Canton Fair snapshot: An improving trade structure
2011-November-7 Source: CCTV website
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We've been keeping a close eye on the Canton Fair in Guangzhou, and as it enters its third phase, one high-profile, much sought-after element has shown up: China's huge market demand. As usual, it's attracting an increasing number of foreign companies.

Figures from the organizer of the 110th session of China's Canton Fair say the number of exhibiting foreign companies has surged more than 10 percent year-on-year.

The Canton Fair is known as a barometer of China's foreign trade.

Zhang Yansheng, a researcher with the National Development and Reform Commission, China's top economic planner, says the increasing number reflects the country's changing trade structure. A shift towards greater imports.

Zhang Yansheng said : "China's trade surplus last year stood around 183 billion US dollars. We estimate that the surplus will shrink to around 150 billion US dollars. China's trade surplus will become narrower with each passing year."

Meanwhile, officials from the Ministry of Commerce say that imports of some products will push forward China's economic growth.

Wang Shouwen, director of Foreign Trade Department of Ministry of Commerce said: "Expanding the imports of some machine parts will help upgrade China's industry. And our increasing raw materials, such as agriculture and resources, are important to China's national economic security. Meanwhile, a proper degree of imports of consumer goods will help improve China’s consumption structure."

The Ministry of Commerce estimates that China will import over 8 trillion US dollars worth of goods over the next five years. That's a big pie for any foreign company that wants a slice. But experts have a word of warning too - protectionist barriers against Chinese goods should be taken down if they want a taste of China's massive market demand.

Editor: Olivia
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