The Croatian Chamber of Commerce and the Croatian National Tourist Board are presenting for the first time the Croatian economic and tourism offer at China's most important international import fair China International Import Expo (CIIE), held in Shanghai from November 5th to 10th.
-With an appearance at the ITB China fair, which we participated in in May this year and won the Croatian Tourism Award, this is our second major launch in 2019 at the extremely important Chinese market. In the past year, 24 percent more arrivals and overnight stays have been made from this market compared to the same period last year, making China the second largest distant market with the highest tourist turnover in Croatia. According to the Chinese National Tourism Administration, Chinese travel abroad is expected to reach 200 million in 2020, and accordingly we expect growth in demand for Europe and Croatia by many Chinese travel lovers - said Croatian Tourist Board Director Kristjan Stanicic, adding that 483 Chinese travel agents have successfully completed on-line training on Croatian cultural, natural, gastronomic and adventurous tourist offerings this year.
At this year's CIIE fair, attended by over 150 thousand Chinese and foreign buyers with exhibitors from more than hundred countries and regions of the world, today the "Croatia day" was held as part of the Croatian National Pavilion, a meeting of Croatian companies with numerous Chinese partners. Croatian Ambassador to China Dario Mihelin and State Secretary at the Ministry of Tourism Frano Matusic attended the fair.
-The Chinese market is no longer reserved for the bravest only, the door of the Chinese market is open to the whole world, and this is an opportunity we shouldn't miss. And this fair is proof that the Chinese are turning to imports and reducing their trade surplus, and it is important that we are constantly present here. Our exports to China grew 25 percent last year, which is proof that we can compete in such a large market. On the wings of these good indicators, as well as good political relations, it is time for even more concrete results - said Luka Burilovic, President of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce, which yesterday also organized the Croatian-Chinese Economic Forum in the joint premises of the Croatian Chamber of Economy and the Croatian Chamber of Commerce. From now on, they will be available to Croatian companies interested in trying out the Chinese market. -Last year's CIIE fair exceeded expectations, contracted jobs reached 50.8 billion dollars, so we hope that our companies will fight for their share of the cake too - Burilovic added.
Stanicic used the presentation at the fair to meet with important Chinese partners such as the Shendi Group and Ctrip to discuss future joint cooperation.
Ctrip is China's largest online travel agency, or the second largest travel agency in the world, which is the largest advertiser of hotels and accommodation in China, serving more than 300 million people in over 220 countries. The Shendi Group is best known for building and operating the Shangai Disney Resort and operates as a company for the design of entertainment projects and events. Representatives of the Chinese group, on the initiative of the CNTB Representative Office in China, visited Zagreb, Rijeka and Opatija in September.
Burilovic visited Croatian companies that exhibited at the fair: Degenija, Intereuropa, Megajoule, AMP Net.
- China is one of the most attractive markets with a great future potential for Podravka. So far, we are present here, but we have a lot of room for progress. Podravka has always supported economic diplomacy initiatives of this form. The presence at CIIE is an opportunity to maintain and deepen existing business contacts in this large market. In the last two years, Podravka has changed its business model of processing the Chinese market, and we are recently back in Shanghai through cooperation with our distribution partner, and we are working on cooperation development projects in the future - said Vedran Kelek, Podravka's Director of New Markets.
It's good to know that this year's edition of the CIIE is the second in a row, and its launch and first edition last year is a significant move by the Chinese government to liberalize and open the market, which is second in the world in terms of imports and leading in consumption. China's largest import fair is held at the National Exhibition and Convention Center in Shanghai, covering an area of nearly 300 thousand square meters. Considering that China is the most populous country in the world and stands side by side with the United States as a world economic giant, the Chinese government is making an extraordinary effort to make CIIE a must-see in the calendar of events at the international level. The particular value of the CIIE Fair lies in the numerous business meetings, meetings at high political and diplomatic levels, the presentation of the economic and tourism potentials of different countries, as well as the mutual exchange of experience and knowledge.