Canton Fair boosts export, import and domestic sales

By Chi Jingyi Source: Global Times Published: 2020/10/25 17:28:41

Livestreaming of Guangzhou Kingsons Bags Technology Co., an online Canton Fair exhibitor, on October 15, 2020 Photo: Li Hao/GT

The 128th Canton Fair - formally known as the China Import and Export Fair - ended on Saturday after a successful online turnout, despite concerns over the global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on trade shows.

As one of the biggest trade shows in the world, the Canton Fair not only aims to boost foreign trade, but also to support domestic consumption, which is in line with the "dual circulation" strategy promoted amid increasing global uncertainty.

The 128th session of the Canton Fair, the second trade show held online, managed to draw roughly the same attendee numbers recorded in the June session. By Saturday, the Canton Fair's official website had received a total of 51.17 million visits and held a total of 284,800 live broadcasts, attracting 1.89 million viewers. More than 26,000 traders and exhibitors displayed and browsed 2.35 million products virtually through the command center in Guangzhou, capital of South China's Guangdong Province. 

Busy online and offline

Exhibitors and their products moved from center stage to behind the scenes. At the 50,000 square-kilometer industrial site of Guangzhou Magi-Wap Culture Articles Co, pigment producer and exhibitor at the online Canton Fair, 500 workers and all production lines are running at full capacity. Designers are busy working on the perfection of the company's VR exhibition hall at the Canton Fair. Five rooms were prepared for livestreaming.

Li Yansong, a manager of Guangzhou Magi-Wap Culture Articles Co, told the Global Times that the online trade fair has helped the company increase its exports.

"Offline exhibitions are more advantageous for popular products, but for personalized products, online exhibitions are more targeted. Purchasers can find the products they want directly without getting lost in the Canton Fair's huge venue," said Li.

The number of orders they have accumulated since June has matched total orders seen last year. And orders made at this Canton Fair have been up 10 percent from the June session. Their main customers are from the US, Europe and Australia, with the largest single order coming from the US at $3 million, Li added.

At a production line manufacturing acrylic paint, Li noted that the automatic machines were self-developed by the company, with a daily output of 3 million bottles of pigment. However, supply still falls short of demand and the company has invested millions of yuan in installing new production lines.

Confidence in Chinese market

Although exports have surged, with revenues tripling from last year's level, the company still reports a 30 percent share of sales to the domestic market.

"Our domestic market is one of the largest consumption markets in the world. Having a stable share in the domestic market makes us more confident to export, as domestic sales serve as insurance," Li noted.

Another exhibitor, Guangzhou Kingsons Bags Technology Co, also told the Global Times that the company is planning to focus more on the domestic market, from which the company received 20 percent of its total orders.

"Before [the coronavirus outbreak], 50 percent of our orders came from Europe and 30 percent from the US. Orders at this year's Canton Fair are down 70 - 80 percent compared with last year. We have gradually increased domestic sales, as we are confident in the Chinese market. It's hard to predict the sales next year. We can only hope that the COVID-19 vaccine will come out as soon as possible, so that the epidemic can be brought under control and foreign trade can return to a normal level," said Fu Shaohua, sales manager of Guangzhou Kingsons Bags Technology Co. 

Export and import

In line with the "dual circulation" approach, the 128th Canton Fair focused on promoting the connection between domestic and foreign trade. In the cloud exhibition hall, there are more than one million exhibit pieces marked with the "domestic sales" label. 

A total of 13,700 domestic buyers registered to visit the exhibition, and 1,025 intended orders were realized, according to Xu Bing, spokesperson of the Canton Fair and deputy director-general of the China Foreign Trade Center. 

The cloud exhibition hall of exhibitors received a total of 7,892,600 visits, including 7.82 million visits to the export hall and 66,200 visits to the import hall.

Xu also remarked that the Canton Fair supported export-oriented enterprises selling in the domestic market during the fair by providing financial services, simplifying certification procedures and other supporting measures.

In the future, to follow the trend of digital development, the Canton Fair will promote the integration of both online and offline activities, and will likely be held online and offline simultaneously, according to a statement sent to the Global Times from China Foreign Trade Center, the organizer of the Canton Fair.

China has kept the Canton Fair alive by holding it online, while other international trade shows and business summits were postponed or canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Newspaper headline: Online trade show draws a crowd


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