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Home> Specials>103rd Canton Fair
Canton fair closes with moderate growth in export deals
Latest Updated at 2008-May-4 10:27:29

People walk out of a hall of the Canton fair in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, April 30, 2008. The spring session of the biannual Canton Fair, or the 103rd China Import and Export Fair, closed in Guangzhou on Wednesday, clinching export deals worth $38.23 billion, slightly higher than each of the two sessions last year. [Xinhua]

The spring session of the biannual Canton Fair, or the 103rd China Import and Export Fair, closed in Guangzhou on Wednesday, clinching export deals worth $38.23 billion, slightly higher than each of the two sessions last year.

The value of export deals was 2.1 percent more than the autumn fair last year, and 5.1 percent higher than the previous spring fair, said Xu Bing, the fair's spokesman.

He said that the number of overseas visitors, 192,013, was up 1.3 percent over the previous session held in Autumn last year.

He attributed the moderate growth in exports to the boom of trade with new export markets in the Middle East and the South-East Asia regions, which saw deals worth $4.84 billion and $1.99 billion at the fair, up 9.6 percent and 15.9 percent, respectively, over the autumn fair.

The exports to Russia and India also recorded a respective jump of 6.2 percent and 32.9 percent, to $1.19 billion and $930 million, respectively, Xu said.

There is a growing demand for machinery and electric products, the exports of which were up by 7.7 percent in general, and made up of 44 percent of the total volume signed at the fair, or $16.82 billion, he said.

The spokesman said that the fair, dubbed as "barometer" of China's foreign trade, suggested difficulties in the country's exports.

The weak world market has dampened the exports of China-made garments and dress accessories, which were down by 4.8 percent from the previous fair to $2.87 billion, and that of spinning yarn and textile products saw a dive of 16.8 percent to $2.4 billion, he said.

He added that other consumer products including Chinese porcelain, furniture, office appliance, toy and plastic wares were all among the sluggish exports.

The fair, which ran from April 15 to 30, saw fewer orders from China's traditional export markets in the European Union, America, Japan and the Republic of Korea with the biggest fall in exports with the countries going above 20 percent, said the spokesman.

Liu Xu, head of the Foreign Economic Research Institute under the National Development and Reform Commission said that the fluctuation in China's export environment has prompted Chinese exporters to seek more export channels.

"The appreciation of yuan against the US dollar has dealt a heavy blow to China's exports. So has it to the electric and information industry. However, the exporters that own intellectual property rights and self-developed brands of their products can still hold a big profit margin in exports," said Yu Heping, a marketing manager of China Delixi Group.

The company is one of China's two largest private enterprises specializing in manufacturing electric power transmission and distribution appliances.

He expected the company's export will grow by 40-50 percent this year.

"Chinese export would undergo a period of "pang" under the combined effects of yuan's appreciation and the rising production cost and labor cost at home," said Lu Jianhua, assistant minister of commerce on Wednesday at the fair.

However, he believed that Chinese exporters would improve innovations and product quality through the painful experience, which would bring credit to the reputation of China-made products.

Based on export volumes at the fair, Guangdong Province is still the number one exporter in China, which sealed deals worth $10.09 billion. It was followed by eastern provinces of Zhejiang, Jiangsu, Shandong and Shanghai Municipality in sequence.

This spring fair, the largest yet of its kind, offered 42,659 booths which were rented by 18,721 businesses, according to the spokesman.

The fair, known as the "Canton fair" after the old name of Guangdong, was originally a biannual export-promotion event until the 101st session in the Spring of 2007, when its name was officially changed to the present name of the China Import and Export Fair from the Chinese Export Commodities Fair.

The fair has become an international trade platform, which saw 514 foreign companies from 51 countries and regions demonstrate their commodities. Although the import business at the fair was still in small scale, it drew over 5,400 domestic companies, said the spokesman Xu.

The fair did not give figures on the import deals.

Editor: Yan

By: Source: China View website
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