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Across China: Import commodity center brings Italian brands close to Chinese consumers

Time:2020-05-31 13:24wine - Red wine life health Click:

Italy china CIIE

SHANGHAI, May 26 (Xinhua) -- For those who gave up plans of traveling to Italy because of the COVID-19 pandemic, there may be a second choice: visiting an import commodity center in Shanghai.

Covering an area of 400,000 square meters for the moment in western Shanghai, the Hongqiao Import Commodity Exhibition and Trading Center mainly consists of exhibition halls for imported cars, food, household items and other commodities.

Some 20 percent of the displayed products are Italian brands, including the Tesori d'Oriente shower gel, which was popular with customers at the shopping festival held there earlier this month.

"We sold over 1,700 bottles over the first half of May, more than 100 bottles a day on average," said Zhu Jing, a spokesperson with the center.

The shower gel was displayed at the China International Import Expo (CIIE), an expo for China to further open its domestic market to the world.

Positioned as a platform to expand the effect of the CIIE, whose venue is just 3 km away, the center has more than 1,200 brands from over 70 countries and regions, with CIIE-related brands accounting for nearly 70 percent.

In the exhibition hall of food, booths displaying various kinds of Italian wines were outstanding.

"The biggest advantage of the center is that it provides all-year exhibitions and wholesale and retail services," said Liu Qiang, president of Shanghai SinoDrink Trading Co., Ltd, a wine importer.

Liu said the convenient transportation to the venue of the CIIE and Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport makes the center an ideal place for importers to reach potential consumers and business partners.

Thanks to the spillover effects of the CIIE, over 10,000 bottles of Sansilvestro Moscato, an Italian white wine brand imported by Liu's company, were sold in the center in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Li Hengyi, a customer who works nearby, was interested in the Italian milk liqueur brand Maurizio Russo in mini bottles.

"Many imported products displayed here are not available in other stores, and they are cheap here," said Li, 30.

When displayed at the CIIE, the milk liqueur was only available in large bottles, said Zheng Liyan, general manager of Sangduoshi International Trading Co., Ltd, importer of the liqueur.

"We were told that most Chinese consumers did not know much about Italian liqueurs, and smaller bottles make it easier for them to have a try -- a lesson we learned from the CIIE," she said.

China started holding the CIIE in 2018. In 2019, a total of 71.13 billion U.S. dollars worth of tentative deals were reached for one-year purchases of goods and services at the second CIIE, up 23 percent year on year. The third CIIE is scheduled in Shanghai in November.

Despite the challenges of the longer time for ordering and production, disrupted logistics and higher cost amid the pandemic, importers of Italian brands are still upbeat about the potential of the Chinese market.

The Chinese economy has gone through many tough moments, showing strong resilience and great potential for consumption, said Liu.

"We are confident in continuing to introduce high-quality Italian brands and products to the Chinese market," Liu said. Enditem

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