The Swedish Consul General’s point of view on the CIIE
Consul General of Sweden in Shanghai Marie-Claire Swärd Capra
The Fourth China International Import Expo (CIIE) will be held in Shanghai from November 5-10 as scheduled. Despite the challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, global traders plan to come together at the annual event online and offline to showcase their products and services in areas such as healthcare, artificial intelligence (AI ) and carbon neutrality, seeking to increase their performance in the Chinese market.
The Global Times (GT) interviewed 15 foreign diplomats in Beijing and Shanghai about their commitment and expectations for this year’s CIIE. Here is:
Marie-Claire Swärd Capra
Swedish Consul General in Shanghai
GT: How does Sweden plan to engage in CIIE despite the challenges of COVID-19?
Marie-Claire Swärd Capra: The China International Import Expo (CIIE) is a huge and very important conference for Swedish companies. There is great market potential for Swedish companies in China. Sweden’s participation in the CIIE is therefore very consistent. We have been involved from the start.
But now, due to COVID, like last year, we will not have any overseas delegation. But nonetheless, there will be a good turnout from Swedish companies that are here in China. There are a few more companies participating this year than last year. About twenty Swedish companies will be present at the CIIE.
GT: What are your expectations for the upcoming event?
Marie-Claire Swärd Capra: Sweden-China trade is very balanced. Swedish exports to China have actually increased significantly over the past year. We are very happy. And Swedish imports from China were also keeping pace, although 2020 has been a generally difficult year.
China still occupies the 5th and 6th places for the import and export of goods for Sweden. Trade in services has declined due to COVID. We are also seeing a lot of Chinese foreign direct investment coming into Sweden. We are very happy. Swedish investments are also underway in China. This is the general situation and the stage for us when we come to CIIE. We see great potential. We also find that this year’s CIIE emphasizes sustainability. A Swedish company is actively participating in its preparation with the CIIE office. This is of course very important for Sweden, for our companies.
We believe we have knowledge and a competitive advantage in sustainable development. Swedish companies have the potential to contribute to both productivity and consumption and also have innovative products and services in the Chinese market in the future, especially when it comes to environmental and climate issues.