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Interview: Ukraine's first deputy PM "greatly impressed" by CIIE

  KIEV, Nov. 7 (Xinhua) -- Ukrainian First Deputy Prime Minister Stepan Kubiv, who is the head of the Ukrainian delegation to the first China International Import Expo (CIIE), said he was "greatly impressed" by the event.

  "Honestly, I am greatly impressed. First of all, there is an extremely high level of organization as a whole; there is a well-thought-out business section -- the Hongqiao (International Economic and Trade) Forum; and there is a comprehensive and extraordinary approach to analyzing global trends in world trade," Kubiv said Tuesday in a written exclusive interview Xinhua.

  The CIIE opened in Shanghai on Monday, bringing together more than 3,600 companies from 172 countries, regions and international organizations as well as over 400,000 purchasers from China and overseas.

  "The expo is extremely important for the development of trade between Ukraine and China, global trade as a whole and trade in the Eurasian region," Kubiv said.

  According to him, the CIIE, which highlights China's accelerating consumption and market opening up, offers great opportunities for foreign businesses, including Ukrainian companies.

  "We are talking about new opportunities for developing the export of Ukrainian products to the Chinese market, cooperation in industry, engineering, energy, innovation, information technologies and other areas," Kubiv said.

  Last year, China was Ukraine's top trading partner in the Asia-Pacific region and the second largest trading partner in the world, with bilateral trade turnover amounting to 7.7 billion U.S. dollars.

  Kubiv said that China and Ukraine have a potential to increase their annual trade turnover to 10 billion dollars within five years.

  "The intensity of the growth of this indicator will depend, among other things, on Ukraine's success in presenting itself at this expo," the official emphasized.

  The benefits from the CIIE go beyond trade, Kubiv said, noting that the expo is a great platform for countries and businesses to connect with each other for win-win cooperation.

  "Investors, buyers and official delegations from around the world gathered at the expo. This is an additional opportunity to establish partnerships," Kubiv said, adding that for Ukraine the expo is a chance to demonstrate its potential to China and the whole world.

  At the CIIE, the Ukrainian government displays a national exhibition booth featuring food, machines and high-tech products, among other things. Besides, 19 Ukrainian companies present their products and services at the expo.

  Kubiv underscored that Ukraine not only showcases its export opportunities at the CIIE but also introduces itself as an attractive tourism and investment destination.

  "We would like to continue strengthening the investors' interest in the areas that will have the most positive economic effect for Ukraine: energy, infrastructure, agribusiness," he noted.

  Ukraine also views the CIIE as an additional opportunity to enhance its cooperation with China and other countries participating in the Belt and Road Initiative, the Ukrainian official said.

  "This international exhibition is perceived as a part of the New Silk Road concept," Kubiv said, noting that the Ukrainian delegation has visited national exhibition booths of China, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan, and was pleasantly surprised with the diversity of products on display.

  "Certainly, this exhibition will bring very significant results for all participating countries, including Ukraine," Kubiv said.