Press Release of the Concluding Press Conference of the 119th Session of the Canton Fair

Xu Bing, Spokesperson of the Canton Fair and the Deputy Director General of China Foreign Trade Centre

May 5th 2016

Friends from the press:

Ladies and gentlemen:

Good afternoon! Welcome to the concluding press conference of the 119th session of the Canton Fair.

Under the leadership of the Ministry of Commerce and Guangdong Province, with the support of provincial and municipal governments and other relevant agencies, and the concerted efforts of our staff, the 119th Canton Fair went on smoothly and we reached our goals. The 119th Canton Fair will conclude this afternoon.

In this session we adopted the development concepts of innovation, coordination, green development, opening up, and sharing, focused on specialization, branding, globalization, information application and market-oriented development. Canton Fair has played a leading role in advancing the reform of supply front of the foreign trade sector and helping companies achieve transformation and upgrading for innovative development and contribute to the steady growth of foreign trade sector.

Now I would like to introduce to you the general situation of this session.

1. Slight increase of buyer attendance

185,596 overseas buyers from 210 countries and regions around the world attended the 119th Canton Fair, an increase of 0.43% over the 117th session of last year.

In terms of buyer attendance of all continents in descending order, the number of buyers from Asia totaled 106,462, up by 1.32% over the 117th session, taking up 57.36% of the total; Europe 31,118, up by 2.42%, accounting for 16.77%; Americas 27,370, down by 0.1%, accounting for 14.75%; Africa 14,544 with 7.84% share and decreased by 5.98%, and Oceania 6,102 with 3.29% share and 5.8% of decrease.

The number of buyers from countries in the “Belt and Road Initiative” stood at 81,601, up by 0.8% over the 117th session, and accounting for 43.97% of the total.

Buyer attendance of the top 20 countries and regions accounted for 62.26% of the total, 0.05 percentage point higher than the 117th session. The top 10 countries and regions in terms of buyer source are Hong Kong, India, the United States, Taiwan Province, South Korea, Thailand, Malaysia, Russia, Indonesia, and Australia.

Buyer attendance from China’s top 10 trading partner countries and regions accounted for 58.87% of the total, 0.05 percentage point higher than the 117th session. Altogether 1,187 international chain companies attended the Fair, down by 6.61% compared with the 117th session. 2,499 representatives from these companies attended the Fair, up by 3.69% compared with the 117th session. 92 out of the Top 250 Global Retailers in 2015 attended the Fair. Among them there were 4 of the Top 10 retailers: Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Tesco and Carrefour.

In terms of the proportion of buyers’ business line to the total number, the top 5 are: electronics and household electrical appliances accounting for 39.44% of the total, daily consumer goods 30.49%, home decorations 28.45%, gifts 27.05%, and machinery products 24.26%.

The reasons for the slight increase of buyer attendance after 3 sessions of decrease lie in: firstly, stability in developed economies and traditional markets. The number of American buyers grew noticeably by 2.61%, Canada 2.54% and the EU 0.77%. Secondly the positive momentum in emerging markets and developing countries and salient growth of buyers from countries in the “Belt and Road Initiate”. Buyer attendance from emerging markets and developing countries increased by 0.46%, higher than the total increase rate; from countries in the “Belt and Road Initiative” 0.8%, accounting for 43.97% of the total. ASEAN and SAARC witness remarkable growth of 6.01% and 5.65% respectively; MERCOSUR, except for Brazil, 11.66%, also higher than the total growth.

2. Initial results shown in the transformation and upgrading of companies

Facing a severe and complicated situation in the foreign trade sector, various parties at the Canton Fair followed the guidance of the Central Committee of CPC and the State Council and spared no effort in overcoming difficulties and driving stability in the foreign trade sector. Officials from the Ministry of Commerce mentioned in the Leading Committee of the Canton Fair that we should do everything in power to assist completing more orders. Trading delegations and chambers of commerce encouraged companies to take an active part in completing orders. We, at China Foreign Trade Centre, improved all kinds of exhibition services to relieve the burden of exhibitors. All exhibitors stepped up their efforts in transformation and upgrading to cultivate new competitive edge in the foreign trade sector and to win markets with technological innovation, green concepts and self owned brands. Companies with strong R&D capacity, self owned brands and overseas marketing network enhanced their competitiveness and negotiating power.

The series of policy measures issued by the State Council to stabilize and optimize foreign trade sector has relieved the burden for companies at the Canton Fair and boosted their confidence. The export transaction has stopped decline. The accumulated export transaction of this session totaled 182.288 billion RMB Yuan (or 28.084 billion US dollars), an increase of 0.1 % over the 117th session.

The transaction volume in brand zone reached 9.32 billion US dollars, an increase of 6% over the 117th session, accounting for 33.2% of the total.

A large proportion, 82.4%, of the orders are short term orders within 6 months, and 17.6% are long-term orders covering more than 6 months. Compared with the previous sessions, buyers showed stronger purchasing will and less sensitivity to price, paying more attention to product quality and service.

