By Wang Wenzheng
The online Canton Fair, which is hailed as the “barometer” and “wind vane” of China’s foreign trade, has built a unique economic and trade bridge for Chinese and foreign exhibitors and buyers.
The 131st China Import and Export Fair was held online from April 15 to 24. It was the fourth time that the event has been held online.
The latest session of the event, also known as Canton Fair, basically maintained the same scale as that of the previous session. It gathered about 25,500 domestic and overseas exhibitors, who showcased more than 3.05 million exhibits during the event, including 951,500 new products, both record highs.
Fifty exhibition sections have been set up for 16 categories of commodities; the official website of the trade fair attracted 10.09 million visitors and saw 33.9 million pageviews during the event; and 536,000 overseas buyers from 228 countries and regions registered for the exhibition, rising 41.8 percent from the previous session.
The Canton Fair, which has been held continuously for over 60 years, has accumulated a huge number of “fans”.
Although it was held online due to the protracted pandemic, the 131st session of the event still saw active participation by exhibitors and buyers and achieved plenty of fruits with the help of new technologies and forms such as image and text, video, 3D, and virtual reality (VR).
Statistics suggest that during the latest session of the Canton Fair, the online exhibition booths of exhibitors registered over 6.22 million visits, and the participating enterprises hosted 85,300 livestreaming shows to showcase their products.
“We hosted six livestreaming shows within one day during the trade fair,” said Wang Dingying, deputy general manager of Ningbo Peaceport Import and Export Co., Ltd.
The company’s products were displayed in 14 exhibition sections of the trade fair, which covered hardware, garments, home decorations, shoes, suitcases and bags, office supplies, consumer electronics, household electrical appliances and other categories.
Livestreaming shows on household electrical appliances were the most popular, according to Wang, who added that new models of small appliances such as coffee maker and high-speed blender attracted buyers from India, the Philippines and other countries immediately after they were displayed.
More exhibitors showcased products they independently developed and products under their self-owned brands during the 131st Canton Fair compared with in previous sessions.
Shanghai Dragon Import and Export Co., Ltd. exhibited a good number of new products at the event, including exquisite aluminum cookware and stainless steel pot with ergonomically designed bakelite handle. Featuring novel design and high-quality materials, these products that suit market demands drew the attention of many overseas buyers.
Green and low-carbon products turned out a hit during the event. Foshan Mega Green Products Co., Ltd. based in Foshan city, south China’s Guangdong province, brought to the 131st Canton Fair many new environment-friendly bamboo products, including degradable PLA (polylactic acid) cup and eco-friendly lunchbox.
“Bamboos’ growth cycle is shorter than trees, and cutting them down won’t cause soil erosion. So they can replace trees as a production material and thus help protect the environment and save resources,” pointed out Feng Limei, general manager of the company.
“The epidemic has affected the living and eating habits of consumers, which is reflected in their surging demand for disposable tableware,” Fend said, adding that their degradable tableware received a lot of negotiation intentions during the event.
Overseas exhibitors have also reaped the benefits of the Canton Fair. A total of 402 overseas companies from 32 countries and regions around the world exhibited diversified and characteristic products at the international pavilion of the 131st Canton Fair, including Spanish soap, Chilean red wine, Turkish coffee pot, Korean sheet mask, German bearing and Afghan pine nut.
The number of global partners of the recent Canton Fair has reached 170, including 50 from countries along the routes of the Belt and Road Initiative and more than 40 from all member countries of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
The Canton Fair is a golden name card of China’s foreign trade development and has gained the huge advantage of high credibility during the past over 60 years, said Lin Xiaofeng, vice president of overseas marketing at Shenzhen Topray Solar Co., Ltd. in Guangdong, adding that the company has been able to establish long-term cooperative relations with many Chinese and foreign customers via the platform.
The high popularity of the Canton Fair is underpinned by the Chinese market filled with enormous business opportunities and the resilient Chinese economy.
China’s foreign trade has posted positive year-on-year expansion for seven consecutive quarters; and during the first quarter of 2022, the country’s foreign trade value totaled 9.42 trillion yuan ($1.44 trillion), up 10.7 percent year on year.
The impressive performance of China’s foreign trade has injected confidence and strength into Chinese and foreign exhibitors at the latest Canton Fair.
The online Canton Fair has provided solid support for stabilizing global industrial and supply chains and added strong impetus into global economic recovery, according to Bekar Mikaberidze, chief representative of the Georgian Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Guangdong.
“China has a broad market, and I have full confidence in making deployment and deepening our exploration of the Chinese market,” Mikaberidze added.