China International Import Expo opens in Shanghai

A large-scale trade show for imported goods has opened in Shanghai.

The China International Import Expo is held under the leadership of Chinese President Xi Jinping with the aim of expanding imports. In recent months, sluggish domestic demand has caused imports to decline.

Chinese Premier Li Qiang kicked off the event by saying his country will continue to promote greater inclusiveness and opening up market opportunities.

Companies from 128 countries and territories are taking part in this year's event. Large Japanese companies participating include a major apparel chain. In addition, about 150 smaller companies are exhibiting at the fair through the Japan External Trade Organization, or JETRO.

Camping goods and pet products that gained popularity during the coronavirus pandemic are displayed in the consumer goods section, while the food section offers about 150 variety of Japanese sake available for tasting.

China's imports have declined for seven consecutive months amid economic woes, such as the country's slowing real estate market and employment concerns.

Takayama Hiroshi of JETRO's Shanghai office said that it is important to understand what products sell as the country's consumption has yet to fully recover. He said Japanese companies should not miss out on opportunities in China as its market is big.