A number of major deals and memoranda of understanding were reached during the first two days of the inaugural China International Import Expo (CIIE) held in Shanghai, as more buyers flocked to the event.

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People visit the Food & Agricultural Products exhibition area at the first China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai on Nov. 6, 2018. More than 3,000 companies from over 130 countries and regions are represented at the CIIE. [Photo/Xinhua]

"We signed a purchase letter of intent and a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with two Korean companies today," Wang Guangjun, chairman of Guangdong Fenghua Advanced Technology Holding Co., Ltd, told Yangcheng Evening News.

The company plans to purchase five roller printing machines from South Korea's Dae Jin Machinery Industry Co., Ltd. for US$10.35 million. It also plans to purchase 200 laminating machines from another South Korean company costing US$114 million.

"The scale of the first import expo is beyond my expectation. In the past two days, I have seen a lot of equipment manufacturing companies, and it is a rare good opportunity for buyers," Wang said.

In addition, China Southern Power Grid Co. and five foreign companies, including Siemens AG, ABB Group and Toshiba Device & Storage Co., Ltd., signed agreements yesterday. The key deal involves the demonstration project of the Wudongde Power Station's auxiliary equipment for extra-high-voltage multi-terminal direct current power transmission. Construction began last May with a total investment of more than 24 billion yuan (US$3.47 billion).

E-commerce companies continue to hand out roses to the brands participating in the expo. Guangdong enterprise VIP.com and the British luxury brand Gènavant signed a strategic cooperation agreement on Tuesday. VIP.com will become the exclusive e-commerce partner of Gènavant China. However, the two parties did not disclose the specific contract amount.

Fashion designer and footwear extraordinaire for Gènavant, Jimmy Choo, also exhibited his crown jewel at the expo - a pair of shoes encrusted with 10,000 pink diamonds created especially for the occasion. "Chuncan," literally translated as "Splendor of Spring," is the world's only full diamond-bejeweled shoes, worth 30 million yuan (US$4.33 million).

On the same day, Suning.com announced overseas purchase orders were expected to reach 15 billion euros by the end of the expo on Saturday.

About 5,000 overseas brands are expected to be introduced into the Chinese market offering great potential. Alibaba Group CEO Zhang Yong also announced that, in the next five years (2019-2023), his company would achieve a goal of global imports worth US$200 billion, involving more than 120 countries and regions and covering various imported categories.

Many enterprises from Guangdong province moved tirelessly from the Canton Fair 2018, the world’s largest trade fair that closed last Sunday, to the import expo in Shanghai.

"I just ended the exhibition at the Canton Fair and went to the import expo, and I'm changing from an exhibitor to a buyer," said Guan Wuli, an executive at Shantou Chenyuan Trading Co. His company mainly sells candies and various food products.

"We have been exporting high-end foods to other countries. However, in recent years, as domestic consumption upgrades and food quality requirements continue to rise, we are also considering opening the domestic market. Attending this expo is a good opportunity, and we have already talked to some companies," Guan said, noting that the expo also provided him with a valuable communications platform. "Knowing what our foreign counterparts are doing can give us much inspiration," he said.

Meanwhile, Cai Chaohe, secretary-general of Foshan E-Chamber of Commerce in Guangdong province, said: "There are many [Chinese] companies participating in the expo, and the demands vary."

He explained that some companies were trying to improve production efficiency and product quality while others hope to purchase more advanced automated production lines or learn about global market trends and the latest technologies through the expo platform.

"Some of our member companies told me that the quality and scale of the products at this import expo are beyond imagination, and the price is reasonable. So, the expo is very worthwhile," he added.

According to the estimates of the China International Import Expo Bureau, about 200,000 visitors will tour the expo site each day from Nov. 6 to 8.