Visitors look at jewelry from Oman on Monday at a booth at the China International Import Expo in Shanghai, which closes on Wednesday. Countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative are displaying their exotic goods at this year's CIIE. (ZHU XINGXIN / CHINA DAILY)
A total of 120,000 cans of pine nuts from Afghanistan, along with a dazzling array of imported products from over 20 countries and regions, were sold out within minutes in livestreams at the ongoing fourth China International Import Expo in Shanghai.
While the small pine nuts whetted the appetite of Chinese consumers, they also offer a vivid example of how China facilitates trade and drives economic development globally, especially for developing countries, industry experts said on Monday.
On Saturday night, e-commerce livestreamers including Li Jiaqi and Viya partnered with anchors from CCTV and Xinhua News Agency to conduct several special livestreaming sessions, selling imported goods from 20 countries and regions including Indonesia, South Africa, Serbia and Slovenia.
Livestreaming data showed that the turnover of Afghan pine nuts hit more than 10 million yuan ($1.56 million). The Afghan pine nuts were part of the 45 metric tons of pine nuts that arrived at Shanghai from Kabul earlier this month. This also is the first time that Afghanistan has exported goods to China under the new Taliban-led government.
"It vividly showed that China, with its huge market size and economic vitality, has brought broad development opportunities for countries worldwide, especially for developing countries," said Zhou Mi, a senior researcher at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation.
"The stable development of the Chinese market is not only to achieve the country's own development goals, but also can create more value for the international community," Zhou said.
Up to 90 companies from the world's least-developed countries and 600 companies from countries and regions participating in the Belt and Road Initiative have participated in the CIIE this year, said Sun Chenghai, deputy director of the CIIE Bureau.
During this year's mega event, State Development and Investment Corp has signed import contracts with 19 foreign companies for a record $1 billion in total. The company has purchased commodities including barley, cotton, manganese ore and edible oils from 15 economies including Ukraine, Argentina, Russia, Benin and Uruguay.
In addition, through the CIIE, the company has signed a total of $3.47 billion in intent-to-purchase agreements with foreign countries over the past four years, covering cotton, oil and mineral resources. Among them, orders with BRI markets hit $1.91 billion.
"Despite the rampant COVID-19 pandemic, the company's trade cooperation with foreign counterparts has expanded to a larger scope and a deeper level," said Yang Xiaohui, SDIC's deputy general manager.