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Overview of CIFIT
The 12th China International Fair for Investment & Trade

The 12th China International Fair for Investment and Trade, themed around “attracting FDI” and “going global”, closed on September 11 in Xiamen, Fujian, China after four days of successful proceedings.

The CPC Central Committee and the State Council gave strong support to the CIFIT. Wang Qishan, member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Vice Premier of China opened by the Fair by pressing the launch key, toured the exhibition hall, and delivered the keynote speech at the International Investment Forum 2008. Wu Yi, former member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Vice Premier of China, sent a congratulatory letter to CIFIT.

A total of 96 officials on or above the vice ministerial rank attended the CIFIT, including Edmund Ho, Chief Executive of Macao Special Administrative Region; Chen Deming, Minister of Commerce; Lu Zhangong, Secretary of the CPC Fujian Provincial Committee; Sheng Guangzu, Director of the General Customs Administration; Wang Yi, the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council; Li Changjiang, the General Administration of Quality Inspection, Supervision and Quarantine; Huang Xiaojing, Governor of Fujian; Wang Sanyun, Governor of Anhui; and Bi Jingquan, Vice Secretary-General of the State Council.

Under the leadership of the State Council, this year’s CIFIT has further expanded the scale of exhibition and the standard of exhibits, placed a stronger emphasis on the interaction between buisness promotion and trade, stressed emerging economies and capital outputing countries, and strengthened Taiwan-oriented features and regional cooperation, with remarkable results achieved. Over, this year’s CIFIT exhibited the following top six characteristics:

I. Extensive and Proactive Involvement of the International Community

The 12th CIFIT is another major international event following the staging of the Olympic Games in Beijing. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown sent a congratulatory letter to CIFIT, saying that he is “very pleased that Britain has forged a long-term partnership with the 12th CIFIT”. More than 300 foreign dignitaries, including the Cook Islands Deputy Prime Minister Terepai Maoate, Polish Prime Minister Waldemar Pawlak, Samoan Deputy Prime Minister Telefoni Retzlaff, former Philippines President, Fidel V. Ramos, and former British Prime Minister John Prescott, attended the 12th CIFIT.

Statistics show that 13,685 overseas guests from 126 countries and regions and 445 overseas delegations from 104 countries and regions, and enterprises and institutions from 74 countries and regions. The floor area of exhibition staged by overseas delegations topped a record 16,000 square meters. The increased overseas representation is indicative of the extensive recognition of CIFIT as an platform for international investment promotion and the teeming vitality of the CIFIT. The CIFIT has become an internationally recognized world investment expo.

II. Exhibition Scale Doubled and Remarkable Interaction between Trade and Investment

With Hall 2 of Xiamen Interntional Conference and Exhibition Center and Xiamen International Conference Center becoming operational, the total number of booths at the 12th CIFIT exceeded 2,500 and the area of exhibition space surpassed 52,000 square meters, both being record levels.

The 12th CIFIT showcased a richer exhibition. The exhibition space consisted of three halls – the Investment Hall, the Trade Hall, and the Tourism Hall, which comprised 12 exhibition areas. The 2nd African Commodities Exhibition, hosted by the Ministry of Commerce during the Fair and the Photo Exhibition on the Economic, Trade and Tourism.

During the Fair, the United States, Australia, Sweden, Portuguest-speaking countries, Hong Kong and Macao hosted pavilion day events. And more than 50 countries, including the US, France and Brasil presented seminars on investment environments.

Compared with previous CIFITs, the 12th CIFIT produced more remarkable results. Statistics show that the 12th CIFIT attracted more than 55,000 domestic and overseas professional investors and traders; the delegations signed agreements on 784 investment projects, involving a total investment of USD 15.903 billion and utilized foreign funds of USD 13.555 billion, including 517 contracted projects with a total investment of USD 9.092 billion, utilized foreign funds of USD 8.099 billion, and 228 projects each involving an investment of more than USD 10 million.

