Canton Fair bids to expand Chinese exports
2012-April-16 Source: China View website
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Liu Jianjun, deputy director of China Foreign Trade Center, introduces the preparation of the 111th China Import and Export Fair during a press conference in Guangzhou, capital of south China's Guangdong Province, April 14, 2012. More than 200,000 travelling merchants and 24,644 enterprises are expected to attend the fair which is scheduled to kick off on April 15. (Xinhua/Wan Xiang)

Export-orientated Chinese companies are raring to go ahead of the Canton Fair, which opens on Sunday in the southern city of Guangzhou in a bid to boost exports amid the uncertain global economy, a press conference was told on Saturday.

By March 31, organizers had fielded applications for around 104,000 booths at the country's largest trade fair, officially known as the China Import and Export Fair, according to Liu Jianjun, the event's spokesman. This is 12 percent more than were requested for the last session of the fair, in October 2011.

This session has allocated 58,546 booths, an increase of 710 from the previous session, and 24,124 enterprises have signed up to exhibit, an increase of 442. Booths are still in a short supply considering demand.

Chinese enterprises are confident about their roles in the competitive international market as they have witnessed expanding export demand, Liu said.

Though the world economy is recovering and has not yet entered a stable period of growth as risks of an economic downturn still exist, organizers are still cautiously optimistic the fair's turnover can equal that of its previous session, according to the spokesman.

For the first quarter of 2012, China's imports and exports expanded 7.3 percent from a year ago to reach 859.37 billion U.S. dollars, with its foreign trade with major trading partners growing in single digits, customs data showed recently. The 7.3-percent growth of imports and exports in the January-March period of this year was the slowest level since the fourth quarter of 2009.

Even so, more than 200,000 buyers are expected to attend the Canton Fair.

Serving as a barometer and platform for the country's foreign trade, the event undoubtedly faces arduous tasks. But the popularity of made-in-China products across the world has encouraged Chinese exporters to have high expectations, Liu said.

The Canton Fair has taken place in Guangzhou every spring and autumn since 1957.

Editor: Olivia
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