The 135° Canton Fair Successfully Held

The onsite exhibition of the 135th Canton Fair concluded in Guangzhou on May 5 while its online platform will continue regular operation. Zhou Shanqing, Director General of the Canton Fair Press Center, Deputy Director General of China Foreign Trade Centre, introduced the overall operation of this session to the press from home and abroad.

The CPC Central Committee and the State Council attached great importance to the Canton Fair. President Xi Jinping sent congratulatory letters to the Canton Fair twice, in which he fully recognized the historical significance of the Fair and charted a course for its future. During the 135th session, Premier Li Qiang communicated with representatives of overseas buyers and exhibitors of the Canton Fair respectively, and toured the booths of multiple enterprises and visited the Hall of Canton Fair History. He emphasized the Canton Fair should implement the guiding principle “hold the Canton Fair well” of General Secretary Xi, deepen reform and opening-up and promote innovation-driven development to strive to build an all-year-round Canton Fair that leads the market. Further success should be achieved to burnish Canton Fair’s brand in the new era.

With the attention and support of the central government and the State Council, and thanks to the concerted efforts of relevant ministries, local commerce departments, China’s diplomatic and consular missions and all the staff, the 135th Canton Fair operated successfully and delivered outstanding outcomes and record-breaking statistics by pursing innovation in its mechanism, enriching business patterns and expanding its functions. It played a significant role in stabilizing the scale and improving the quality of foreign trade, facilitating high-quality opening up and serving the new development paradigm in the new development stage.

Overseas buyer attendance onsite hit a new record. As of May 4 (the same below), 246,000 buyers from 215 countries and regions attended the Canton Fair onsite, a record-breaking 24.5% increase from the last session. Specifically, buyers from Belt and Road countries and regions totaled 160,000, marking a 25.1% increase compared to the previous session. Buyers from RCEP member countries totaled 61,000, marking a 25.5% increase compared to the previous session. Buyers from the BRICS countries totaled 52,000, up by 27.6% increase compared to the previous session. Buyers from Europe and the US and Canada totaled 50,000, an increase of 10.7% compared to the previous session. A total of 119 business organizations attended the Fair, including US-China Chamber of Commerce, 48 Group Club from the UK, Canada China Business Council, Istanbul Chamber of Commerce, Malaysia-China Chamber of Commerce, Australian Building and Property Association VlC, etc. 226 leading multinational enterprises organized buyers to the exhibition, including Wal-Mart from the US, Auchan from France, Tesco from the UK, Metro from Germany, IKEA from Sweden, Coppel from Mexico, NITORI from Japan, etc. They gave high praise to this session, considering China the best supply chain and Canton Fair the best one-stop sourcing platform.

Export transaction showed a recovery trend. As of May 4, the export transactions achieved at the 135th Canton Fair onsite reached 24.7 billion USD, representing a 10.7% increase compared to the last session, indicating a recovery trend. Emerging markets registered brisk transactions. Transactions with “Belt and Road” countries amounted to 13.86 billion USD, increased by 13% over the last session. European and American buyers contributed to high average transaction value. The online platform witnessed export transactions worth 3.03 billion USD, a 33% of increase over the last session. Exhibitors said that they had more orders from a large number of buyers. In addition to onsite transactions, buyers also made appointments to visit factories and assess production capacity, indicating the potential for more cooperation in the future.

New quality productive forces rejuvenated new momentum of foreign trade. Enterprises displayed over 1 million new products and 334 Canton Fair New Collection activities were organized. Exhibitors uploaded 2.54 million products on the online platform, including 660,000 new products, 100,000 intelligent products, 400,000 green and low-carbon products and 210,000 products with independent IPR. A host of new products, new technologies, new materials, new processes and new ideas were presented. In particular, high-end, intelligent, innovative, green and low-carbon products were showcased and recognized from buyers across the world. Altogether, they demonstrated the power of “Intelligent Manufacturing in China”, giving a strong boost to the development of foreign trade.

The International Pavilion expanded new space for overseas enterprises. About 680 enterprises from 50 countries and regions exhibited in the International Pavilion, 64% of which were from BRI countries. Plenty of international brand enterprises displayed intelligent manufacturing products and quality houseware consumer goods, attracting global buyers to negotiate and cooperate at the Fair. Important delegations achieved fruitful outcomes. Companies from South Korea, Japan, and Malaysia delegations gained a considerable number of orders from Chinese counterparts onsite. Delegations from Turkey, South Korea, Japan, Malaysia and India have planned to participate in the next session. Some delegations are considering expanding themes of products displayed. Enterprises from the International Pavilion said the Canton Fair offered a valuable platform for global enterprises to tap into China’s development opportunities and expand the international market. They also said they experienced innovation and vigor whenever they came to the Fair.

