2023 - Nov 06, 2023

China’s mega trade show: Swiss quality on the CIIE stage

  • 27 Swiss brands will be present on the joint Swiss Centers Cluster Booth during the China International Import Exhibition (CIIE) in Shanghai from November 5-10.
  • With more than 2.800 exhibitors from 145 countries, regions and international organizations, the CIIE is China’s biggest trade fair for imported products. The event was initiated by China’s President in 2018. It is hosted by the Ministry of Commerce and the Shanghai Government.
  • Among the participating Swiss companies are well-known F&B brands like Frey, Morand, Kambly, Kübler Absinthe and Café Royal. Some enterprises, such as Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie (FHH) and Grether’s Pastilles, join CIIE for the first time to test the Chinese market. The Swiss Centers booth is sponsored by Schindler, UBS, FHH and S-GE (Switzerland Global Enterprise).
  • Despite decreasing exports and FDI, China’s GDP growth of 4.9% in the third quarter 2023 shows positive signs of economic recovery. In particular, retail sales are returning to healthy increases. September showed a growth of 5.5% year on year, after 4.6% in August and 2.5% in July.

Shanghai (November 6, 2023) – From November 5-10, China’s biggest import trade show takes place in the world’s largest exhibition and convention center in Shanghai: the 6th edition of the China International Import Expo (CIIE), hosted by the Chinese Ministry of Commerce and the Shanghai Government. The expected 2.800 exhibitors from 145 countries, regions and international organizations not only include more than 280 of the world’s top 500 companies, they also feature a strong Swiss delegation. “Just as in previous years, we are an official CIIE partner and organized a joint booth to provide a deserving stage for Swiss quality products,” says Mr. Zhen Xiao, CEO of the Swiss Centers Group (www.swisscenters.org), a not-for-profit organization that lowers the Asian market entry hurdles for Swiss enterprises.

Established brands & China newcomers

The 2023 Swiss Centers Cluster Booth, sponsored by Schindler, FHH, UBS and S-GE, is bigger and more diverse than ever before: 27 Swiss brands will be present on the 200 square meter stand. Mr. Xiao: “The CIIE is a great opportunity to connect with consumers, dealers, media, and partners in the Chinese market. Many of the F&B brands that joined the Swiss booth in previous years will take part again – presenting Swiss-quality chocolate, coffee, water, meat, biscuits and candies all the way to Swiss wine, absinthe, and spirits.” There are some China newcomers, too: The Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie (FHH) will join the Swiss Centers booth for the first time, aiming to promote highest Swiss watchmaking culture. The renowned Grether’s Pastilles attends for the first time, testing the waters in the Chinese market. Other newcomers include Swiss wine companies such as Compers’5 and Neuchâtel-based JwB.

Consumption is the new engine for future growth

China’s third-quarter GDP growth of 4.9% exceeded forecasts. September retail sales (+5.5% year-on-year) and industrial production activity (+4.5% year-on-year) were also more robust than expected. “That shows positive signs for the economic recovery”, analyzes Mr. Xiao. In the first three quarters of 2023, the Chinese GDP grew 5.2% year-on-year. In the same time frame, China’s total retail sales of consumer goods grew by 6.8% year-on-year.

Mr. Zhen Xiao summarizes: “Despite the slowing down of the growth, China remains a market with a big potential, attracting many foreign products. Competition is fierce, and it is a challenging market to enter, especially for SMEs. Our experienced team at the Swiss Centers help newcomers to evaluate their market possibilities and supports Swiss enterprises in their China operations.”

Frederic Jean Marie Mellinand, Head Controlling China at Schindler (China) Elevator Co., Ltd., a sponsor of the Swiss Centers booth at this year’s CIIE: “At the Swiss Centers booth, we will be showing Switzerland’s craftsmanship and innovative spirit from multiple aspects in collaboration with several other Swiss enterprises. At the same time, we will be using this good opportunity to strengthen the international communication among Swiss enterprises, and to promote cooperation among all parties to better realize the vision of “New Era, Shared Future”. Schindler is going to further develop in the Chinese market to seize the great business opportunities. We aim to contribute to China’s high-quality and sustainable development by integrating global resources and collaborating with China for innovation.”

Tristan Barrabas, International Learning and Business Development Manager of the Fondation Haute Horlogerie (FHH), a sponsor of the Swiss booth: “The Fondation Haute Horlogerie (FHH) has focused its mission on the international influence of watchmaking around the world and positions the watch as an object of art and culture. The CIIE’s stated purpose intersects with our own in its promotion of culture, and together with our valued partners for this event, the Swiss Centers, we aim to shine a light on the many touchpoints between not only the FHH, but also Switzerland and China in general. Given the enormous influence of China on watchmaking culture today, we are excited to continue creating awareness around the FHH’s activities as well as the opportunities for watchmaking education we make available to this incredible market.”

Andy Ho, General Manager of UBS Fund Distribution (Shenzhen) Co.,Ltd.: “WE.UBS is the first digital wealth management platform in Asia Pacific under UBS, and the first digital-led wealth management platform launched by a global wealth manager in China. We hope to meet Chinese investors’ growing demand for local and global investment solutions through this platform which makes use of the latest technology capabilities combined with UBS’ 160 years of wealth management services. We are pleased to be a sponsor of the Swiss Centers booth.”

Nicolas Joss, Director of Swiss Wine Promotion: ”This is the third time for Swiss Wine Promotion to join the Swiss Booth at CIIE, and the first-time post-pandemic experience. We are very happy to see some new wineries joining the SWP corner, with their owners and managers flying from Switzerland to Shanghai. On the Swiss Booth, the Chinese visitors can enjoy the wines produced from different regions in Switzerland, from Geneva, Vaud, Neuchatel to Ticino.”

Jin-Han Lee, International Key Account Manager of Grether’s Pastilles: “We are excited to take our first steps into the Chinese market at the 2023 Swiss Centers Cluster Booth. Our iconic blackcurrant pastilles are celebrated not only for their exceptional taste but also for their beneficial effects. With a rich heritage in crafting premium pastilles designed to provide relief for sore throats and dry mouths, Grether’s has become a trusted choice worldwide. We are eager to introduce our Swiss craftsmanship to a new audience and make a mark in the hearts and palates of China.”

Picture legend: The Swiss Centers booth at CIIE 2023.

Copyright: swisscenters.org

Picture legend: The Swiss Centers booth at CIIE 2023.

Copyright: swisscenters.org

Picture legend: 27 Swiss brands will be present at the Swiss Centers booth.

Copyright: swisscenters.org

For more information, please read the press release in (EnglishGerman and French).