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What has the 113th session of the Canton Fair shown us?

20 May 2013
China’s largest trade fair, The Canton Fair, closed this year’s spring session on a high note with considerably more overseas buyers and larger trade deals than the previous session in Oct 2012.

The fair’s spokesman, Liu Jianjun, stated that they received 7.06% more overseas purchasers (a total of 202,766) and the value of trade deals made at the fair reached USD $35.5 billion, 8.8% more than the October session. Both factors indicate a potential recovery in trade for this year.

canton-fairThe above statistics, however, are lower than the same spring session in 2012 – overseas visitors down 3.8% and total trade value down 1.4%.

Now past the glory days, Chinese exporters face many trade challenges like higher labour and material costs, a rising yuan, increased trade friction and tight credit.


To counter the current lull in trade, Liu advocates, “Chinese exporters should attach more importance to diversifying sales in emerging markets as there is still a weak demand from traditional buyers”. 

Emerging markets, especially Africa, Australia, Southeast Asia and Russia, have been the front-runners in securing business at this year’s fair. On the other hand, both the number of visitors and deals decreased from traders in Europe, the United States, Japan and certain ASEAN countries.

Liu concludes that due to the global economic downturn, the core problem is that foreign buyers are very cautious when dealing with Chinese exporters, while "Chinese exporters are unwilling to accept long-term deals because of fluctuations in raw material prices and foreign exchange rates".

Read both articles on the 113th Canton Fair.