SINGAPORE (Nov 12): For many people, the China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai was all about showcasing goods and services imported by China. The numbers were impressive, with major companies taking space to show off their wares. Many, many more companies were unsuccessful in getting stand space in the massive National Exhibition and Convention Center in Hongqiao.

There are two ways to consider the participation. The first, and most commonly used, is a breakdown of the category of imports into China. Minerals and energy make up about 20% of Chinese imports, and food and agriculture-related products contribute another 10%. Manufactured goods, including electrical machinery, computers and cars, make up the biggest portion of imports at about 65%. China is also the world’s third-largest buyer of services, including education and tourism.

The second way to break down the figures was less commonly used perhaps because it appears so obvious. At least 58 countries visited CIIE. For every one of those countries, China represented their largest trade partner. It is a fair bet that, for the more than 1,000 companies exhibiting at the expo, China represented their largest trade partner and the single-largest country source of their profits.

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