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Exhibitors curious about new initiative

Time:2015-05-15   Source:Shenzhen Daily

At Thursday’s 11th China (Shenzhen) International Cultural Industries Fair (ICIF), foreign sellers expressed optimism about the New Silk Road initiative, but even exhibitors participating in the “Belt and Road” exhibition said they would like a clearer explanation about what the project will mean for their countries.

“Belt and Road” is the Chinese Government’s name for the new Silk Road project that hopes to reinvigorate the ancient Silk Road trading route through infrastructure projects along with expanding maritime trade.

“I think China should put more efforts to promote the initiative and give a clearer explanation for other countries,” said Mohammed Saqib, secretary general of the nongovernmental India China Economic and Cultural Council. “The initiative itself is a very good plan for China and other countries involved to tighten economic and cultural ties.”

With a huge screen highlighting the route of countries and regions included in the Belt and Road initiative, Hall 5 of the Shenzhen Convention and Exhibition Center has stalls for 15 countries located along the ancient trade route displaying their wares.

A trader named Antoine from Laos also said he would like to know more about what the project means in real terms.

“The Belt and Road initiative is an exciting project for the involved countries and I look forward to more detailed plans,” said Antoine. “Though we focus on displaying mainly, the selling of our products is quite good.”

“We have held a lot more activities between Indian and Chinese traders since the initiative was put forward and we hope to promote more business cooperation between the two countries,” said Cao Kezhen, executive director of the India China Economic and Cultural Council.

Saqib said that it is the first time for the council to participate in the ICIF. They set up 21 stalls in total at the fair to show Indian products.

“Though today is the first day of the fair, we are quite satisfied with the result of the trading,” said Saqib.

The Chinese Government came up with the “Belt and Road” initiative in 2013 and has promoted it heavily since last year.

It is the first time for the organizers to designate Hall 5 as the Hall of Belt and Road where 15 countries including India, Turkey, Russia, Kazakhstan and Thailand are displaying cultural products, along with 15 Chinese cities.

The exhibition will continue for another four days until Monday.

Despite some curiosity about what the “Belt and Road” initiative will mean, Saqib was happy with the ICIF.

“Chinese buyers are showing interest in purchasing our products. It makes us a little worried that our stock might not be enough for the following days,” Saqib said with a smile.

Editor: Zhao Liting