A Russian businessman presents gifts symbolizing friendship to Chinese visitors during the 103rd China Import and Export Fair in Guangzhou, capital of south China's Guangdong Province, April 15, 2008. The fair attracted 18,721 business participants, 3,667 more than the previous one.
The 103rd China Import and Export Fair, the largest yet of its kind, opened in Guangzhou, capital of south China's Guangdong Province, on Tuesday.
The fair offers 42,659 booths which are rented by 18,721 businesses, according to Xu Bing, spokesman for the fair.
In comparison with the previous fair, 3,667 more businesses attended this one, he said.
Xu said China Import and Export Fair, long known as the Canton Fair, would continue to introduce reforms but will remain a comprehensive fair.
"We'll expand and advance the fair's professional features while guaranteeing that it remains a comprehensive trading place," said Xu.
Participants include 514 foreign companies from 51 countries and regions, including Malaysia, the Republic of Korea, India, Turkey, Singapore, Italy, the United States and Thailand.
The Canton fair was a biannual export-promotion event until the101st session, when its name officially changed to the China Import and Export Fair from the Chinese Export Commodities Fair.
The fair has two phases, from April 15 to 20 and from April 25 to 30. The first phase will feature textiles, garments, health products, household appliances, tools, small vehicles and hardware. Food, tea, kitchenware, decorations, toys, sporting goods, and office supplies will be on show in the second phase.