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Canton Fair Organizers Report Results From 111th Event

Organizers of the 111th China Import and Export Fair (Canton Fair) — held last spring at the China Import and Export Fair Complex in Guangzhou, China, and comprising three phases offering a wide range of commercial products — report that trade at the fair was affected by European and U.S. economic conditions, but not as much as had been widely expected.

The Canton Fair is organized by the China Foreign Trade Centre. It is hosted by the Ministry of Commerce, People's Republic of China; and the People's Government of Guangdong Province. The venue offers an exhibition area of 1.16 million square meters and 58,700 booths.

A record-breaking 210,000 buyers from 213 countries and regions attended the fair, 0.23-percent and 1.23-percent increases, respectively, over the 110th and 109th editions held in 2011. However, export values, at US$36.03 billion, were 2.3-percent and 4.8-percent lower, respectively, than spring 2011 and fall 2011 values; and trade volumes were 8.1-percent and 5.6-percent lower than respective year-earlier volumes.

Emerging markets including India, Brazil and Russia averaged a 4.1-percent increase in trade volumes; and African markets registered a 13.5-percent increase in these volumes.

The Canton Fair International Pavilion presented the products and services of more than 520 companies from 44 countries and regions. Organizers hope to attract more foreign companies in the future, particularly from industries targeting environmental markets, and report that most of the International Pavilion booths have already been booked for the 112th Canton Fair scheduled for fall 2012.

Buyers were quite positive in their assessment of the fair. Kristrian Holmqvist, a first-time attendee from Finland, stated: "It saved me a lot of time from going to many places to search for new suppliers. Here is a great platform for us to find business opportunities."

The 112th Canton Fair will be held Oct. 15-Nov. 4, 2012, at the same venue. Phase 1, scheduled October 15-19, will offer electronics and household electrical appliances, lighting equipment, vehicles and spare parts, machinery, hardware and tools, building materials, and chemical products. Phase 2, October 23-27, will include consumer goods, gifts and home decorations. Categories offered during Phase 3, October 31-November 4, include textiles and garments, shoes, office supplies, cases and bags, recreation products, medicines, medical devices and health products, and food.

July/August 2012