The online platform operation steadily. 408,000 overseas buyers from 229 countries and regions attended the Fair online. Store pages of exhibitors attracted 3.412 million visits, including 3.376 million to exhibitors of the National Pavilion and 36,000 to the International Pavilion. Exhibitors staged 1291 livestreaming events and attracted 17,200 views in total. The online platform has enhanced digital technologies like livestreaming, VR factory visits, 3D photography, and smart traffic management. Enterprises said that the number of buyers who made inquires increased significantly.

The role of a platform with comprehensive functions was leveraged. The 135th Canton Fair has operated as a comprehensive multi-functional platform with functions including trade matchmaking, information service, design and innovation and trade services. 264 “Trade Bridge” Global Trade Promotion and Matchmaking events were held. Specifically, 249 matchmaking activities attracted 420 buyers and 1420 suppliers to have one-on-one trade matchmaking with intentional orders worth 340 million USD signed. Import and Export Trade Zone for Greater Bay Area 9+2 cities was set up to provide economic and trade cooperation and exchange services for enterprises within the Area. 12 thematic activities were held based on themes like new quality productive forces and high quality industrial development, high quality export empowered by new channels and models, new strategic opportunities of global market, IPR, etc. 103 design companies from 8 countries and regions partook in the Canton Fair Product Design and Trade Promotion Center (PDC), up by 13% over the last session. Trade Service Area introduced 230 exhibiting companies to offer online and offline services such as financial insurance, logistics and warehousing, testing and certification. Cross-border e-commerce pilot zone and overseas warehouse zone were set up for the first time, with the participation of 5 cross-border e-commerce pilot zones, 150 cross-border e-commerce companies and overseas warehouse companies from 11 provinces. It created new opportunities for small and medium sized enterprises to go abroad through new forms of trade.

Outcomes of IPR protection were improved. In this session, high-standard IPR protection and trade dispute mediation services were offered. IPR infringement cases involving 389 companies were received onsite and online and 179 companies were determined as constituting alleged infringement. 28 trade disputes were dealt with, 20 of which reached mediation. The highly effective IPR protection services provided by the Canton Fair have protected the innovative development of enterprises, and bolstered confidence of international community in carrying out economic and trade exchanges as well as mutually beneficial cooperation with China.

Various parties recognized the services provided at the Fair. The 135th Canton Fair promoted 100% green booth setup and dismantling and used 100% green energy. The promotion and implementation of the three national standards was carried out — Green Booth Evaluation Guide, Basic Requirements for Safety Management of Exhibition Venues and Green Exhibition Operation Guide to advance the tangible outcomes of green development. The 135th Canton Fair issued a total of 707,000 badges, received 3.08 million visits and 1.93 million visitors as well as 45,000 vehicles, built 74,000 booths, and served 1.13 million meals. 1.04 million sqm of carpet was laid and around 60,000 pieces of signage were installed. Despite the continuous heavy rain, facing the challenges of high flow of people and great logistics and transportation demands, the 135th Canton Fair rolled out emergency plans in time under the strong leadership of the Ministry of Commerce and Guangdong Province and through the joint efforts of Guangzhou municipality. Security forces were strengthened, booth setup time lengthened, rain-proof facilities added, and the process of security check sped up. The Fair provided a series of human-oriented services and excelled in badge registration, traffic, catering, onsite services, booth setup and dismantling. The overall service was provided in a safe and orderly manner, earning the unanimous approval of both buyers and exhibitors, who said they felt at home at the Fair. The 135th Canton Fair also organized cultural activities, including Yingge dance and musical Bond of Love; Canton Fair Food Street was launched for the first time; Canton Fair Music and Food Festival was optimized; a number of special tourist routes were designed for overseas buyers. Altogether, customers from home and abroad experienced the unique charm of Chinese culture in making transactions and said they had a memorable and productive journey.

The online platform would continue to operate after the conclusion of the onsite exhibition. The Fair would also organize a series of targeted business matchmaking and thematic activities. Exhibitors and buyers were welcomed to stay tuned and actively participate. The 136th National Pavilion booth application has been launched on May 1. Enterprises are welcome to apply for booths through the official channel.

The Fair garnered significant attention from media outlets at home and abroad. A total of 1400 journalists from 166 media attended onsite and covered the event in a well-planned and innovative way. Their extensive coverage contributed to the favorable public opinion of the Fair. We appreciate the strong support of all media and look forward to meeting everyone in the 136th session to be held in three phases from October 15 to November 4 2024.