Saturday, May 10, 2014

Jordan: China's Gateway to the Middle East

A bustling trade fair illustrates the possibilities—and limits—of Beijing's engagement in the region.

Alice Su

The Atlantic - Sep 25 2013

AMMAN, JORDAN—A pair of golden dragons crowns the inflatable red archway in front of Amman’s International Motor Show Center, guarding the entrance to a exhibition ground featuring more than 32,000 square feet of machinery, solar panels, car seats, wind turbines, LED street lights and gas station equipment. Inside, Chinese salesgirls march around the booths with clipboards, dressed in black skirts and high heels. Arab men in business suits, accompanied by their wives, stroll about in small groups, stopping every once in a while to look at the assembled products and give out business cards. Chinese, Arabic and English buzz through the air: “Ya salaam, I need the NC double cutter,” “We make visa for your engineer to come,” “You know Hebei? Hebei very cheap!”
Welcome to the 10th annual China Fair Jordan 2013, an event proclaiming itself the “Largest China Fair in the Near East.” Set in two weeklong sessions in September, the exhibition features over a thousand Chinese suppliers displaying 12,000 made-in-China products for customers from across the Middle East.

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