News & Reports News Year 2012 October 2012 Chinese firms bet on Canton Fair

Chinese firms bet on Canton Fair

CHINESE manufacturers are striving to clinch deals at the country's largest trade fair as they feel the pinch from the economic downturn.

The Canton Fair, which started yesterday in Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong Province in south China, has attracted 24,840 exhibitors from home and abroad. This number is an increase of 196 from the spring session, according to the event's spokesman Liu Jianjun yesterday.

Demand for exhibition booths, which have all been filled, was double what was being offered, said Liu.

"It is an indication that numerous Chinese export-oriented manufacturers are eager to expand into the overseas market under the current global economic uncertainty," Liu said.

China's trade rebounded in September.

Exports surged 9.9 percent from a year ago to a record monthly high of US$186.35 billion. This increase is in sharp contrast with a previous annual gain of just 2.7 percent in August.

Imports in September also rose 2.4 percent annually after consecutive falls in previous months.

In the first three quarters of the year, China's foreign trade expanded 6.2 percent to US$2.84 trillion, widening the country's trade surplus to US$148.31 billion.

However, growth has dwindled compared with the same period last year, when China's foreign trade jumped 24.6 percent.

"In general, the foreign trade situation over the next few months will remain grim because the global economy is still in a downturn," Liu said.

"Under these circumstances, export-oriented Chinese enterprises will have to adjust structures and change their development modes to boost their productivity and competitiveness," Liu added.

This autumn's Canton Fair, the 112th since its establishment in 1957, is expected to attract almost the same number of visitors from home and abroad as the spring session, organizers said. However, they are pessimistic about the event's turnover.

The spring session registered a record number of more than 210,000 deals, with turnover slightly shrinking to US$36.03 billion compared with previous events.

Officially known as the China Import and Export Fair, the event has become an important barometer for the country's foreign trade as well as the overall economy.