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Message from Secretary General of China Import and Export Fair

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China Import and Export Fair (also known as the Canton Fair) is co-hosted by the Ministry of Commerce of PRC and the People's Government of Guangdong Province and organized by China Foreign Trade Centre. It is held biannually in Guangzhou, every spring and autumn. Canton Fair, with a successful operation of 121 sessions since its inauguration in the spring of 1957, was praised by national leaders as the window, symbol and epitome of China’s opening up. Canton Fair is a comprehensive international trading event with the longest history, the largest scale, the most complete exhibit variety, the largest buyer attendance, the broadest distribution of buyers’ source country, the greatest business turnover and the best credibility in China. It is renowned as “China’s No.1 Fair”.

For 61 years, Canton Fair has never been interrupted despite the turbulence in the international economic and political arena. 61 years of glorious development recorded the progress of China’s foreign trade sector and witnessed political, economic and cultural exchanges between China and the rest of the world. The development of Canton Fair shows that China has made more and more achievements on the broad path of opening up.

Canton Fair carries the glory of China’s foreign trade sector, representing a dream for the foreign trade circle. It is currently the largest trade promotion platform in China. Up to the 121st session, the accumulated export volume has amounted to about USD 1.2635 trillion and the total number of overseas buyers has reached 8.03 million. The exhibition area of one session totals 1.18 million m2 and the number of exhibitors from home and abroad stands at nearly 25,000. In each session, about 200,000 buyers attend the Fair from more than 200 countries and regions all over the world. Even in the complex international economic and trade environment at present, the quantity and quality of Canton Fair’s buyers have remained steady.

In recent years, we have adopted an innovation-driven development strategy and achieved great results; consolidated Canton Fair’s status as the first and foremost platform for foreign trade promotion. We have also taken a market-oriented approach and improved exhibition section to make the Fair more specialized. We’ve put in a great deal of efforts in nurturing new themes. We’ve grown the International Pavilion to contribute to more balanced foreign trade. We’ve also carried out new ways of promotion, adopted Internet applications and focused on precise marketing to improve promotion results. Therefore the loyalty degree of overseas buyers has been improved. To give full play to Canton Fair’s role as a comprehensive platform, we’ve further focused on the conferences and forums held at the Fair to strengthen information exchange. By setting up Canton Fair Product Design and Trade Promotion Centre (PDC) and the CF Awards, we’ve facilitated the upgrading and transformation of Chinese companies. Also, we have driven the development of “Smart Canton Fair” and facilitated online offline service integration through “Canton Fair + Internet”. To further drive green development, we’ve issued and implemented Canton Fair Green Development Plan 2.0 to build a standardized green development system that sets the benchmark and applies information technology, leading China’s exhibition industry in the direction of environmental protection, low carbon and energy reservation. We’ve strengthened IPR protection and created corporate brands and images to protect innovation of exhibitors and contribute to innovation-driven development and corporate upgrading. With the goal of building a service brand and an integrated and efficient Complex operation system, we’ve provided new services and upgraded smart services, improving the quality of on-site services and satisfaction degree of customers.

On the opening of the 120th Canton Fair in October, 2016, Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory letter; Chinese Premier Li Keqiang gave instructions. The congratulatory letter of President Xi and instructions of Premier Li affirm the Canton Fair’s important status and contributions in China’s reform and opening up and eco-social development and point out the key and direction of our work, significant for expanding China’s opening up, cultivating new competitive edges of foreign trade sector, building China into a strong trading power, and driving reform and innovation at the Canton Fair.

At present, following the direction pointed out in President Xi’s congratulatory letter and Premier Li’s instructions, we, at the Canton Fair, uphold the development principles of innovation, coordination, green development, openness, and sharing, and spur innovation in the system and business mode. We are continuously improving specialization, information application, market orientation, and international development. We are endeavored to build a “Smart Canton Fair” and “Green Canton Fair”. We will give full play to Canton Fair’s function as an overall opening-up platform and will utilize both domestic and international markets and resources at a higher level.

In this open world, there have been deeper integration and fiercer competition in the exhibition industry. Facing the adjustment in the exhibition industry and in China’s foreign sector under the economic “New Normal”, we, at the Canton Fair, will continue to carry out the mission shared among the foreign trade circle, pass on our fine tradition, focus on innovation-driven development and improve the quality and influence of the Fair and make it more distinctive and productive. In an effort to promote upgrading and transformation of China’s foreign trade sector, we will play a leading role in creating new competitive edges based on technology, brand, quality and service.

On a new starting point, we are ready to achieve new progress. Together with business communities from home and abroad, we will create a better future!


Secretary General of China Import and Export Fair