Trade Resources Industry Views Canton Fair

Canton Fair

Orders at famed event seen as signal of the outlook for nation's export-oriented firms

Canton Fair Deals 'will Be Stable'

Organizers of the latest China Import and Export Fair said transactions at the fair are expected to be stable even though China's foreign trade volume and exports both declined in the first three months.

The flagship event is closely watched as an important barometer of the country's future trade activity.

Speaking to China Daily a day after the trade figures were revealed, spokesman Liu Jianjun said the prediction was based on a series of positive conditions including increased demand from emerging markets, the implementation of policies to support trade, and a growing number of companies' involvement in self-innovation.

The General Administration of Customs revealed on Monday that China's foreign trade volume contracted 6.3 percent year-on-year in the first quarter, with exports declining by 14.6 percent in March from the same period a year earlier to $144.6 billion.

The trade event, widely known as the Canton Fair, is held biannually in spring and autumn and opened on Tuesday in Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong province.

"Policies to boost trade development including financial and tax rebate measures will steadily take effect in the long term," said Liu, who is also deputy director of the China Foreign Trade Center.

The number of buyers from emerging markets including Southeast Asia, South Asia, South America and Africa are expected to increase during the spring fair, as this time of year is often a peak season for overseas purchasing in these markets, said Liu.

The number of buyers from traditional markets, however, including the United States, Japan, Russia and Europe is expected to fall as demand from those is still weakening

The Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road initiatives, proposed by President Xi Jinping in 2013 to enhance regional connectivity and prosperity, and the establishment of the Beijing-championed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank are also expected to boost trade demand from countries and regions along the "Belt and Road", said Liu.

"We have made efforts to invite buyers from countries and regions along the 'Belt and Road'," said Liu.

Citing increased trade over the years between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, which will be key trade partners along the ancient maritime silk route especially, Liu said the Belt and Road Initiative would provide huge opportunities for trade growth.

The number of buyers from ASEAN members expected at this year's spring session have increased 2.29 percent from the same time last year, with 90 percent of all firms that took part then returning this year.

Liu said a total of 24,713 domestic and overseas companies will attend the fair, almost equaling the last session's number.

"This number of participants shows companies still have a growing interest in shipping goods overseas," Liu told a news conference on Monday, adding companies promoting their own brands particularly are expected to see a rise in deals during the half-month trade event.

"Companies with self-owned brands received big orders during the previous sessions, and this upward trend will continue," said Liu.

Gree Electric Appliances Inc, one of the country's leading home appliance makers, which has been growing a strong international presence, will be exhibiting a number of its most recent innovations at the show.

Boosting its sales overseas would remain a priority, said a spokesman for the Guangdong-based company. In the first three months of the year, Gree has seen a strong growth in sales to Pakistan, for instance, where its share of the air conditioner market has increased to 28 percent.

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Canton Fair Deals 'will Be Stable'
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