GUANGZHOU, China, Feb. 17, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Canton Fair will once again welcome the world's top retailers and influential business and political leaders when it opens its 111th session on April 15.
Over the past 56 years, the Canton Fair has grown to become one of the most important events for small- and medium-sized businesses looking to tap into the lucrative China market and boost their competitiveness in the rest of the world.
This may not be truer than in the present day. While the U.S. struggles to emerge from a recession and Europe grapples with a worsening economic crisis, China's economy continues to grow and become more open. As part of China's 12th five-year plan, the government has committed to increasing imports to establish more balanced trade with its partners. And the Canton Fair is helping to pave the way by boosting the numbers of participating foreign businesses to stimulate the flow of products and services into China.
The 110th Canton Fair, held from October 15 to November 4, 2011, was the most international version of the trade fair to date. The event, which coincided with the 10th anniversary of China's accession to the World Trade Organization, attracted nearly 210,000 buyers from 210 countries and regions and generated $38 billion in business, a 3% increase over the 109th session in the spring.
The changes were evident to longtime participants. "My first time to the Canton Fair was in 1978," said Ali Saleh, General Manager of Gemstones & Jewellers Centre. "I have witnessed a lot of improvement and development. In the past years, especially after the adoption of the opening up policy, the number of the foreign visitors is larger and larger."
Illustrating the importance of the fair to China's trade with emerging markets, more contracts were signed by buyers from Russia, Brazil and India than ever before. "It is my first time to be here in the Canton Fair and I have found what I want already. The fair is so big and fantastic," said Sergio Rebollo, a buyer representing the Brazilian company Fat Monkey.
The 111th session of the Canton Fair will be held from April 15 to May 5, at the Canton Fair Complex in Guangzhou, China. For more information, please visit www.cantonfair.org.cn.
China Foreign Trade Centre (CFTC)
Mr. Wu Xiaoying