On June 21st, an online market aimed at servicing the China-Africa trade cooperation in the 127th Canton Fair was held in Guangzhou. It attracted over 30 participants from government, chambers, the organizing committee of the Canton Fair, enterprises and media to help African buyers find the right products and explore business opportunities.
(Photo by Southern Metropolis Daily)
The event was hosted by Southern Metropolis Daily and African Guangdong Business Association, with the support of China Council for the promotion of international trade Guangdong Committee, Information Office of Guangzhou.
The pandemic has boosted the development of new business models such as cloud exhibitions, particularly like the online Canton Fair which attracts global buyers. Hence, the event organizers had collected the procurement needs of African buyers and attracted nearly 100 companies to participate.
"We are excited to join in the Canton Fair. We are engaged in packaging of bee honey and want to have re-branding through an international standard package for foreign business," Adeniran Oluwseyi, a Nigerian businessman who showed his purchase requests through video.
In Chuanglibao Packaging Machine Co., Ltd., Foshan, thousands of miles away from Nigeria, reporters successfully found the suitable packing machine for Adeniran, such a business pairing in the main venue of the event was a happy surprise for the guests.
"We are happy to announce that Nigeria participates in the Canton Fair online. And SMEDAN has also signed a MOU with African Guangdong Business Association in 2019 for more bilateral relationship," said Dikko Umaru Radda, director-general of the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency of Nigeria, in a video.
According to Hou Jianxiong, vice president of African Guangdong Business Association, this innovative online Canton Fair is an important measure for stabilizing the economy and people's livelihood during the pandemic. In the future, merchants all around the world, especially African businesses can also participate in the Canton Fair in their houses.
African buyers and Guangdong suppliers actively join in this event
During this online Canton Fair, the African Guangdong Business Association has learned the purchasing demands from over 100 African buyers including industrial machinery equipment, agricultural equipment and cosmetics.
For instance, Dikko hopes to find ripe banana slicing machines, industrial fried chips machines, coconut shell crushing machines and other mechanical products in this online fair.
As for Lina, a yogurt seller in Tanzania, who wants to buy fully packed yogurt processing equipment. She said that, although she can't come to China to visit the factory, she feels very grateful that it is accessible online.
To meet the demand of African buyers, journalists had field visits for some manufacturing factories. In the "Diamond" electric fan factory, the company’s representative introduced products that already earn a certain market share in Nigeria and other African countries. "In addition to this ceiling fan product in my hand, we will develop some products to sell in Nigerian market," he pointed to a range of products as he said that.
China is Africa's largest trading partner. According to statistics released by the General Administration of Customs of China on January 23, China-Africa imports and exports reached about 208.7 billion USD in 2019, with an increase of 2.2% year-on-year, of which exports to Africa were 113.2 billion USD, with an increase of 7.9% year-on-year. However, due to the pandemic, the China-Africa trade fell by 14% in the first quarter of this year.
It brings a difficult task for both sides to fight against the economic effect of the pandemic. This online market for African countries just means a start, it is hoped to hold more such events in the long term, according to an official of the Southern Metropolis Daily.