Buyers participating in Canton Fair increase 10 times over past 60 years

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The China Import and Export Fair, also known as the Canton Fair, has attracted buyers to Guangdong Province from over 220 countries and regions this year, more than ten times that of 60 odd years ago.

About 200 members of the Malaysia-China Chamber of Commerce (MCCC) will attend the Canton Fair this year.

"Malaysian entrepreneurs believe that it brings together the best enterprises and products in China and provides participants with incomparable resources and business opportunities," said MCCC president Loo Kok Seong.

"Malaysian entrepreneurs are fully prepared for the fair every year," Loo added.

A total of 27 leading multinational corporations from the United States, France, Germany, Japan, United Arab Emirates, and other countries have confirmed participation in this year's Canton Fair.

Guangdong is a pillar of Chinese foreign trade. Official data shows that in the first quarter of 2023, its import and export volumes of the province reached 1.84 trillion yuan (about $267.16 billion), up 0.6 percent year-on-year, of which export volume was 1.14 trillion yuan, up 2.2 percent year-on-year.

Foreign businessmen are optimistic about the future development prospects of China. According to a report released by the American Chamber of Commerce in South China (AmCham South China) at the beginning of this year, 75 percent of the enterprises surveyed plan to increase investment in China in the next three to five years to expand their existing business and meet customer needs.

Harley Seyedin, president of the AmCham South China, said the Canton Fair is an important bridge for Sino-U.S. trade.

"Every year, the Canton Fair provides buyers and sellers from all over the world with various kinds of commodities with the best quality, allowing buyers from America to find suitable goods covered by their business and market outlets here as well," said Seyedin.

"The AmCham South China formally established a cooperative relationship with China Foreign Trade Center (CFTC) in 2021. We will continue to work closely with the CFTC to promote more American enterprises to participate in the fair," he added.

Xie Baojian, a professor with Jinan University, said the Canton Fair is a significant international platform to enlarge business and trade networks, trade partners, and trade entities.

He said Chinese and overseas enterprises can learn about each other's products, markets, cultural differences, market demands, and business modes, which is beneficial for enterprises to enter in some emerging markets.

Xie also believes that the Canton Fair should adopt a normalization mechanism, which means activities of different themes should be held in different periods, creating a Canton Fair that never stops responding to uncertainties in the world economy.

Sun Bo from the Guangdong University of Foreign Studies said the Canton Fair needs to further promote digital transformation, establish a digital trading platform and provide more comprehensive and customized services.

The 133rd Canton Fair is scheduled to open on April 15.

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