The 134th Canton Fair Held Opening Press Conference
2023-10-18 18:51

The Press Conference for the opening of the 134th session of China Import and Export Fair was held in Canton Fair Complex in the morning of October 13rd. Mr. Xu Bing, Spokesperson of the Canton Fair, Deputy Director General of China Foreign Trade Centre, introduced the preparations of this session to press from home and abroad.

Xu stated that the CPC Central Committee and the State Council attached great importance to the Canton Fair. President Xi Jinping sent two congratulatory letters to the Canton Fair in which he fully recognized the historical significance of the Fair and charted a course for its future. Premier Li Qiang provided specific instructions for the autumn session of the Canton Fair during his inspection visit to Guangdong in August this year. In the context of evolving and challenging international landscape and foreign trade dynamics, the success of the 134th Canton Fair carried a multitude of significance. This esteemed event stood as a platform to showcase the latest achievements of “Made in China”. It also served to help enterprises secure more orders and expand markets as well as to stabilize the scale and optimize the structure of foreign trade. Furthermore, it has facilitated trade matchmaking and the stability and smooth operation of industrial and supply chains. The Canton Fair has demonstrated China’s resolution to expand opening up and facilitate an open global economy, giving a strong boost to the development of global economy.

According to Xu, the 134th Canton Fair would be held in 3 phases from October 15th to November 4th in Guangzhou. Meanwhile, online exhibition would continue regular operation all-year-round. Under the strong leadership of the Ministry of Commerce and Guangdong Province, the preparation of this session progressed smoothly and was basically completed through joint efforts of all parties.

Guided by Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics in the New Era, the 134th Canton Fair would implement the spirit of the 20th CPC Congress and President Xi Jinping’s congratulatory letters. Following the instructions of Central Economic Work Conference, National Commerce Work Conference and the “three important” positioning of commerce work, and themed “advancing high-quality growth and targeting high-level opening up”, the Fair would continue its efforts to innovate mechanisms, enrich business patterns and functions, optimize structure, and enhance quality, service and image to better serve the high quality development of foreign trade and the new development paradigm.

Xu noted that the exhibition scale of the 134th Canton Fair would be expanded. This session saw the most extensive optimization and adjustment in exhibition organization since the reform of the 104th session. The exhibition scale hit another record, with the total area expanding to 1.55 million square meters, 50,000 square meters more than the 133rd session. Exhibition booths totaled 74,000, an increase of nearly 4,600 over the previous session, including 72,000 in the National Pavilion and 1,550 in the International Pavilion. Counting the exhibitors in different sections and phases only once, the total number of exhibitors reached 28,533, an increase of 3,135 compared with the last session. This included 27,883 enterprises in the National Pavilion and 650 in the International Pavilion from 43 countries and regions, with those from Belt & Road countries and regions taking up 60%.

Xu further pointed out that the quality of exhibition organization had been improved. Firstly, in this session we’d continued to optimize the structure of exhibition sections by rescheduling 7 sections for different phases. Building and Decorative Materials and Sanitary and Bathroom Equipment were rescheduled for Phase 2. Toys, Children, Baby and Maternity Products, Pet Products & Food, Personal Care and Toiletries were rescheduled for Phase 3. One section was divided, and two sections were renamed to encompass a wider variety of products. Following these adjustments, the total number of exhibition sections increased to 55, leading to more balanced structure and closer connection between exhibition themes. Secondly, brand exhibitors would be highlighted. In this session of the Canton Fair, reevaluation of brand enterprises had been carried out. The number of brand booths increased to 14,500, covering 53 sections compared to 47 previously. The brand zone would be set up for the first time in five sections: Industrial Automation and Intelligent Manufacturing, New Energy Vehicles and Smart Mobility, Children, Baby and Maternity Products, New Energy Resources, Pet Products & Foods. The number of brand enterprises also increased, with a total of 2,584 enterprises selected. Among them, the categories with the largest number of brand enterprises were Electronics and Appliances, Furniture and Building materials, Housewares, Gifts and Decorations and Fashion, all of which would witness more than 300 brand exhibitors. In the machinery and electronics industry, the number of brand enterprises saw significant growth compared to the last session, with a growth rate of over 120% in Electronics and Appliances and over 100% in Manufacturing. In addition, brand enterprises of Light & Electrical products, Vehicles & Two Wheels, Hardware & Tools all saw growth rates surpassing 50%. Thirdly, the quality of exhibitors had been enhanced. In this session, the Canton Fair adjusted its standard booth arrangement to enable the participation of more new enterprises. Of all exhibitors, production enterprises and private enterprises played a dominant role, accounting for 50% and 90% respectively. The number of high-quality enterprises kept rising, as approximately 4,600 exhibitors held titles such as “Little Giants” that specialize in their niche sectors, Manufacturing Single Champion, National High-tech Enterprise, High-level AEO Certification by China Customs, National Enterprise Technical Center and China’s Time-honored Brand.

