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Fair Special: For a real taste of trade in China, head for Guangzhou

By Zhao Xie | China Daily | Updated: 2011-09-28 07:53

 Fair Special: For a real taste of trade in China, head for Guangzhou

Foreign and Chinese business visitors at the 108th Canton Fair's import exhibition. Provided to China Daily

For international businesspeople who want to understand more about China's growth up close against a backdrop of global economic difficulties, one of the best places to do so is the autumn Canton Fair in the southern city of Guangzhou, Guangdong province.

The 110th China Import and Export Fair - China's largest - will open on October 15.

The first Canton Fair - or to be more precise, China Export Commodities Fair - took place in 1957, more than 20 years before the opening up of modern China.

Over the past 55 years, the twice-annual event has developed into the country's top trade show in scale, influence, variety, and number of participants.

Those 55 years have seen a total of 6 million business representatives and visitors, and a total of $900 billion worth of business transactions.

To create a better balance in trade with the rest of the world, the Canton Fair was renamed the China Import and Export Fair, in the spring of 2007, as it entered its 101st session.

And, an import exhibition was added that spring to meet the demands of exporters and suppliers from around the world.

This was a milestone in the fair's history, marking the transition from a simple site for Chinese exports to a center for two-way-trade activities.

Nine import exhibitions have by now been held, and the exhibition area has doubled in size.

This year's import exhibition is a highlight of the fair and runs Oct 15-19, and Oct 31 to Nov 4. The first part focuses on electronics, home appliances, building materials, metals, machinery, and raw materials, on 20,000 square meters of ground; the second features foodstuff, farm produce, medical care equipment, gifts, and decorative materials.

The 109th Canton Fair in this spring, attracted 534 businesses from 53 countries for the import exhibition.

Some other fair innovations in recent years, in addition to the import exhibition, have included the introduction of an ISO9001 quality management system, and a client contact center.

The Canton Fair is sponsored by the Ministry of Commerce and Guangdong provincial government, and organized by the China Foreign Trade Center.

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