SHANGHAI, Nov. 9 (Xinhua) -- Ahmed Aqeel has carefully laid out a set of sapphire four-leaf clover necklaces and earrings at the 4th China International Import Expo (CIIE), items that he designed with the CIIE in mind.
Aqeel, 40, is a jeweler from Pakistan. It is the third time the businessman has taken part in the expo.
His father established the family jewelry business in Pakistan, which has abundant mineral resources, he said.
"I regard Shanghai as a big city with a huge market. The city's jewelry industry has a promising future," Aqeel said.
With some family support, he opened his jewelry design studio in Shanghai in 2013.
He applied for a 36-square-meter booth at this year's CIIE to show 36 brand-new exhibits.
Aqeel recalled the first time he attended the CIIE in 2019. He had reserved an exhibition stand of about 12 square meters, and his exhibits were still under development. However, his delicate designs still attracted many customers and were widely praised by several professional buyers.
Within just six days, Aqeel received on-site retail orders totaling hundreds of thousands of yuan.
After the event, the Pakistani man named his jewelry brand Winza. CIIE participation has become a must for his burgeoning business. In 2020, he applied for a bigger booth to better display his products.
As expected, his stand drew the attention of new buyers, including the head of a shopping center in Shanghai, who invited Aqeel to open a shop there.
Aqeel went on to join the mall, and sales far exceeded his expectations.
"Four-leaf clover means good luck. The CIIE must be a turning point in my life because it brings me good luck and helps me overcome obstacles," Aqeel said.
After the 4th CIIE, he expects to seize the opportunity to open his second offline store as soon as possible.
With a total exhibition area of 366,000 square meters, the 4th CIIE has drawn nearly 3,000 businesses from 127 countries and regions -- both figures higher than its previous iteration.
The 4th CIIE is scheduled to run from Nov. 5 to 10 in Shanghai.