Businesses and government organizations are increasingly confident of boosting trade and commercial activities during the upcoming China Import and Export Fair, as the trade event is scheduled to fully resume its offline activities in April.
The trade event, widely known as the Canton Fair, will resume physical exhibitions after three years of COVID-19 prevention and control measures, setting off a new chapter in China’s global trade, said Chu Shijia, director of the China Foreign Trade Center.
The fair will include a venue expansion for the first time, with the accumulated exhibition area increased from 1.18 million square meters to 1.5 million square meters.
“The latest progress of industrial development and technological advancement will be displayed to present the best of China’s manufacturing to global buyers,” Chu said during a news conference to promote the fair on Monday in Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong province.
Resumption of the fair’s offline exhibitions after three years of COVID-19 measures could help boost the recovery and development of China and the global economy, said Zou Yu, a public relations manager with Lotus, a retail brand under Charoen Pokphand Group, which has more than 100 stores in the Chinese mainland, carrying out omnichannel sales.
“We participate in the Canton Fair each year and select many high-quality products as it is a comprehensive international trade event with the largest scale in terms of both exhibitions and transactions,” Zou said.
Goods selected from the fair — for example, olive oil from Italy, oatmeal from New Zealand, red wine from Chile, figs and dried apricots from Turkiye, avocados from Mexico and rice and condiments from Thailand — have become popular items among Chinese customers, Zou said.
“We will continue to participate in the upcoming spring session of the Canton Fair and believe we will have more gains,” Zou added.
Having signed a global partnership agreement with the China Foreign Trade Center in 2021, the American Chamber of Commerce in South China will continue to work closely with the center to help companies from the US exhibit and sell their products throughout China and at the Canton Fair, according to Harley Seyedin, president of the chamber.
“The Canton Fair is very crucial to US-China business relations as it enables the American buyer of any size to visit and purchase commodities for sale within their operations,” he said.
Members of the American Chamber of Commerce in South China account for nearly 40 percent of all US-China business, trade and investments. China’s trade with the US hit a record $690.6 billion in 2022, Seyedin said.
Following China’s COVID-19 policy adjustments, there has been a sharp rebound in economic activity, with demand for business, trade and investment also increasing, Seyedin added.
“With the resumption of offline exhibitions this year, we expect to see the grandest Canton Fair that occupies the largest area and offers the widest variety of commodities — one that is bound to attract the largest number of buyers, sellers and visitors from all over the world,” he said.
According to Harisharan Pudasaini, consul general of Nepal in Guangzhou, government delegations from Nepal and business communities based in both Nepal and China have attended the Canton Fair for years.
“We have worked closely with the fair’s organizing committee to promote the fair in Nepal and China, which is the most prominent platform to develop relations for international trade, exchange of technology, tourism and other industries,” said Pudasaini.
The fair’s exhibition structure will be optimized this year, with three new categories to be included — industrial automation and intelligent manufacturing, new energy and smart vehicles, and maternal and baby products.
Additionally, three new zones for intelligent life, silver economy, detection reagents and pandemic protective equipment will be set up, according to the fair’s organizing committee.