The 131st Canton Fair came to a close online on April 24. Xu Bing, Spokesperson of the Canton Fair and Deputy Director General of China Foreign Trade Centre, introduced the overall situation.
Xu said that guided by Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, we implemented the spirit of President Xi Jinping’s congratulatory letters as well as the policies and deployments made by the Central Committee of CPC and the State Council. Under the strong leadership of the Ministry of Commerce of PRC and the People’s Government of Guangdong Province, with the great support of relevant ministries, local commerce departments, and China’s diplomatic and consular missions, and concerted efforts of all the staff, the 131st Canton Fair operated smoothly and achieved a full success.
Xu stated that the epidemic was still spreading with the economic globalization facing backlash. Compounded by the unstable recovery of global economy and trade, the growth momentum of trade in goods was dampened. Under such circumstances, the 131st Canton Fair has adhered to its mission of “Canton Fair Global Share” and opened its arms to participants across the world with the theme of “Facilitating the Dual Circulation of Domestic and Overseas Markets”. Serving as a trade bridge, it connected China with the international market, promoted common development, and welcomed the world to share China’s opportunities. Held in a safe way, the 131st session achieved the goal of being successful and impressive. It has made positive contributions to high-quality development of trade, the stability of industrial and supply chains, as well as the world economic recovery.
The Canton Fair online platform operated smoothly. The official website of the Canton Fair has been fully upgraded, and set up multiple columns such as Exhibitors and Products, Global Business Matchmaking, Product Release, Exhibitors on Live, VR Exhibition Hall, News & Events, Services & Support. Thanks to modern information technologies, companies at home and abroad were able to buy from and sell to the world at the highly efficient trading platform which broke the limit of time and space. During the 131st Canton Fair, the official website received an accumulated number of 10.09 million visitors with 33.9 million visits. It has been widely applauded by exhibitors and buyers with a more stable system, more comprehensive functions, more efficient matchmaking, and more considerate services.
Exhibitors and Products featured numerous highlights. 25,500 exhibitors boarded the “online express train” to display their enterprises, products, and brands in diversified formats of texts, pictures, videos, 3D, VR, and so on. Over 3.05 million products were uploaded with 951,500 of them making debut, up by 176,500 and 52,800 respectively compared with the last session and both hitting a record high. The impressive exhibits attracted global buyers to attend and make negotiations. Exhibitor Centres received an accumulated number of over 6.22 million visits, with that of the National Pavilion over 6.12 million visits, and the International Pavilion over 93,300 visits. Exhibitors launched 85,300 live streams. Compared with the last session, 2,398 enterprises designed and uploaded virtual booths, an increase of 236, receiving 31,200 visits in total. With themes of Advanced Technology, Intelligent Manufacturing, Delicate Lifestyle, Low-carbon & Green Products, and Trade Service, the 131st Canton Fair hosted 150 online debut events to show products of 147 quality suppliers from 24 trade groups. With applications of new technologies, processes and models, more and more smart, green and low-carbon products with independent IPR were presented at the Fair, showing to the world the latest achievements of “Made in China”, “Created in China”, Chinese technologies and Chinese brands, as well as the resilience and innovative vitality of China’s foreign trade.
The number of buyers hit a record high. Adhering to a principle of “systematic, innovative, specialized, targeted”, the 131st Canton Fair has strengthened overseas promotion and further expanded its global marketing network. Chinese and overseas companies were connected to boost trade cooperation. A record number of 536,000 overseas buyers from 228 countries and regions registered and attended the Fair, up by 48% compared with the 129th session, and 41.8% compared with the 130th session. Top 10 countries with the largest buyer attendance were India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Australia, South Africa, Japan, and Singapore. Buyers from China’s top ten trading partners in 2021 accounted for 38.67% of the total. 298,100 buyers were from Belt and Road countries, taking up 55.6%, and 150,800 of them from the RCEP member countries with a percentage of 28.12%. The Global Cooperative Partnership Program was advanced with the number of partners reaching 170. During the 131st Canton Fair, cooperation agreements were signed with 14 industrial and commercial organizations from Vietnam, Laos, Kuwait, Iraq and other countries in the Belt and Road Initiative and the RCEP, expanding the friend circle of the Fair and foreign trade.
