Foreign firms pin hopes on consumer products expo
China Daily

A worker installs window parts of the exhibition halls for the upcoming China International Consumer Products Expo at the Hainan International Exhibition Center on March 15. (Photo: China Daily)

Next month's fair in Haikou to highlight China's fast-growing spending power

With more than 1,100 international brands participating in the first China International Consumer Products Expo in South China's Hainan province next month, global business leaders said the grand event will highlight the country's consumption power on the global stage and offer participating companies fresh opportunities to further diversify market channels.

They said the expo, scheduled to be held from May 7 to May 10 in Haikou, the provincial capital of Hainan, will not only build a platform for global brands to enter the Chinese market via Hainan Free Trade Port, but also help them better tap into the latest industry trends and initiate new practices that might set the tone for future growth in the country.

Philippe Pedone, head of International Development for Galeries Lafayette, the French retailer of luxury goods, said CICPE will be a key platform facilitating international companies' access to the local market in Hainan, and strengthen his company's presence in China.

In France's pavilion in the expo's "Fashion Life" space, Galeries Lafayette presents a singular universe aimed at reflecting a certain French art of living while displaying its fashion and lifestyle-related products.

"We are keen to participate in this first edition of CICPE, a new illustration of our determination to expand our footprint in China over the next few years," Pedone said.

In addition to its three stores in Beijing, Shanghai and Guiyang, the company plans to run a total of eight stores across China by 2025.

Many opportunities also come from the government's recent move to announce special measures aimed at further relaxing market access in Hainan Free Trade Port, involving fields such as pharmaceuticals, finance, gaming and new energy vehicle sectors, said Zhu Xiaoliang, director-general of the department of market system development at the Ministry of Commerce.

The country outlined 22 steps to help facilitate the free flow of key production factors, cultivate industries with comparative advantages and build a free trade port with high quality and high standards, according to a document recently released by the National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Commerce.

About 70 debut events will be held during the expo. Companies and brands such as Swatch of Switzerland, Shiseido of Japan, and Tapestry and Dell Technologies of the United States will launch hundreds of new products next month, coving over 20 categories such as clothing and bags, cosmetics, foods, wines and jewelry, said Gao Feng, a spokesman for the Ministry of Commerce.

Covering 75 percent of the total exhibition area, the expo's boutique section contains five sections-high-end foods and supplements, fashion accessories, jewelry and diamonds, lifestyle and outdoors, as well as hospitality and professional services.

French cosmetics company L'Oreal Group will showcase its beauty brands in a 500-square meter exhibition space during the CICPE next month. The company said the event will see exclusive launches and immersive experiences designed for the occasion.

"Consumption becomes the core driving force for economic growth in China and beauty is becoming a beacon industry," said Fabrice Megarbane, president for L'Oreal's North Asia zone and CEO of L'Oreal China.

He said that Hainan's further opening-up shows an innovative way to stimulate consumption, and the company believes it will be a well-balanced strategy to satisfy huge consumer appetite for beauty products, as well as leverage the policies of Hainan Free Trade Port.

Yann Bozec, president of Asia-Pacific at United States-based Tapestry Group, said its brands-Coach, Kate Spade and Stuart Weitzman-will showcase their latest collections and deliver a seamless and digital "store-to-booth "experience in the company's 300-sq m space at the expo.

"China is a vital driving force for global development and prosperity. Its great potential and the passion of its consumer market inspires global brands to keep innovating and investing in the country," said Bozec.

Bozec said the country's resolution to forge common development also reassures foreign companies and strengthens Tapestry's confidence to continue to increase its investment in China.

Qian Jiannong, chairman and CEO of Fosun Tourism Group, the travel business under Shanghai-based conglomerate Fosun International, said the expo is a key measure to build Hainan into an international center for tourism and shopping, thus providing a global platform for companies doing business in the province.

Apart from running operations in a number of hotels in Hainan, Qian said Fosun Tourism is planning to land retail projects this year in the province to serve more than a destination for leisure tourism, but also a prosperous trade market.

"Through participation in this expo, we hope to present more goodwill and actions from Fosun Tourism in bringing more happiness to families worldwide," he added.

Covering an area of 20,000 sq m, the domestic exhibition area features the independent participation of 31 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities.

Over 800 domestic companies to date have registered their participation, including consumer goods companies and time-honored brands such as Huawei Technologies Co, Beijing Tongrentang Group Co, Oppo and Vivo.

He Wei contributed to this story.