projects, with a contract value of 2.697 billion US dollars. Yuan, an increase of 569.2% over the previous year; 903 foreign investment projects were signed, with a contracted amount of 785 billion yuan, an increase of 10.8% over the previous year.
The 4th China-South Asia Expo in 2016
The 4th China-South Asia Expo and the 23rd China Kunming Import and Export Fair was successfully held in Kunming from June 12 to 17, 2016. Delegations from 89 countries, regions all over the world and 29 Chinese provinces (districts and municipalities) participated in the exhibition; 6339 Chinese guests and 2076 foreign guests participated in the series of events of the fair; about 800,000 people attended the exhibition.
The exhibition area of the fair is 180,000 square meters with 8,000 standard booths, the largest in history. Among the 18 exhibition halls, 9 focus on industries to attract and organize exhibitions, and the proportion of professional exhibition halls reaches 50%. A total of 4,216 enterprises from 65 countries and regions participated in the exhibition, an increase of 33% over the previous year. A total of 155 international and domestic well-known enterprises participated in the exhibition, an increase of 78% over the previous year. For the first time, the exhibition has arranged one and a half days for professional visitors to attend the exhibition and negotiate.
The 5th China-South Asia Expo in 2018
With the theme of “integrating into One Belt And One Road and promoting win-win cooperation”, the 5th China-South Asia Expo was successfully held in Kunming from June 14 to 20, 2018. Hu Chunhua, member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and vice premier of the State Council, attended the opening ceremony and delivered speeches. He pointed out: since the China-South Asia Expo was held, China and South Asian countries have deepened their cooperation in various fields with the help of the exhibition platform, especially the cooperation under the “one belt and one road” framework has achieved fruitful results. China is willing to work with all parties to build the China-South Asia Expo into a solid link of exchanges and cooperation between China and South Asian countries.
In the 5th China-South Asia Expo, 87 countries and regions participated in the exhibition. Among the 3825 enterprises participating in the exhibition, 42.46% were overseas enterprises, and 36.8% were overseas enterprises in the area of 190,000 square meters of exhibition. According to preliminary statistics, 456 contracted projects were signed, with an amount of 807.937 billion yuan.
Significance of China-South Asia Expo and Trade Fair
With the approval of the State Council, the China-South Asia Expo is jointly organized by the Ministry of Commerce and the People’s Government of Yunnan Province, once a year and permanently settled in Kunming. The first China-South Asia Expo was held in Kunming in June 2013. This is another major opportunity for the development of Yunnan and Kunming. It is also a new platform for the opening up of the country to the southwest and strengthening comprehensive exchanges and cooperation with South Asia, Southeast Asia, West Asia and other countries and regions.
The holding of China-South Asia Expo is a major breakthrough in expanding Yunnan’s opening to the outside world under the new historical conditions. It is also an important part of building an all-round opening pattern in China. It is of great strategic significance for building a strategic platform for China’s opening up to the West and promoting a multilateral and multi-lateral strategy. China and South Asian countries are traditional friendly cooperative partners with strong economic complementarity and huge potential for economic and trade cooperation. The China-South Asia Expo will shoulder a major historical mission to comprehensively promote China-South Asia relations. Since it was held, South Asia has become the fastest growing region of Yunnan’s foreign trade. Undoubtedly, hosting the China-South Asia Expo is an important part of the construction of bridgehead in Yunnan and an important way to open to the west.