Trade matchmaking was more targeted and efficient. Specific tags were attached to exhibitors and products to enable buyers to find their desired products and suppliers quickly. 210,500 business cards were sent out by exhibitors and buyers and overseas buyers initiated instant messaging for nearly 100,000 times, effectively promoting exchanges. 50 “Trade Bridge” Matchmaking activities were held to connect domestic industrial clusters and brand enterprises with top multinationals and professional buyers such as Auchan, Walmart, Kesko, Telos, Kawan Lama, Lulu, and so on. The event was joined by 8 provinces, regions and cities in China and 57 countries and regions worldwide, attracting nearly 4000 overseas buyers. 8 “Discover Canton Fair with Bee and Honey” activities were held for trade promotion and matchmaking, covering electronics and household appliances, medical devices and health products, vehicles & spare parts, baby products, consumer goods, bathroom supplies, textiles and garments, office supplies & bags with an accumulated viewership of over 1.48 million. 5 online matchmaking activities were specially held for Hong Kong buyers to connect them with exhibitors. Two matchmaking activities were specially held for brand exporters from Zhejiang Province, in which over 60 companies negotiated online with nearly 80 buyers. Rich and diversified matchmaking activities were tailored for specific markets, industries, and clients. Featuring specialization, wide-ranging industries, and rich content, such events delivered fruitful outcomes for buyers and suppliers who actively participated.
Trade services were more diversified. An online-offline integrated model was adopted to handle IPR complaints. 16 forums, themed the dual circulation, the RCEP, the dual carbon target, etc., were held to help companies grasp market and industrial trends. New models and services were introduced with 43 companies providing China-Europe Railway Express service, shipment, cross-border e-commerce, and overseas warehouses ushered into the Fair, optimizing the trade ecosystem for foreign trade companies. In the Cross-border E-commerce zone on the Canton Fair official website, cross-border e-commerce platforms and comprehensive pilot zones were listed to offer companies more ways of exploring the market. 8 organizations in the Financial Service zone provided relevant services for companies, receiving 99,000 visits with 5,596 loans granted and 117,578 payments settled. The business card and WeChat account of customer service were unveiled by the intelligent customer service system, offering smart and efficient services.
The integrated development of domestic and foreign trade were effectively promoted. The 131st Canton Fair has channeled great efforts to ensure that products sold domestically are produced on the same production lines, meet the same standards, and are of the same quality as exported ones. The tag of “for domestic sales” was added to over 1.58 million exhibits. Domestic professional buyers, including JD.com, Lifease, Miniso, Lotus Supercenter, participated in the exhibition. A series of “Dual Circulation” trade promotion activities were hosted. With above measures, foreign exporters were connected with domestic buyers, tapping into the enormous potential of domestic markets, facilitating the integrated development of domestic and foreign trade, and helping build a unified domestic market.
Efforts were made to empower the upgrading of rural industries. The “Rural Vitalization” zone was joined by 974 companies from 21 provinces, cities, or autonomous regions. 49,200 products were uploaded in the zone, with 13,900 new products and 11,100 green and low-carbon ones. Many companies from rural areas networked with clients, received orders, and expanded markets via the Canton Fair. By going global, companies kept expanding production and sales scale, as a result driving local industrial development. Industries also embark on the path of specialization, scaling, and branding.
Xu said media outlets worldwide produced well-designed and multi-dimensional reports on the 131st Canton Fair, telling the story and spreading the voice of the Fair in the special period, thus creating a positive public opinion atmosphere. He looked forward to meeting everyone in the 132nd session.