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Canton Fair Helps Exporters Regain Confidence against Global Downturn
Update: 4/19/2009 8:47:00 PM Source: Canton Fair

China Import and Export Fair, better known as the Canton Fair, the barometer of China's foreign trade opened in Guangzhou on April 15 under the shadow of the deteriorating global economic recession. Despite the adverse circumstance this time round, many enterprises still actively took part in the fair, hoping to regain confidence and maintain stable exports.

Number of exhibitors drops by 1.06 percent

Wang Chunman, the director of a toy company in Guangdong province said he took part in the Canton Fair every year, but experienced different situation this time. "We got no orders at the fair last autumn. The export of our toys dropped by ten per cent last year, and will not turn good this year. The financial crisis is still deepening in western countries and it is hard to predict how many deals we are going to ink with the customers right now, "he added.

The 105th Canton Fair will be held in Guangzhou from 15 April to 7 May 2009. For the first time since Canton Fair was launched in the spring of 1957 favorable policies such as lowering the price of an exhibition booth have been carried out to reduce the burden on exhibitors.

According to the plan, the exhibition period this time will be split into three phases. The first phase, which extends from 15th to 19th April, features machinery and equipment, vehicles, hardware, household appliances, electronic and electrical products; the second phase, from 24th to 28th April, features kitchenware and tableware, home decorations, gardening products, personal care products, toys and gifts; the third phase, from 3rd to 7th May, features wear, furs, leather, downs, textiles, food, sports, office supplies, shoes and medical devices.

There will be 55,885 standard booths this time, 265 more than the previous fair. It covers a gross exhibition space of 1,125,000 square meters and will attract 22,104 exhibitors. Although the number of exhibitors is fewer than the previous fair, the exhibitors are fully confident about the business this time.

"Our order and transaction volume this time will be affected by the global economic downturn," said one exhibitor. Another exhibitor of sanitary and bathroom equipment noted that he was not sure about whether or not they would get orders from customers this time.

A good opportunity to explore new market

Canton Fair spokesperson Mu Xinhai said that they carried out the real-name system to invite exhibitors to the fair. They have extended invitation to some 800,000 overseas suppliers, including not only those in Europe, Americas and Japan, but also those from emerging economies in Middle East, Central Europe, Africa, India and South America.

Four officials with the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) held eight promotional presentations for the 105th Canton Fair in Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, India, Morocco, Jordan, Kenya and South Africa, calling on local entrepreneurs to attend the exhibition to seek trade opportunities.

MOC also plans to organize multilateral discussions among foreign trade enterprises and hold trade talks between domestic buyers and foreign trade enterprises during the second and third phases of the 105th Canton Fair so as to stabilize manufacturing, boost employment and stimulate economic growth.

Many exhibitors hope to take Canton Fair as a platform to explore more business opportunities. "Canton Fair is worth attending despite sluggish global economy. We get to know a lot of enterprises, expand our business and explore new market resources," Yang Xueming, a businessman for office supplies in Singapore said. "We need to seize all the possible opportunities during hard times. We will be quite satisfied if we can get one more order this time," said a household appliance supplier.

The Canton Fair has the largest assortment of products, the highest attendance and the greatest number of business deals compared with other fairs in China.

Editor: canton fair

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