BEIJING-China’s State Development and Investment Corp has announced that it has signed procurement contracts with 20 foreign companies during the ongoing third China International Import Expo being held in Shanghai.

The purchase covers more than 20 kinds of commodities including grain, fruit, textiles and chemical products from 15 economies such as Pakistan, Cambodia, Indonesia and South Africa, according to China Daily on Saturday.

“The timely CIIE demonstrated China’s determination to continue to open up to the outside world. At the same time, it reflected confidence from the international community in the prospects of the Chinese market,” said Bai Tao, Party secretary and chairman of SDIC.

China is committed to taking initiative in the mechanism of global sharing and enabling the global cooperation to be more flexible with an open mind and measures, Bai said.

“SDIC will continue to deepen cooperation in important fields and key industries with partners both at home and abroad, so as to share opportunities brought by the CIIE, go hand in hand and contribute to the promotion of global economic development and regional economic and trade exchanges,” he added.

Meanwhile, the first batch of cherries is expected to be exported from Pakistan to China next year, said Li Wei, business representative of Huazhilong International Trading Private Ltd. Pakistan.

“Pakistani cherries are really good, including sweetness and quality. China can provide technical assistance to manage orchards, while Pakistan can provide workers, so that both sides can achieve win-win cooperation,” he said in an interview with the CEN at the third China International Import Expo (CIIE) being held in east China’s Shanghai.

Previously, media reported that export of Pakistani cherries has been hindered by cold chain management, market information system, packaging and processing facilities.

Li Wei said that to tackle the problem of cherry fruit fly, 60-70 degree hot water bath treatment and the following cold storage is a solution. Now as cold chain technology lags behind in Pakistan, we will develop it and strive to solve it next year.

Referring to why he embarked on export business of agricultural products from Pakistan, Li Wei said the general manager of the company visited Pakistan by chance and found that there was a great business opportunity for the export of agricultural products from Pakistan to China.

Therefore, in the second half of 2018, 24 tons of mango were exported from Pakistan to China and sold out in Xinfadi, a large wholesale market of fruits, vegetables, and meat for Beijing. “It was the first to enter Beijing by air cargo transport from Lahore.” This year, the company was officially registered in Pakistan.

According to Li Wei, Pakistani mango is comparable to those from Australia and the Philippines. Although the price is more expensive than domestic mango, Pakistani mango is better in terms of variety, appearance, quality, among others. The sugar content of ripe mango can reach 22.68%. “It tastes best at 75% - 80% maturity,” he added.

There is seasonal difference in the marketing of Pakistani mango in China. “The mango season in Pakistan starts from August 20 to November 20, while there are almost no mangoes in southern China in November. Pakistani mango can extend the mango season by two months compared with Chinese mango. It has a time advantage,” Li Wei explained.

The mango orchard adopts the cooperation mode between China and Pakistan. “Chinese side provides technology and sends technical staff in fields of inorganic fertilizer, bagging, picking, disinfection, transportation, while Pakistani side provides labor. Finally, through cross-border e-commerce air transportation, Chinese customers can eat fresh mango within a week after placing an order,” he added.

If the pandemic improves next year, China will import large quantities of Pakistani mangoes. On the development of high value-added mango products, he said that in the next step, they may cooperate with domestic snack manufacturers to produce dried mango products.

Regarding the other potential agricultural products in Pakistan, Li Jinhuan, Executive Director of Huazhilong International Trading Private Ltd. Pakistan, said that besides mango, the company also exports other Pakistani agricultural products such as cotton, Morchella, rice and corn. “We have received orders for Morchella from China before. Similar to fungus, Morchella is also a kind of medicinal material. It is scarce in China, with large demand and high price. Although the Morchella output in Pakistan is low and it’s difficult to buy, the price is much lower than that in China,” Li Jinhuan added.

The China International Import Expo (CIIE), hailed as “an innovation in the history of global trade,” opened its third edition in Shanghai on Nov.4 and will last until Nov. 10.