Canton Fair to resume on-site activities, attracting participants from over 220 countries and regions
Published: Apr 04, 2023 05:19 PM
Canton Fair Photo: VCG

Canton Fair Photo: VCG

The 133rd Canton Fair will be held in Guangzhou, South China's Guangdong Province in an offline format from April 15 to May 5, while continuing to provide online services for participants. This will be the first time the Canton Fair to be held offline since China optimized its COVID-19 measures, an official said on Tuesday.

Tens of thousands of participants from over 220 countries and regions will participate in on-site and online activities during the fair. It will create opportunities for those enterprises to work with Chinese companies in building a safe, reliable and efficient supply chains, while providing a platform for other countries and regions to board on the express of China's economic development, Wang Shouwen, vice minister of the Ministry of Commerce, said at a press briefing.

As of Monday, a total of 27 leading multinationals, including US firm Walmart, French retailer Auchan and German discounter Lidl, have confirmed to attend the fair, according to Wang.

The event, also known as the China Import and Export Fair, has been held twice annually since 1957.

This year, it will leverage its newly-built venue, expanding the total exhibition area by 300,000 square meters to a record-breaking 1.5 million square meters, Wang said.

Along with new trends across the international market and heightened demand, the Canton Fair is offering new exhibition themes this year, including industrial automation and smart manufacturing, new energy and products and services linked to the aged economy.

Thanks to the expansion of the exhibition area, online services and introduction of new themes, more than 9,000 enterprises will attend the fair for the first time. They are from sectors including home electronics, vehicles and healthcare, according to Wang.

The Canton Fair is an important window for China's opening-up and a premium platform of foreign trade, serving as a critical channel for Chinese companies to develop the international market. The country's Ministry of Foreign Affairs has also optimized policies to provide convenience for overseas participants.

"We have customized some services for the Canton Fair. Foreign merchants that have invitations for the fair can apply for a visa from any Chinese embassy or consulate overseas. A green channel will be open for special cases. We also welcome families of those merchants to travel to China," Wu Xi, director-general of the Department of Consular Affairs of the Foreign Ministry, said at the same conference.

Wu said that China will allow the entrance of holders of a virtual APEC Business Travel Card starting from May 1. The Chinese embassies or consulates will issue business visas for these people for free if they want to come to China before the date. The ministry is also taking active measures to provide convenience for Chinese business people to apply for APEC Business Travel Card.

Global Times