Chongqing- The Fourth Western China International Fair for Investment and Trade (WCIFIT) is around the corner. The previous three WCIFITs run throughout opening-up, helping Chongqing to lead inland opening-up and accelerating the connection of western China with the world.
The forums are always the most eye-catching ones at the fair. From the previous three WCIFITs' forums, the speakers all focused on linking opening-up with the development of Chongqing, western China, and China.
"Chongqing has expanded its channels to the west, east, and south at the same time, connecting with the world and making many entrepreneurs enthusiastic about investing in Chongqing," said Zong Qinghou, Chairman and CEO of the Hangzhou Wahaha Group, at the first WCIFIT.
At the second WCIFIT, the guests focused on accelerating the construction of internal and external channels and regional hubs, improving the opening to the world, and developing an export-oriented economy. In contrast, most of the guests spoke at the third WCIFIT forum about the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor (ILSTC) construction.
The exhibition area of the previous three WCIFITs exceeded 100,000 square meters, and each fair involved a topic pursuing the international trend and unique themed pavilions.
The second WCIFIT set up the cooperation exhibition hall of the ILSTC and the China (Chongqing) Pilot Free Trade Zone (CFTZ) for the first time. The third WCIFIT has set up an automobile and motorcycle exhibition hall and a big data health exhibition hall.
Western China provinces like Guangxi, Yunnan, and Sichuan have participated in WCIFIT as guest provinces. In addition to setting up exhibition halls, the guest provinces also held themed activities to enrich the fair.
Specifically, nearly 8,000 enterprises from home and abroad have shown up at the previous three WCIFITs, including over 300 enterprises from Fortune 500 and almost 110,000 domestic and foreign guests. The fair builds a platform for opening up, cooperation, and exchanges for western China and also expands the connection with the World in Chongqing and western China.
At the third WCIFIT, the western provinces, together with Indonesia, Vietnam, Laos, and other countries, jointly issued the International Cooperation on ILSTC (Chongqing) Initiative, welcoming more countries and enterprises along the route to participate in the construction of the ILSTC.
In 2021, Chongqing shipped 112,000 TEUs of goods valued at 18.7 billion yuan (about 2.8 billion U.S. dollars) through the ILSTC. The trade network has expanded to 319 ports in 107 countries (regions), which directly boosted the development of Chongqing's open economy.
Within the same year, the total import and export volume of Chongqing's foreign trade had reached 800.1 billion yuan, with a year-on-year increase of 22.8%. Among them, imports and exports to countries and regions along the Belt and Road reached 220.7 billion yuan, with a year-on-year growth of 26%.
In addition to Chongqing, other western China provinces also gained a lot. For example, at the third WCIFIT, Sichuan Province signed two projects on the first day exceeding 10 billion yuan, and Guizhou Province signed 82 projects with 39 billion yuan.
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