The ongoing Canton Fair serves as a name card for the city of Guangzhou. As the host city of China's largest trade fair, Guangzhou ranks third among Chinese cities in terms of competitiveness in the exhibition industry. The concepts of "Created in Guangzhou" and "Intelligent manufacturing in Guangzhou" have entered the world through the platform of the Canton Fair. In addition, the host site of Pazhou Island is prompting the coordinated development of exhibitions and internet industries, aiming to build an internet creative industry that generates annual revenue of over 100 billion yuan ($15.86 billion).
The Canton Fair has been held in Guangzhou for 61 years, making the city a steadfast host for exhibitions and an important hub for human resources, logistics, capital, and information.
According to an official of the Guangzhou municipal commission of commerce (GMCC), Guangzhou boasts a solid foundation for the exhibition industry and its total exhibition area last year ranked second among all Chinese cities. According to the statistic figures from the GMCC, in 2017, Guangzhou's key exhibition centers hosted 678 exhibitions, 7,768 conferences, and attracted 15.7 million visitors, up 23 percent, 9 percent, and 5.5 percent respectively year-on-year.
As for international conferences, the 2017 Fortune Global Forum also took place in Guangzhou, the number of participating Fortune Global 500 companies and invited guests have both broken the forum's historic record. The World Routes 2018 and the 2019 World Ports Conference are set to open in the city.
In 2017, the China Convention and Exhibition Society published a competitiveness index of Chinese exhibition cities, among which Guangzhou ranked third. The index analyzes relevant data from nearly 100 Chinese cities and serves as the most authoritative and scientific evaluation of China's exhibition industry.
An exhibitor introduces the functions of home electronics products to foreign purchasers at the Canton Fair on April 15. [Photo/Chinanews.com]
The ongoing 123rd Canton Fair displays a total of 2,250 booths from 544 Guangzhou-based enterprises. According to an official of the GMCC, Guangzhou-based enterprises appear in every export exhibition area at the fair, representing a complete industrial chain and the advanced manufacturing level that the city possesses. A total of 257 Guangzhou-based enterprises participated in the first phase of the fair, which features electronics & household electrical appliances, lighting equipment, machinery, energy, building materials, vehicles & spare parts, among others.
Over 80 percent of the exhibitors are private companies, which reflect the vitality of Guangzhou's economy and its business-friendly environment.
In recent years, a series of major projects in the intelligent manufacturing industry have chosen to settle in Guangzhou. The Guangzhou municipal government utilizes the Canton Fair to showcase local manufacturers. For example, the "Guangzhou Intelligent Manufacturing Exhibition Area" was arranged for the 121st Canton Fair, displaying 16 local manufacturers including Ehang and CEI.
Pazhou Island is not only the core area of Guangzhou's exhibition economy but also an internet innovation concentration zone. In 2014, Pazhou community in Haizhu district was officially confirmed to become the headquarters of e-commerce businesses.
"The Canton Fair continues to promote e-commerce, as internet plus exhibitions could build a new economy," said Peng Peng, a researcher at the Guangzhou Academy of Social Sciences.
The internet innovation concentration zone takes up an area of 370,000 square meters and a building area of 3.2 million square meters. Tencent, Alibaba, Fosun, Gome, Xiaomi and many other renowned companies have already secured spaces in the demonstration area within the zone.
The 123rd Canton Fair is crowded with visitors on April 15. [Photo/Xinhua]