The 20th iteration of China International Fair for Investment and Trade (CIFIT), the world’s largest international investment promotion event, kicked off in picturesque city of Xiamen in Fujian Province of China on Saturday.
The exhibition area covering 130,000 square metres housed investment attraction pavilion where few private businessmen from Nepal had installed their booths to attract international investors. More than 100,000 businesspersons from over 100 countries participated in the event for matchmaking between entrepreneurs and investors.
“This type of exhibition is extremely important for small country like Nepal as the fair helps us to matchmaking with the international investors and showcase Nepali products in international market at a reasonable cost,” said a Nepali trader from Kathmandu who was selling carpet and scarf made in Nepal.
CIFIT is mainly related with international investment, trade exhibition and forums on investment and trade policies. The four-day event is not only a global investment promotion platform, but also a global capital flow weathervane and investment information dispersion centre for countries involved in Belt and Road initiative.
On the sidelines of CIFIT an International Investment Forum was held with the theme “new challenge; new opportunity; build together an open world”. Keynote speakers from Chinese government, international agencies, and business communities presented their views on the current global investment pattern.
Chinese Vice-minister of Commerce Wang Shouwen said that unilateral and trade protectionism has gripped the current world trade but China has always been in favour of the trade liberalism. He recalled Chinese President Xi Jingping’s announcement during Boao forum in April that China would announce major opening up initiatives including wider market access and new sectors of investment.
Most of the Chinese and non-Chinese speakers presented a dismal picture on ongoing world trade scenario motivated by unilateralism and criticize the protectionism and unilateralism in international trade saying that it would jeopardize multilateralism.
Upul Vickramsingh, a journalist from Sri Lanka participating in the forum said: “The investment forum demonstrated China’s commitment to wider opening up and international investment cooperation. As unilateralism and protectionism are on the rise, such kind of investment cooperation forum would help small countries develop with the inflow of much needed investments in potential sectors.”
Thomas Lembong, Chairman of Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board, opined that the developing countries who contribute 60 percent of world economic growth should push away their investment, trade and tourism from US dollars to other currencies such as euro, pound sterling or renminbi.
Saying that Indonesia strongly supports the idea of Belt and Road for win-win economic benefit among countries, Lembong stated, “It is unrealistic to expect a far reaching vision of Belt and Road Initiative won’t encounter any difficulty along the way but we need to overtake such obstacles for greater benefits to the world.”
Deepak Banjade, acting Consul General at Guangzhou-based Consulate General of Nepal, said that the investment and trade forums is a perfect platform for Nepali investors to promote their business and mediate with potential investors to attract foreign investment in Nepal. He said the Nepali businesses attracting foreign investors through the forum could also enjoy certain level of protection from the China government.