Canton Fair ‘faces pressure’ amid global economic uncertainties

Source:Global Times Published: 2019/4/14 21:10:31

People talk amid the 121th Canton Fair held in Guangzhou, capital of South China's Guangdong Province in 2017. File photo: IC

The 125th Canton Fair, known as a gauge of China's foreign trade, "is expected to face a bit of pressure" as buyer attendance is likely to fall short of desirable levels, the fair's spokesperson told a press conference on Sunday.

The Spring session of the fair, China's largest trade promotion platform, is expected to kick off in Guangzhou, South China's Guangdong Province on Monday. The fair, which will be held in three phases, concludes on Friday.

As global economic growth is slowing and trade protectionism is on the rise, China's foreign trade development is facing a more complicated and severe external environment, and the task of stabilizing foreign trade is "arduous," Xu Bing, spokesperson of the Canton Fair and deputy director general of the China Foreign Trade Center, said.

Xu said that the fair attendance could dip, seen from indicators such as the number of invitations, hotel booking rates, and number of ticket bookings before the fair. Xu also said that the timing of the Canton Fair coincides with important holidays in some countries and regions, which is another reason for the undesirable attendance level. 

"The lower-than-expected buyers' attendance at this year's Canton Fair is also due to the declining purchasing ability of some global buyers, as uncertainties have been rising in the international market," Dong Dengxin, director of the Finance and Securities Institute at the Wuhan University of Science and Technology, told the Global Times on Sunday.

Despite the global uncertainties, China's foreign trade still achieved steady growth momentum in the first quarter of this year. Exports rose 6.7 percent while imports were up 0.3 percent, Li Kuiwen, spokesperson for the General Administration of Customs, said at a press conference on Friday. That translated to a trade surplus of 529.67 billion yuan ($79.01 billion) in the first quarter, up 75.2 percent year-on-year.

Dong said that as China is shifting from an export-driven growth model to a consumption-driven one, the country will explore more export opportunities and achieve a trade balance in the future.

According to a statement the Canton Fair sent to the Global Times on Sunday, the fair provides a "fast track" for overseas exhibitors to open up the Chinese market.

The statement said that 650 companies from 38 countries and regions are taking part in the event, including industry leaders from the US, UK, Germany and Japan. 

Enterprises along the routes of the Belt and Road Initiative are the largest batch of exhibitors in the exhibition, with 383 companies from 21 countries and regions taking part, read the statement.

Posted in: ECONOMY

blog comments powered by Disqus