The first phase of the 93rd Chinese Export Commodities Fair ended late on Sunday, with total transactions worth US$3.31 billion concluded.
Though a nosedive from the transactions clinched during the same period at previous fairs, the volume of deals are remarkable given the current climate, observed Xu Bing, spokesman and deputy secretary-general of the fair.
Xu's remark was a reference to the negative impact on the fair caused by both the epidemic of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and the Iraq War.
Official statistics indicate that deals worth US$9.33 billion were signed during the same phase of the 92nd session of the grand gala.
Something of another feat was the fact that not a single case of SARS infection cropped up during the six day fair -April 15 and 20 - among the thousands of exhibitors and visitors from both home and abroad, thanks to the effective precautionary measures taken.
Some 9,128 domestic enterprises from 49 trading delegations attended the fair. While 16,433 business people from 164 countries and regions worldwide attended its first phase. Overseas business people attending for the first time numbered 5,653, 34.3 percent of the total.
The majority of the visitors were from China's Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Nigeria, the United States and Pakistan.
Official statistics say that transactions signed with Asian business people topped others, with their volume accounting for 46 percent of the total; deals with those from Europe accounted for 25 percent while those from America accounted for 19 percent.
And deals clinched by the trading delegations of Guangdong, Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Shandong accounted for 60 percent of the total.
Machinery and electronic products, as well as textiles and garments were the major foreign exchange earners.
Machinery and electronic products took the lion's share at 56.7 percent, while textiles and garments secured 24.3 percent of the total over the six days.
Xu said that the centralized purchasing activity of international purchasing giants and the online negotiation platform had played an active supplementary role at the fair.
For the first time, four transnational purchasing groups, US-based Home Depot, Central Purchasing, and QVC, as well as French-based Auchan were invited to do centralized purchasing.
(China Daily April 23, 2003)