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Canton Fair serves China’s reform and opening up and the building of a strong trading nation

Source:Canton Fair Press Center Author:

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At the opening press conference of the 125th Canton Fair on April 14, Xu Bing, spokesman for the Fair and Deputy Director General of the China Foreign Trade Centre, introduced the development stages of Canton Fair and the situation of serving national development strategy.

Xu introduced that this year marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of New China. In these 7 decades, especially the 4 decades of reform and opening up, China’s economic growth and foreign trade develop are advancing by leaps and bounds; China has become world’s second largest economy, largest manufacturer and largest trader of goods.

Canton Fair is regarded as the barometer and wind vane of China’s foreign trade; it is the window, epitome and symbol of China’s opening up. Since its establishment in 1957, it has never been interrupted. Canton Fair has always focused on reform and opening up; it has enhanced China’s economic exchange with other countries and illustrated to the world China’s achievements made in economic development, reform and opening up and foreign trade development.

In the past 62 years, Canton Fair has gone through 4 stages, namely inauguration, exploration, thriving and quality development, with inception, reform and opening up, China’s accession to the WTO and opening of the 18th CPC National Congress as the indicators. In the stage of inauguration, China had a highly monopolized foreign trade system. Canton Fair focused on the main task then of “break the embargo and create foreign reserve” and promoted the understanding and friendship of China and other countries through the form of combing exhibition and sales, onsite sample inspection and face-to-face transaction. Back then the main products were agricultural and primary products; Canton Fair made huge contribution for China to gain foreign reserve and purchase needed resources. Buyer origin has grown from 19 to 94 countries and regions; overseas buyer attendance from 1223 to 35000 each session. In the stage of exploration, Canton Fair followed the reform trend of foreign trade system and adopted “market diversification”, “winning by quality”, “large economy and trade” and “trade rejuvenation by science and technology” strategies. By constantly improving exhibition organization system manufacturers, producers, private companies, foreign-funded enterprises and other market players participated and formed a dynamic pattern. Exhibitors and product mix were greatly improved while the export market diversified. In this stage, buyer origin increased to 174 countries and regions and buyer attendance 105000. In the stage of thriving, Canton Fair rolled out various measures to adapt to China’s accession to WTO. From two phases in one session, two phases in two venues, to three phases in one venue, from export to two-way trade, Canton Fair has ranked among the world’s top in terms of size, developed from an export platform to a two-way trade platform and became an international trading event that has both comprehensive and specialized features. In this stage, buyer origin grew by 213 and buyer attendance 190000. In the stage of quality development, Canton Fair follows the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, pursues high-quality development, focuses on specialization and emphasizes on green and smart development. Also Canton Fair keeps innovating business model, improves specialization, market-orientation, information technology application and international development, enhances comprehensive function of the fair, and better plays its role of a platform for all-round opening up. In this stage buyer origin amounts to 215 countries and regions and buyer attendance reached around 200000 each session. The four stages and 62 years’ history recorded the steps of China’s foreign trade, a microcosm of foreign trade development. “Canton Fair sample” for the growth of China’s exhibition industry has been explored and China’s solution provided for the prosperity of world exhibition industry.

Xu stated that Canton Fair is a key platform to implement national development strategy and an anchor to drive quality development of foreign trade and build China into a strong trading nation. Throughout different stages, Canton Fair has always served socialist modernization, stuck to new development concepts, implemented national and foreign trade strategy and made contributions for Chinese companies and brands to prosper globally, for building China into a big and strong trading nation and for China’s opening up and development of open world economy.

Open New China’s door for international exchange. After establishment of New China, western countries conducted “economic lockdown” and “trade embargo” to China. To meet the demands of economic growth, to promote friendly exchange between China and rest of the world, Chinese government inaugurated Canton Fair in Guangzhou next to Hong Kong in 1957. The birth of Canton Fair is a great endeavor: it broke the embargo and opened China’s doors to communicate with the world. Since then, Canton Fair played as a window for economic exchanges with the world and changed the pattern of foreign trade.

Serve China’s all-round opening up. As the symbol of china’s opening up, Canton Fair has always stuck to opening up and win-win cooperation, and played the role of an all-round platform for opening up in the past 62 years. Firstly, promote Made-in-China, Chinese companies and brands to go global. Canton Fair is the important channel for Chinese products and companies to development the global market; it played an irreplaceable role to assist Chinese companies build their global marketing network and diversify export markets. Secondly increase import and global trade growth. Since Canton Fair established the International Pavilion, more than 13000 companies (accumulatively) from over 100 countries have participated. Canton Fair has facilitated overseas companies to explore China’s huge consumer market and sell their products to the world, thus becoming an all-round platform to sell to and buy from the globe. Thirdly, advance the development of regional open economy. Canton Fair supports the participation of regional industrial cluster and foreign trade upgrading bases, and holds regional feature industry promotion events and trade match-making activities to improve international competitiveness of local feature industries.  Fourthly build a most international trading platform in the world. Canton Fair has trade connections with 217 countries and regions in the world. Since its establishment Canton Fair was attended by 8.61 million buyers /times on an accumulative basis. The fair provides Chinese products of high quality and competitive price to global consumers and improved the well being of people worldwide. Fifthly drive the “Belt & Road” cooperation. Canton Fair established partnership with relative industrial and business organization in countries along the route. B&R countries are the largest participating party of the International Pavilion. Buyers from these countries account for more than 44% of the total, closing transactions of over 30% of the total. Canton Fair is an important vehicle to drive Belt & Road trade cooperation, serving as a bridge and a bond in building a new pattern of opening up. Sixthly, showcase China’s IPR protection. Canton Fair is the earliest exhibition in China to protect IPR and has put in place a complete dispute handling mechanism. Canton Fair’s efficient IPR protection has not only enhanced the awareness of Chinese companies on IPR protection and also showed to the world China’s stance of innovation encourage and IPR protection by the government and boosted world confidence to develop trade ties with China.

Promote China to become a big and strong trading nation in the world. Canton Fair is the main channel for Chinese companies to build marketing network and develop global market. Since its establishment, Canton Fair has witnessed an export transaction volume of 1.3 trillion USD on an accumulative base. In recent years on-site transaction reaches 30 billion USD per session. Canton Fair also facilitates a huge amount of transaction after the show. Canton Fair has made important contributions to China’s becoming the largest trading nation. Yet China is not a strong trader. As the first platform for foreign trade promotion in China, Canton Fair has been supporting strong and quality exhibitors, optimizing exhibition sections, exhibitors and products. Brand zone was set up to create China’s brand and improve quality. Leading companies of various industries make active participation, as well as more exhibitors with self-owned patents, brands and marketing, as well as more products of high technological content, high added value and environmentally friendly products. Canton Fair has become an engine for many strong foreign trade companies to upgrade themselves and gain strength. Many Chinese brands have gone global through Canton Fair; solid steps have been taken to build China into a strong trading nation.

(Canton Fair Press Center)