Apr 17

China Watch Blog has learnt that a record number of 1.11 million overseas buyers have been invited to the 111th Canton Fair, which opened on April 15 in Guangzhou.

The spring session of the Canton Fair, China’s largest trade fair, is seen as a good opportunity for Chinese firms to boost exports. This is especially important when China’s foreign trade volume only grew 7.3 percent annually in the first quarter to US$859.37 billion, the slowest level since the fourth quarter of 2009, according to data released by the General Administration of Customs last week.

The fair, with the theme of “new starting point, new opportunities, new challenges,” will help to spark a 10 percent growth in the country’s foreign trade, said Deputy Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan.

The customs said that it is even more disturbing when the export-oriented provinces like Guangdong, Jiangsu and Zhejiang reported a slow growth of between 3 percent and 5 percent during the first quarter of the year.

Some Chinese enterprises taking part at the fair agreed the weak world economy, the sluggish global recovery, increasing cost and worsening trade frictions have contributed to the dismal foreign trade situation.

Many Chinese companies have used other measures to promote exports such as targeting relatively remote foreign markets or upgrading the quality of their products.

The fair has offered free admission to attract overseas and new buyers. More than 200,000 buyers may attend this year’s spring session, Liu Jianjun, spokesman for the fair, said at a press conference on Saturday.

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