Xu said that for this session we had improved targeted global marketing. Multiple measures for global promotion were taken, aiming to increase buyer quantity and quality, and optimize the mix of attending buyers. In terms of attracting overseas buyers, the first was to expand channels and extend the reach worldwide. The Canton Fair enhanced cooperation with 224 economic and commercial offices of Chinese embassies and consulates, 68 foreign consulates general in Guangzhou to promote the Canton Fair globally. The Canton Fair Global Cooperative Partnership Program was advanced and the number of partners increased to 190. Together with our partners we strived to invite buyers from various countries. Targeted email marketing was conducted to reach out to regular buyers worldwide. In addition, new media marketing channels were expanded to attract new buyers. Second, focus on key areas and quality improvement. We prioritized our efforts for key industries, markets and top traders. Target markets included Belt and Road countries, RCEP member countries, ASEAN countries, Europe and the US. With 55 exhibition sections as the core marketing content, tailored marketing strategies for each section and targeting buyers from 40 key source countries were implemented respectively. We also scaled up new media advertising in European and American markets, and partnered with industry media to attract more specialized buyers. We focused on Fortune Global 500 companies, Global Retail 250 companies, and leading enterprises in key markets to invite more top traders to attend onsite. Third, strengthen trade matchmaking and optimize services. A series of global trade promotion events would be hosted. Focusing on electronics and household appliances, textiles, clothing and other sectors, these events would bring together national foreign trade transformation and upgrading bases, as well as key industrial clusters. We would organize over 60 “Trade Bridge” Global Trade Matchmaking events. Currently, 35 “Trade Bridge” events had been launched, and more than 10 “Trade Bridge” events and 8 “Discover Canton Fair with Bee and Honey” activities would be held during this session to help Chinese and international enterprises find customers, secure orders and expand markets. In terms of attracting domestic buyers, trading delegations from different provincial commerce departments would organize local buyers to attend the Fair based on targeted invitation and qualification verification.

According to Xu, the Canton Fair online platform had been improved. The online platform would continue regular operation, with a total of 28,653 exhibitors on the online platform, a rise of 2,115 exhibitors compared with the previous session. The online platform would become more intelligent and convenient with 101 optimized functions. At present, exhibitors have uploaded about 2.72 million products, including 700,000 new ones. Meanwhile, trade matchmaking activities for electronic appliances, textiles and garments, vehicle spare parts, food, and other industries would be launched on a regular basis.

As Xu introduced, the Canton Fair would continue to enrich business patterns and functions, serving as a comprehensive multi-functional platform for information exchange, new product launch, industrial promotion and trade services. Firstly, optimize the platform for new product launch. The 2023 CF Award witnessed enthusiastic participation from enterprises; specifically, 2,284 product applications from 1,288 companies were received. 141 winning products were selected by an external expert panel. More than 200 product release activities would be held online and onsite. We would hold a series of promotion and release activities for the award-winning products and debut products to increase product exposure and promote transactions. Secondly, provide high-quality industry information. Two professional forums would be held on green trade and trade digitalization and five industry forums on electronic appliances, home decoration products, and medical equipment, inviting executives from renowned research institutions, e-commerce platforms and leading enterprises to attend and share authoritative industry information. Thirdly, improve trade services. The 134th Canton Fair would set up a trade service zone, and invite over 200 exhibitors in fields of financial insurance, logistics and warehouse, testing and certification, etc., to provide trade supporting services for Chinese and international enterprises.

Xu stated that various measures had been taken to improve supporting services and experience of exhibitors and buyers. Firstly, optimize badge service. New measures had been implemented to allow badge application in advance and at alternative registration offices including Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport and 40 designated hotels. In addition, 24-hour onsite registration service would be provided at the Registration Center, facilitating application of entry badges for overseas buyers. Domestic buyers needed to follow the process of online badge pre-application, making and mailing as onsite registration would not be provided. Additional verification equipment had been added at the main entrances and exits of the Complex to improve entering efficiency. Secondly, enhance traffic management. We had optimized parking arrangement in the Complex and increased parking spots. Relevant departments of Guangzhou would strengthen traffic guidance of surrounding roads, especially in peak hours, and enhance the capacity of subway, tram, bus and other public transportation. Besides, we would improve coordination with traffic police department to increase traffic efficiency, in particular, enhance the traffic coordination within and outside the Complex. Thirdly, step up measures to ensure smooth booth setup and dismantling. Preparation period of Phase 1 would be extended by one day; extra hours would be allowed for booth setup in Phase 2 and 3; and dismantling duration in Phase 3 would be prolonged as well. Also, we had stepped up input of personnel, forklifts and trucks to enlarge storage and transportation capacity for exhibits. The number of custom-built booth contractors had increased to 160 to enhance the capability and efficiency of booth construction. Fourthly, improve catering services. Eighteen new catering units had been added, increasing the total to 68. More famous Chinese and Western fast food restaurants would be set up, enriching the food variety. Meal ordering in advance and delivery would be promoted to provide another option. Fifthly, facilitate customs clearance. With the support of relative government departments, Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport and Pazhou Ferry Terminal had set up special channels for Canton Fair buyers to facilitate quick customs clearance. Exhibitors with ATA Carnet could undergo review procedure in the Complex.

Xu stated that for this session of the Canton Fair a solid security shield had been built. More manpower and material resources had been allocated to enhance security and build a solid security shield by improving emergency plans and carrying out emergency exercises. We would also strengthen booth management and strive to crack down on illegal transfer and sublease of booths. Exhibitors that had acquired booths were requested to use booths strictly in accordance with regulations.

Xu also answered questions of journalists on Canton Fair’s overseas buyer attendance, optimization of exhibition section structure, promotion of green development, improvement of online platform and IPR protection, etc.

In this session some key events are as follows. The Opening Reception of the 134th Canton Fair will be held on October 14th. Seminars on green trade, development and application of electronic documents in international trade, and other forums would be held on October 15th and 16th respectively.

Approximately 50 domestic and international media outlets attended the Conference for interviews and coverage, including People’s Daily, Xinhua News Agency, China Media Group, China News Service, International Business Daily, Nanfang Daily, Yangcheng Evening News, Guangdong Radio and Television, Guangzhou Daily, Guangzhou Broadcasting Network, ifeng web, Hong Kong Commercial Daily, Macao Daily News and more.

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