XIAMEN, Sept. 8 (Xinhua) -- The 2020 China International Fair for Investment & Trade (CIFIT) and the Belt and Road Investment Congress opened on Tuesday in Xiamen, east China's Fujian Province, offering opportunities to promote investment and economic cooperation worldwide.
The fair, which has attracted merchants and delegates from 42 countries and regions including Germany, Britain and Japan, is one of the first major international economic and trade events held by China since the COVID-19 outbreak.
The four-day event includes the 2020 Global Investment Forum and nine sideline forums and seminars, and delegates participating in this year's fair will focus on the trend of global investment and the world economy amid the pandemic.
Covering an area of 110,000 square meters, two exhibition pavilions promoting investment and industry are expected to facilitate investment cooperation among countries and regions along the Belt and Road.
The participants are mainly from international organizations, domestic government agencies, business associations and enterprises, as well as foreign government offices, foreign embassies and consulates in China.
John Paul Inigo, special trade representative of the Philippine Trade and Investment Center, said the Philippines had received an uNPRecedented accolade as the guest country of honor for two consecutive years.
"Under the increasing connectivity brought by China's Belt and Road Initiative, we are confident that the already-booming trade and investment relationship between the Philippines and China will further grow," Inigo said.
China was the Philippines' top trading partner and the total bilateral trade volume hit 35.3 billion U.S. dollars in 2019.
With the aid of cloud services from China's tech giant Alibaba, an online fair is also being held.
The CIFIT, approved by the State Council, takes place every September in Xiamen and aims to promote two-way trade and investment between China and the world.
COMPELLING DESTINATION FOR INVESTMENT
The fair, which aims to promote international cooperation and economic globalization, has drawn investors and enterprises from all over the world and offers hope for the recovery of the world economy.
Simon Ryley, who runs Herm Studio, a watch business based in London, said the Xiamen fair was a great opportunity to showcase their products with the British Chamber of Commerce Guangdong.
"We are confident in the Chinese market, which has a growing middle class, and young people are interested in contemporary fashion and accessories," Ryley said.
Established in 2016, the brand was first introduced to China at the end of last year, and they came to the fair looking for partners to open physical stores in the country.
Sodick Amoy Co., Ltd., a Japanese-funded manufacturer of CNC discharge machines, attended the international event for the 15th consecutive year.
Yoshiaki Daichi, deputy general manager of the Xiamen-based company, said they remained bullish on the Chinese market and vowed to expand investment in China.
"The booming maritime and railway shipping network will serve as a new driver for our growth," said Daichi. "This year we will invest approximately 60 million yuan (about 8.77 million U.S. dollars) to expand our Xiamen plant. Once completed, the annual production output will increase by 50 percent."