3. Enhanced function of the International Pavilion to increase import

After 10 years of development, the International Pavilion has become more and more specialized; many exhibitors found Chinese suppliers through this platform and opened up the Chinese market. India company SYMPHONY has attended the International Pavilion for 17 sessions and in this session it acquired a Chinese company in the same industry at the Canton Fair. SYMPHONY transferred its marketing and part of R&D division in India to China so that it can develop new products according to demands in the Chinese market. Honey from Russian company DEMETRA, juice from Bangladesh group PRAN, and dozens of leisure food from Malaysia and South Korea have entered Guangzhou’s imported food markets

According to the on-site feedback, both suppliers and buyers were very content: 98% of the exhibitors said that they had made effective contacts with Chinese buyers with cooperation intent. Water sterilization patent from Japan, air purifiers with multi-level system from South Korea, and Saku beer from Estonia have proven to be very popular among domestic companies and platforms: suppliers and buyers have reached cooperation intention.

4. Premium information services contributed to higher quality and efficiency of companies

In this session, we held 60 Canton Fair Forums and “Design Events to Promote Trade” activities, including show, matchmaking, and thematic communication. The audience stated that policy explanation by industry experts and experience sharing by famous companies are significant for Chinese companies to get to know market information, accelerate upgrading and enhance their status in the industrial chain of the global market. Matchmaking activities serve as a platform of information for enterprises from home and abroad to communicate face to face to find partners for mutually beneficial cooperation.

In design shows, many Chinese SMEs have shifted from OEM to ODM through design improvement and brand upgrading.

CF Awards played a bigger role in leading exhibitors to upgrade and facilitating their transactions. Awards winners got orders faster and more smoothly; enhanced brand awareness also helped them gain more market share.

5. “Smart Canton Fair improved fair organization

During this session, we further drove the development of “Smart Canton Fair” with information application and achieved more progress. Firstly, improve information application and increase the influence and attraction of China’s No.1 Fair. China Foreign Trade Centre established Comprehensive Strategic Partnership with LinkedIn China; the two parties joined hands and pooled their advantages. Through 6 social media platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn, we sent Canton Fair information to buyers real-time. Currently Canton Fair’s Facebook fans totaled over 490,000, with its influence being the first among the industry. The number of new buyers who registered through social media and search engines reached 25,000. Secondly we sent information of exhibitors and products through pre-show platform “highlight products” to VIP buyers and multinational sourcing companies. By May 4, there has been 39.6 million times of inquires to exhibitors and products, up by 27.4% compared with the last session. A brand company and its products witnessed 13,787 and 3,238 clicks respectively. Thirdly we integrated the function of Canton Fair Wechat service account and reached to more audience with its full coverage and better services. By May 4, the number of followers of Canton Fair Wechat account increased by 49.7%. Fourthly we provided smart services to buyers and exhibitors on 330,000 cases and improved convenience for them, which was also applauded. Fifthly, we enriched our smart accommodation and travel services to provide more options for exhibitors and buyers to attend the Fair and to travel. By May 4, we received 1200 online orders of hotel reservation. Sixthly, we provided an overseas network access to shorten the visiting time to Canton Fair’s official website. Now the speed for overseas users to visit official website and our BEST page has been increased by 30% and 174.6% respectively.

In this session, we strengthened comprehensive management system to improve supervision and capacity building in institution building, operation and management, environmental improvement, security management and service improvement. To better serve exhibitors and buyers, we invited professional personnel from the customs, quarantine and law department, as well as credit and insurance companies and foreign trade service providers to serve at the 119th Canton Fair.

6. Progress in the “Green Canton Fair”

We continued to adopt the green development plan in this session and introduced the concepts of green development and ecological civilization to every attendee. By May 4, the number of green stands in this session stood at 57,214, accounting for 94.6% of the total, meaning that we achieved our goal of 90%. Exhibitors took an active part in the competition for green custom-built stands, with 2,739 exhibitors’ application. The amount of waste planking in Phase 1 and Phase 2 was down by 25.97% and 10.87% over the 118th session. Air quality in the venue was greatly improved and the results for green stands display were enhanced.

7. Awareness of IPR protection has also been raised

In this session, the Canton Fair Complaint Station handled 479 IPR cases, with 613 exhibitors filed and 324 determined as constituting alleged infringement. Compared with the previous session, the number of cases handled decreased by 20.56%, the number of filed enterprises decreased by 28.72%, and the number of alleged infringement was down by 11.96%. The Station also dealt with 27 trade disputes, down by 6.9% over the last session.

The 119th session received wide attention from media. Focused on the highlights and key points of this session, journalists interviewed our exhibitors, buyers and commerce departments of different provinces. These attending media from home and abroad gave thorough, objective and in-depth reports on efforts of exhibitors to improve their branding and innovation, accelerate transformation and upgrading, and to develop new competitive edge of foreign trade. On behalf of the News Centre of the Canton Fair, I would like to express our sincere thanks for your hard work!

I wish to see you again in October at the 120th Canton Fair. Thank you!

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