Multinational corporations are showcasing technology, innovation and sustainability at the first China International Import Expo in an effort to better serve rising demand in China.
Global mining giant Rio Tinto is partnering with the Australian and British country pavilions to display its Pilbara operations through virtual reality.
Visitors can experience the whole iron ore supply chain, from mine operations, rail, ports and the operation center that remotely operates the integrated system. The 3D immersive experience allows people to see the origin of the metal that goes into their households and communities across China.
"We are also very keen to explore innovative partnerships with our Chinese stakeholders beyond transactions for win-win outcomes," said Simone Niven, Rio Tinto's corporate relations group executive.
She said Rio Tinto's high-quality iron ore makes steel products last longer, and helps China reduce pollution from its steel mills, in order to meet its sustainability goals.
In addition, the mining and metals corporation's China-based technical marketing team works closely with customers to ensure the effective utilization of its products.
"As we look to the future, we hope that our innovation and new partnerships will continue to pave new roads in China," Niven said.
CIIE has reaffirmed China's commitment to further opening-up, and that is a trend Rio Tinto welcomes, Niven said, because an increasingly integrated global economy will create economic growth, better jobs, cheaper products and more dynamic societies.
China is Rio Tinto's largest market, and home to increasingly important suppliers and partners. "We want to be China's preferred supplier, preferred customer and preferred partner in our sector for many years to come," Niven said.
At the CIIE, family-owned international technology giant Heraeus of Germany will focus on high-quality sustainable solutions for the Chinese market and exhibit products for electric-powered mobility, renewable energy, the "circular economy" in precious metals - optimizing the use of raw materials - and environmental solutions.
Heraeus CEO Jan Rinnert said international studies have shown that great innovation, excellence and growth can only develop in a diverse and creative environment.
"This is not only true on a company level, but also on a national even global level," he said. "Therefore foreign direct investments in China might have a meaningful impact on the country's development."
In the past four years, Heraeus has increased its investments in China fivefold, with the latest development being the opening of the world's most advanced precious metals factory in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, in September.
"There will be an even stronger need for high-quality and highly innovative products and services because China wants to upgrade its industrial value chain within its national strategy in the coming decade," Rinnert said.
He sees the CIIE, the first expo of its kind, as a good sign for the strengthening of trade liberalization and economic globalization.
"As you can see, we expect great opportunities in the upcoming years," he said. "We believe the trade show will give us a lot of inspiration to further fine-tune our road map for China."