Products from northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region garnered a great deal of attention during the China International Consumer Products Expo (CICPE), an exhibition which ran from May 7 to 10 in Haikou, south China’s Hainan province.
Information released on the website for the CICPE showed that a total of 184 companies from Xinjiang were present at the expo, including 48 from the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (XPCC), having exhibited textile products, agricultural products, and cultural and creative products, among others.
Yi Jing, deputy general manager of Siwei Textile from Awati county, Aksu prefecture of Xinjiang, said she had noticed recent media reports regarding the attacks on Xinjiang cotton by Western countries, but remarked that neither the U.S. sanctions nor the boycotts by some foreign companies have had an effect on her business.
Aksu prefecture produces 93 percent of the country’s long-staple cotton, Yi explained. “We have 350,000 spindles and 1,050 air-jet looms that can produce 150 million meters of fabric annually. The products are still in short supply and production has been scheduled to run until the end of June this year,” Yi said, adding that the CICPE is a good opportunity to introduce high-quality Xinjiang cotton to people at home and abroad, voicing her hope that their company’s products could stand out among domestic and foreign peers via a variety of channels.
Gelinkai Eco Fruit Co., a company selling raisins and other fruits based in Aksu prefecture, also displayed its products at the expo. Huang Jinzhi, an executive from the company, said that they process more than 1,000 tons of grapes each year.
“We do not aim for low-end markets, but instead produce high-quality products only. We’ve sold our products in first-tier cities such as Beijing and Shanghai, as well as Guangzhou in southern China’s Guangdong province,” said Huang, adding that her company wanted to join the CICPE and seize the chance to explore whether they could expand their exports overseas.
The journey to the expo was challenging for Liu Yucai, a sales manager for a sea buckthorn berry processing company based in Qinghe county, Altay prefecture, in northern Xinjiang. The company mainly produces sea buckthorn berry products, such as juice, puree, essential oils, capsules, teas, and dried fruits.
The county bid farewell to its status as an impoverished area in 2017. “Qinghe is a very remote place, and because of this, we hope to take advantage of the opportunity provided by the expo to advertise our company and its products,” said Liu. “We’ve exported sea buckthorn berry products to Russia and Kazakhstan, and we hope to export processed products in the future,” he added.
“This is my first time to Hainan, and we’ve brought almost all of the agricultural items produced by XPCC to the expo, including red jujubes, wolfberries, dried apricots, dairy products and grape wine,” said You Liangying, head of a farmers’ cooperative in Alar city, Xinjiang.
Grape wine, grape juice, and melon seeds produced by the cooperative have already been sold to countries such as India and Malaysia, said You, who expressed that his intention was to further expand exports by making the most of the free trade port in Haikou.
When asked about whether the U.S.-imposed sanctions had impacted exports of the cooperative’s products, You answered: “We sell our products to places all over the world, adopting a sincere attitude, and we’re confident in our products. By employing the use of mechanization, green farming methods and scientific management techniques, and by ensuring our products pass through inspection, we are able to guarantee the safety and quality of our products.”