A total of 58 Turkish Companies are to attend the Second China International Import Expo (CIIE) next week in Shanghai, said Turkey’s Consul General in Shanghai.

The number represents an increase from 43 firms attending the first CIIE in the city last November, said Sabri Tunc Angili.

The total exhibition space for Turkish companies will also more than double to nearly 2,000 square meters from 800 square meters.

Turkish Airlines alone is increasing its exhibition space to 150 square meters from 20 square meters in a bid to attract more passengers from China. In 2018, 400,000 Chinese tourists visited Turkey, an annual increase of 70 percent.

The Turkish government encourages companies to participate in the CIIE in the belief that the continuing opening-up of the Chinese market can create more business opportunities for the world, said Sabri Tunc Angili.

The CIIE is a new opportunity as well as a new start for Turkey to strengthen cooperation with China under the Belt & Road Initiative, he said.

Many sellers of Turkish agricultural products are bullish on the Chinese market, said the consul general.

Meanwhile, Turkish airlines and travel agencies also have high enthusiasm for the expo, expecting that China will become Turkey’s most important source of visitors in East Asia in the future, with the number of tourists to Turkey reaching 1 million in 2021, he said.