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SOEs Prove Expo Great Place for Deals

China Daily| Updated: November 13, 2020


Visitors gather at Elkem ASA's booth during the third China International Import Expo, which concluded in Shanghai on Tuesday. The global company is a subsidiary of China National Chemical Corp. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Beijing-based companies partner with 34 MNCs for commodities and services

Sinochem Group Co Ltd, an oil-and-chemicals company, and China National Chemical Corp, which is known as ChemChina, the country's largest chemical producer by market share, signed deals for industrial goods, commodities and services with 34 multinational corporations at the third China International Import Expo held in Shanghai from Nov 5 to Tuesday.

Under the agreements, the two centrally administered State-owned enterprises will purchase products in 20 categories like crude oil, methanol, plastic, borate and polyurethane.

They will also buy digital services from global companies such as Honeywell, Dow Chemical, BASF and others from 17 countries such as Saudi Arabia, Japan, the United States, Germany and France.

Ning Gaoning, chairman of both Sinochem and ChemChina, said the CIIE has injected new economic impetus into China as well as the rest of the world, as new technologies, new products and new ideas from all around the world converged in Shanghai.

"The expo has accelerated global technological innovation and stimulated trade flows, apart from providing valuable opportunities for exchanges and cooperation for economic success and long-term growth," he said.

Beijing-based Sinochem and ChemChina will continue to make full use of the fair to optimize their industrial and supply chains, and promote high-quality business development, he said.

Despite the uncertain global economic situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, this year's expo was a big success in terms of deals reached and the level of participation, said the CIIE Bureau, the event's organizer.

Deals entailing business worth $72.62 billion were signed by Tuesday, up more than 2 percent on a yearly basis, demonstrating foreign companies' continued confidence and interest in the Chinese market.

In his keynote speech delivered at the opening ceremony of the third CIIE, President Xi Jinping said that in the three years since its inception, the event has enabled exhibits to become traded goods and exhibitors to spot more investment opportunities.

In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ning said global partners of Sinochem and ChemChina have seized the opportunity of the early recovery of Chinese economy, and have increased their investment in key areas through cooperation deals.

The two groups are currently carrying out strategic transformation with the goal of building a world-class comprehensive chemical sector in the country.

Ning said the two groups' development pattern has shifted to being driven by science and technology to enhance corporate competitiveness. This will drive more overseas partners and Chinese companies to work together.

Such a concerted effort will result in breakthroughs in more business fields and win-win results. This, in turn, will help everyone concerned to share growth opportunities spawned by China's development. All this will help the world economy to resume growth, he said.

The items and services bought by Sinochem and ChemChina during the third CIIE will further help ensure the stability of industry and supply chains of China's energy, chemical and agricultural sectors, and enhance the innovative collaboration between domestic and global partners, he said.

China has been working with other countries to make economic globalization more inclusive and balanced to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Its "dual circulation" development pattern, which strengthens the domestic economy and aims at better integrating the domestic economy with the global economy, will not only benefit the Chinese economy but also create more growth opportunities for countries across the world, Ning said.

"The wider and deeper collaborations between Chinese companies and businesses around the world further testify the country's commitment to opening-up," said Zhou Lisha, a researcher at the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council.

She said the majority of SOEs will raise their investment in areas like green industries, new materials, cloud computing, big data, artificial intelligence, the internet of things, mobile applications, integrated circuits and other fields to stay competitive during the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-25), as sustainable growth and digitalization have become key growth drivers.

To date, Sinochem Group has established five strategic business units: energy, chemicals, agriculture, real estate and finance. With 60,000 staff members, the company operates more than 300 subsidiaries across the world.

As for ChemChina, it is supported by 148,000 employees, with 87,000 of them working abroad. It has a presence in six business sectors: new chemical materials, special chemicals, petroleum processing, agrochemicals, tire rubber and chemical equipment. The group currently runs research facilities, production and research bases in 150 countries and regions.