Canton Fair 2023 autumn session opens

2023-10-16 08:56:47Global Times Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

Long lines of global exhibitors and buyers were seen at every subway exit near the exhibition halls of the Canton Fair in Guangzhou, South China's Guangdong Province, as the biannual grand gathering for trade officially started on Sunday, and will last to November 4.

More than 100,000 buyers from 215 countries and regions have already registered to come to the 134th session of the China Import and Export Fair, commonly known as the Canton Fair, the Global Times learned from the China Foreign Trade Centre, the organizer of the Canton Fair.

"We have many expectations. Some of our Chinese and overseas customers have already decided to come to our booth," Gurjit Singh Bhatia, CEO of R.P.Overseas, an Indian exporter of hand tools, told the Global Times at its booth. Bhatia has been attending the Canton Fair for 25 years.

"This is my 11th visit to the Canton Fair, and every time I can find new surprises - the products are always cost-effective and updated very fast," Juan Ramon Perez Brunet, general manager for China of El Puerto de Liverpool, said on Saturday during an opening reception for the 134th session of the Canton Fair.

Liverpool is a Mexico-based end retailer that operates the largest chain of department stores in Mexico.

At the 134th session of the Canton Fair, Liverpool's Chinese procurement team and the Mexican procurement team together have a total of 55 people. The goal is to find high-quality products such as kitchen utensils and electronic products, according to Brunet.

During the opening reception, China's Minister of Commerce Wang Wentao extended a warm welcome to domestic and overseas participants to the Canton Fair via video link.

"The Canton Fair is an important window for China's opening-up and an important platform for foreign trade. The Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) will continue to boost high-quality opening-up, raise the level of trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, and support enterprises of all countries in making good use of platforms such as the Canton Fair to inject sustained impetus into global trade and the economic recovery," said Wang.

Many participants believe that the Canton Fair is not only a selling platform but also a distribution and interaction center of global economic and trade information. 

Meanwhile, the grand gathering for global trade shows the world China's confidence and determination to open up.

In the face of the complex and severe international environment, foreign trade information is gathered, exchanged and shared in Guangzhou, and the Canton Fair is expected to provide more value for exhibitors and buyers, the Global Times learned from exhibitors and buyers.

On Sunday, Vice Commerce Minister Wang Shouwen held a meeting during the Canton Fair in Guangzhou on trade for foreign-funded enterprises to study their import and export operations, and listen to their problems, opinions and suggestions. 

Representatives from ExxonMobil, BASF, Budweiser, P&G, Fedex, Panasonic, Walmart, IKEA China, the Danish Chamber of Commerce in China and other foreign enterprises in China attended the meeting and delivered speeches, according to the WeChat of MOFCOM on Sunday.

In recent years, China has spared no effort to open up and provide platforms to facilitate global trade, such as the Canton Fair, the upcoming China International Import Expo in early November and the world's first supply chain-themed national expo - the China International Supply Chain Expo, which will be held from November 28 to December 2.

Meanwhile, the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), of which unimpeded trade is an important part, has boosted trade cooperation since it was launched in 2013.

Fruitful results can be seen from the Canton Fair, as the proportion of buyers from BRI partner countries attending the fair has increased from 50.4 percent in 2013 to 58.1 percent in 2023. The import exhibition has attracted over 2,800 exhibitors from 70 BRI partner economies, accounting for about 60 percent of the total exhibitors in the import section, the organizer told the Global Times.

As of Thursday, the number of registered buyers from BRI partner countries had increased by 11.2 percent from the spring session. It is estimated that the number of BRI buyers will reach 80,000 during the 134th session, said the organizer.

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