Canton Fair heralds export recovery
2009-October-15 Source: Szdaily web edition
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The 106th China Import and Export Fair, the country's largest export event which opens today (Oct 15) in Guangzhou, received many more applications from exhibitors than previous fairs, and the number of overseas buyers will exceed that at the spring fair, indicating a steady recovery in China's exports.

By Sep 30, the Canton Fair, known as a barometer of the country's foreign trade, received 84,594 applications for exhibition booths at the fair, far exceeding the total 55,000 booths the fair can offer during its three phases, said Chen Chaoren, vice head of the organizing committee and spokesman for the fair.

Two foreigners pass by an advertising board at China Import and Export Fair in Guangzhou. (Xinhua file photo)

Many companies from Ningbo, Yiwu and Wenzhou in Zhejiang Province, one of China's manufacturing bases, planned to join the fair but failed to obtain a booth. More than one-third of applicants from Wenzhou couldn't secure a booth.

"Those who obtained booths resold them to other companies at a huge profit, with booths being resold for as much as 80,000 RMB (11,720 USD)," said Lou Zhongping, chairman of Yiwu Soton Co., a drinking straw manufacturer.

A 9 km booth costs between 20,000 and 30,000 RMB.

"Little Pig" electric cooker(Guagnzhou Daily)

In stark contrast, the 105th Canton Fair held earlier this year offered approximately the same number of booths, but more than 1,200 remained vacant as a global downturn hit Chinese exporters hard.

Meanwhile, overseas buyers have apparently been more active than in the spring, according to the organizing committee's overseas marketing group. The number of foreign buyers visiting the spring fair dwindled by 5.2 percent from the previous fair, statistics showed.

"The number of overseas buyers at the 106th Canton Fair is expected to be much larger than that in spring", said Liang Yaowen, head of Guangdong Province's foreign trade department. "This may lead to a rise in orders and signal a steady recovery in exports in the fourth quarter this year and the first quarter next year."

The 106th Canton Fair in Guangzhou (Guagnzhou Daily)

In addition, the organizers will continue to organize domestic buyers to make purchases during the fair's second and third phases.

In another sign foretelling a busier fair, hotels in Guangzhou received more reservations for rooms than during the Spring fair. According to figures provided by Ctrip.com, a travel service provider, the number of hotel reservations was up 10 percent in comparison with the spring fair.

Encouraged by signs of recovery all over the world, many exhibitors are optimistic about the fair."We have high hopes for this fair", said Yuan Xin, a manager of Hongyu Ceramics, a ceramic ware manufacturer based in Foshan, Guangdong Province."We hope to regain the orders lost during the global financial downturn."

"E.T." electric heater (Guagnzhou Daily)

The fair has three phases, with the five-day first phase mainly featuring machinery and tools.

The second phase, which will open Oct. 23 and run through Oct. 27, focuses mainly on domestic articles and gifts including toys, porcelain and furniture.

Textiles, garments, health products, food, sporting goods and office supplies will be on show in the third phase, which will run from Oct. 31 through Nov. 4.

Editor: Miranda
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