Largest-ever Canton Fair to be held with 35,000 exhibitors on-site, buyers from 226 countries and regions
Published: Apr 13, 2023 09:55 PM
Employees are seen transporting material for booths at the exhibition hall of the Canton Fair, on April 13, 2023. Photo: Chi Jingyi/GT

Employees are seen transporting material for booths at the exhibition hall of the Canton Fair, on April 13, 2023. Photo: Chi Jingyi/GT

The 133rd China Import and Export Fair, commonly known as the Canton Fair, which will officially open on Saturday, will be the largest ever since 1957 in terms of the number of exhibitors and the exhibition area, and it will also welcome a large number of foreign traders.

The 2023 spring Canton Fair is the first fully on-site event and also the first large-scale international trade event in China since the optimization of epidemic prevention and control measures in January. 

About 35,000 enterprises will attend the Canton Fair on-site as exhibitors, with record exhibition halls of 1.5 million square meters, Xu Bing, spokesperson of the Canton Fair and deputy director-general of the China Foreign Trade Center, said on Thursday at a press briefing.

"There will be more than 9,000 new exhibitors and 39,281 online exhibitors," Xu said.

Foreign businessmen are organizing huge delegations to participate in the event.

Buyers from 226 countries and regions have registered online and on-site for the event, and 47 business organizations will organize delegations to attend the event, according to Xu.

There will be more than 200 people in the delegation group from India's Tibro Tours and the Malaysia-China Chamber of Commerce. Fortune 500 and Fortune 250 retailers will send buyers. Walmart, Auchan, Carrefour, Metro and other 53 leading multinational companies have confirmed their attendance, said Xu.

Zhu Qiucheng, CEO of Ningbo New Oriental Electric Industrial Development, which is an e-commerce company, is also looking forward to the upcoming Canton Fair as he will attend the event in person.

"We have invited our old customers from the US, Europe and Southeast Asia to meet at the Canton Fair. We will focus on connecting with new buyers from Brazil and Latin America," Zhu told the Global Times on Thursday.

Two days before the official start of the event, exhibitors at the venue are busy arranging and decorating their booths, the Global Times saw on the site. In addition, hotels nearby are almost fully occupied, and many hotels have arranged shuttle buses to and from the exhibition halls.

A taxi driver surnamed Xu told the Global Times that roads surrounding the exhibition halls of the Canton Fair have been jammed recently.

"I have been driving between hotels and the Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport, as well as between hotels and the Canton Fair exhibition halls in the past week," said the taxi driver.

In addition to exports, the scale of exhibitions for imports has expanded. Import exhibitions cover 30,000 square meters, an increase of 50 percent compared with the pre-epidemic level.

"There will be 508 companies from 40 countries and regions participating in the import exhibition, 73 percent of which are from countries and regions involved in the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative," said Xu.

There are three new exhibition areas for industrial automation and intelligent manufacturing, new energy and intelligent connected vehicles, and maternity, baby and child products. 

There are also three new specialized zones for products of smart life, the "silver economy," and testing and protective products.