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GUANGZHOU, China, May 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Figures from the spring session of the Canton Fair, which closed on May 5, show that China's most prestigious trade show outperformed market expectations. The 113th session of the Fair welcomed over 200,000 overseas purchasers, up 7 percent on the previous session. The value of trade deals struck at the biannual event reached US$ 35.5 billion, an increase of nearly 9 percent on the last session.
Experts agree that the healthy statistics herald a steady improvement in this year's trade situation. China's foreign trade rose 13.4 percent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2013, with exports increasing 18.4 percent.
"Last year was the most difficult year for Chinese exporters," said Liu Jianjun, spokesman for the Canton Fair and deputy director of the China Foreign Trade Center.
"As China's economy picks up, exporters commonly agree that the situation will be better in 2013 in terms of increased overseas orders."
The latest Canton Fair underlined the importance of developing markets to sustaining improved trade. Compared to the 112th Canton Fair, the number of African buyers attending the event was up nearly 30 percent, while the number of Oceanian buyers was up 15 percent. The value of deals signed with BRICs nations, the EU, the United States, the Middle East and Japan were up across the board.
Many Chinese exporters attending the Fair were encouraged by the numbers. Zheng Yi, general manager of Guangzhou Chaofan Leather, said the company's sales in overseas markets increased more than 20 percent year-on-year in the first quarter of this year.
"We are now busy making products for overseas orders from the last session of the Canton Fair," commented Zheng. "The reason for the sustained growth is that we have focused our efforts on tailoring brands that closely meet demand from foreign markets."
While emphasizing brand quality and competitiveness, the Canton Fair also fosters innovation. Compared to previous sessions, one of the highlights of the latest event was a 73 percent increase of the product design showcase area.
As the world looks ahead to a more positive year for trade, the Canton Fair will continue to act as an engine for sustained growth. Organizers, buyers and companies are already anticipating the upcoming installment in the autumn.
Mr. Wu Xiaoying