Moreover, the enthusiasm of Chinese enterprises “going global” continued to rise. At the 12th CIFIT, Chinese enterprises signed agreements on 21 investment projects, involving a total investment of USD 83.4191 million, including USD 62.3466 million from the Chinese side. Among the projects, there are 18 contracted projects with a total investment of USD 72.4191 milion, including USD 57.1466 from the Chinese side, and there are 14 investment proejcts each involving an investment of more than USD 1 million from the Chinese side.

IV. CIFIT Becoming a Grand Rostrum for Global Investment Cooperation with Diversified Forums and Seminars, Richer Contents, and Steadily Rising Influence

Forums at the 12th CIFIT were characterized by high standard, rich contents, substantial results and diversified forms of organizing and became a grand postrum for the release of authoritative policies, information exchanges, and discussions of theories. The 12th CIFIT presented 73 high-level forums and seminars centered on topics of “attracting FDI” and “going global”, capital and wealth, and cross-strait and regional cooperation. More than 443 guests spoke at the forums and seminars to a combined audience of 19,120.
The 2008 International Investment Forum remained the center of attention, becoming a barameter for China’s economic modernization and international investment. Wang Qishan, member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Vice Premier of China, delivered the keynote speech at the forum. Chinese Minister of Commerce Chen Deming, Samoan Deputy Prime Minister Telefoni Retzlaff, State Council Research Section Vice Director Jiang Xiaojuan, Japan-China Investment Promotion Organization President Shoichiro Toyoda, and WAIPA President Alessandro Teixeira, delivered insightful addresses at the forum.
The forum presented 28 panel discussions on hot topics relating to international investment, covering service outsourcing, lease investment and financing, foreign capital administration, IPR protection, corporate social responsibility, international technology and business promotion, and trade and investment barriers.

The Investment, Trade and Tourism Ministerial Conference of the China-Pacific Island Countries Economic Development and Cooperation Forum, which took place on September 6-8, attracted more than 20 ministers from 11 south Pacific countries. Moreover, the CIFIT Organizing Committee, member institutions and other agencies hosted the Forum on Invest in China by Overseas Chinese, the 6th China (Xiamen) International Sister Cities Cooperation Forum, the Roundtable of International Goodwill Chambers of Commerce, the Capital Forum, the Asia-Pacific Investment Fund Summit, the China Property Rights Market Development Forum, the China Poverty Reduction Economic Research and Development Forum, the China Service Outsourcing Park Development Strategy Forum, and dozens of other seminars. The 12th CIFIT also saw the publication of a number of reports, including the China Transportation Logistics Investment and Financing Report and the Country (Region) Report on China’s Outward Investment Promotion.

V. Strong Matchmaking Specialization and Substantial Results

The 12th CIFIT continued its stress on investment promotion by sector and provided more relevant and specialized matchmaking events. A total of 11 specalized matchmaking symposia were presented, producing fruitful results and becoming the most effective form of investment talks.

The Patented Technology Matchmaking Symposium, presented for the first time ever, and the Matchmaking Symposium on Investments Projects by Taiwanese Agricultural Enterprises, as well as the Property Rights Transaction and Investment Matchmaking Symposium, all produced remarkable results. At the Patented Technology Matchmaking Symposium, 55 overseas enterprises talked to more than 400 patented technology holders, with five contracts and 23 letters of intents signed. At the matchmaking symposium for investment products by Taiwanese enterprises, 46 Taiwanese agricultural enterprises were matched up with 400 project owners.

Moreover, at the “Attracting FDI” Projects Matchmaking Symposium, 110 investment agencies from China and abroad, more than 160 brand chain operators, and nearly 2000 investment and business projects were made available, with eight contracts and 12 letters of intent signed, involving a total investment in excess of RMB 510 million.

At the Chinese Enterprises “Going Global” Matchmaking Symposium, 98 overseas governmental investment promotion agencies set up booths for talks, attracting about 600 Chinese enterprises, with nine letters of intents signed, involving a total investment of close to RMB 400 million.

