6th China International Import Expo: An Important Platform to Promote South-South Trade

By November 9, 2023 November 9, 2023 Cities Clusters - E-commerce, Cities Project, News

From 5 to 10 November, the 6th China International Import Expo (CIIE) was held in Shanghai, bringing together over 3,400 exhibitors from 154 countries, regions, and international organizations. Among them, more than 200 businesses from 50 Least Developed Countries (LDCs), Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) showcased their products and services to nearly 410,000 visitors at CIIE.

South-South trade is key to inclusive, trade-led development, holding tremendous promise for sustainable development. With its vast market access, CIIE proved beneficial for companies from the Global South, especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), fostering global trade participation.

Among the 69 participating countries in the National Exhibition, 64 are BRI partner countries and 16 LDCs. Aligning with China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which celebrates its tenth anniversary in 2023, the expo facilitated partnerships and linkages among them.

Hongqiao International Economic Forum

As a significant part of the CIIE, during this year’s Hongqiao International Economic Forum, discussions covered a wide range of topics, from green development to trade digitalization.

At parallel session “Driving Green Investment and Trade to Jointly Build Global Eco-Civilization,” Haoliang Xu, UN Under-Secretary-General and Associate Administer of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), stated that future investment growth should prioritize people and the planet. Our future growth must be guided by sustainability, be green, and digital, with a focus on integrating human development and nature conservation into a country’s economic growth.

Rebeca Grynspan, Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), stated in her remarks that increasing green investment capacity implies the need for further nurturing sustainable and green development globally. Currently, China is the world’s largest green bond issuance market, leading the way worldwide.

At parallel session “Promoting International Cooperation and Innovation in Industrial Parks – Exploring a New Frontier of Sustainable Industrialization,” Fatou Haidara, Deputy Director-General of United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), underlined that to address the many challenges the world faces today, strong multilateral partnerships are undoubtedly needed. Industrial parks are important platforms for developing countries’ participation in international economic cooperation. The construction of industrial parks can promote cross-border economic growth and technology exchange.


At the Fourth Industrial Revolution and Smart Mobility Forum, Siddharth Chatterjee, UN Resident Coordinator in China, said green investment and technology are critical for accelerating sustainable development and ensuring that we protect the planet. This aspiration is at the heart of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). “China’s advances in adopting renewable energy sources and technological innovation can help create the conditions for a rapid transition towards a greener, low-carbon transportation sector.”

At the Trade Digitalization and Cross-Border E-Commerce Development Forum 2023, Pamela Coke-Hamilton, Executive director of the International Trade Centre (ITC), strengthened that when formulating rules and frameworks for the digital economy, the needs and priorities of SMEs should be considered. She highly appreciated China’s Digital Silk Road Initiative for its significant role in helping developing countries establish digital infrastructure, demonstrating how international cooperation can promote digital transformation and economic growth.