VI. A Vast Array of Forums Presented and a Global Stage for Investment, Trade, Tourism and Cultural Exchanges Built

With growing international recognition, CIFIT has shifted from a pure exhibition and conference to the premier venue for international investment and trade events, and from a bilateral investment platform with equal emphasis on “attracting FDI” and “going global” to a multilateral platform for third-party investment and trade. The number of important international multilateral events increased at this year’s CIFIT. Such events include: China-Pacific Island countries event series, the 15th Joint Meeting between China-Japan Investment Promotion Organizations, China-Portuguese Countries Two-Way Investment Dialogue, the 2nd African Commodities Exhibition, China-Sweden Investment Promotion Mechanism Conference, the 2008 China Property Rights Projects Fair & China Property Rights Market Development Forum, Australia-Sino Fortune Forum, 2008 Asia-Pacific Region Software Park Summit Forum, and Strait Travel Fair. These events have generated enormous opportunities for international capital, tourism and cultural exchanges and investment and trade talks, strongly boosted CIFIT’s international nature, and fully demonstrated CIFIT’s role as a mega platform for international investment promotion.

VII. Strenghthend Taiwan-oriented Features and the Best Platform for Cross-Strait Exchanges and Cooperation

Strenghthened Taiwan-oriented features is a major highligh of CIFIT. With cross-strait entering a fresh phase, the Taiwan-oriented features of the 12th CIFIT has become more apparent and more people from Taiwan have taken active part. The 12th CIFIT saw more than 4,200 visitors from Taiwan, making Taiwan the largest source of overseas visitors, as well as 95 buisiness delegations from Taiwan.

The 3rd Cross-Strait Economic and Trade Cooperation and Development Forum explored topics on the normalization of economic and trade relations and economic development across the Taiwan Strait. At the 4th Strait Travel Fair, the Xiamen Declaration of the Regional Cooperation Alliance of the Tourist Zone on the Western Coast of the Taiwan Strait was published and the first ever “1+1” cross-strait tourism talks were conducted, boosting tourism cooperation across the Taiwan Strait. At the 3rd Strait Western Region Forum, Wang Yi, Director of the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council announced five steps facilitating travel across the Taiwan Strait.

Moreover, the 2nd Cross-Strait University Presidents Forum discussed ways to increase exchanges and cooperation between mainland and Taiwan higher-education institutions. The CIFIT Organizing Committee and the host city of Xiamen invited a significant number of Taiwanese guests for bonding events, which has further expanded the fields of cross-strait exchanges and cooperation.

This year, the hosts, Fujian Province and Xiamen City, attached great importance to the logistical support for CIFIT. Hardware and software facilities were greatly improved and logistical systems and operating mechanisms were boosted. Meticulous arrangements were made for security, transportation, accommodation, catering, city beautication, and atmosphere enhancement. Visitor reception, staging services, conference services, exhibition venue services, information services and news coverage services became more efficient. Moreover, the Organizing Committee further increased the technologial features of the event, introducing “E-Tong Card” to the Fair for the first time and improved the electronic registration service for the Fair’s forums and seminars and press center. A wide variety of new measures, such as the “Handy CIFIT”, electronic maps and online video conference system and wireless network covering the entire fair site, strongly boosted CIFIT’s comprehensive service standard and quality. Furthermore, a new forum and seminar evaluation system has been introduced to provide necessary scientific basis for fostering brand-name forums and seminars.

A window on China’s reform and opening-up initiative, the 12th CIFIT coincided with the 30th anniversary of China’s modernization drive, drawing extensive attention from domestic and foreign media. As many as 1,392 journalists from 385 domestic and overseas media organizations reported on the Fair. Incomplete statistics show that more than 12,000 news stories were written for the Fair, which has further expanded CIFIT’s global name recognition and influence.

The 13th CIFIT is schedule for September 8-11, 2009 in Xiamen. Let’s meet again on this Island of Egrets in September next year.


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