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Press Release of the Opening of the 113th Session of China Import and Export Fair

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Mr. Liu Jianjun, spokesperson of the Canton Fair, Deputy Director General of China Foreign Trade Centre
(Apr. 14th, 2013, Guangzhou)

Friends from the press, ladies and gentlemen,

Good morning! Welcome to the press conference for the opening of the 113th session of China Import and Export Fair. After preparing for half a year, we are ready for the 113th Canton Fair, which will open tomorrow.

At present, the world economy is picking up steadily. The U.S. economy is slowly recovering and the European debt crisis generally under control. According to the forecasts of International Monetary Fund, the average global economic growth rate this year will reach 3.5%, 0.3 percentage points higher than that of last year. Although the international economic environment this year is better than last year, global economy remains weak. Japanese Yen and British Pound have depreciated by a large margin, and the international market demand is still inadequate. Developed economies suffer from sluggish growth while emerging economies slowed-down growth rate. Trade protectionism increases in the entire world. All these factors have led to the uncertainty of the world economic recovery. Besides, cost of various factors of production in China has gone up, and we are losing our traditional competitive edge. Enterprises are faced with increasing pressure, as their orders and the relevant industries transfer to other countries.

The 18th National Party Congress emphasized that, China is still in an important period of strategic opportunities. The Congress proposed to implement the “innovation-driven strategy” and to create new export competitive edge based on technology, brand, quality and service. The 113th session of the Canton Fair will follow the strategies proposed by the 18th National Party Congress, adopt the scientific outlook on development, and focus on accelerating the foreign trade development mode. With the goal of “steady growth, economic restructuring and balanced growth” in mind, the Canton Fair will drive innovation in its business development mode to improve both quality and efficiency.

Now, on behalf of the Canton Fair Leading Committee, I will brief you on the preparation of the 113th session of the Canton Fair.

1. The exhibition area and the number of stands remain stable

The exhibition area of the 113th Canton Fair totals 1.16 million square meters with 59,531 stands, 22 more stands than that of the previous session. There are 24,746 exhibitors from both home and abroad, 94 less compared with the previous session.

Overall Situation in the National Pavilion

In this session, there are 58,631 stands in the National Pavilion, 16 more than the last session; 24,184 exhibitors, 104 less than the last session. As usual, 15 categories of products will be exhibited in 50 sections. The arrangement of the stands are as follows: 11,806 branded stands and 46,825 standard stands, taking up 20% and 80% respectively. And the numbers of exhibiting enterprises in three phases are: 8,640 enterprises in the first phase, 7,180 enterprises in the second phase, and 8,364 enterprises in the third phase.

Classified by business type, there are 12,201 manufacturing enterprises, 9,427 foreign trade enterprises, 2,343 industrial and trading enterprises, 9 research institutes and 204 enterprises of other categories, accounting for 50.45%, 39%, 9.67%, 0.04% and 0.84% respectively.

Classified by business ownership, there are 1,940 state-owned enterprises, 3,796 foreign funded enterprises and joint ventures, 278 collective enterprises, 16,360 private enterprises, and 1810 enterprises of other categories, accounting for 8.02%, 15.69%, 1.14%, 67.65% and 7.5% respectively.

Overall Situation in the International Pavilion

During this session, the Canton Fair will continue to set up the International Pavilion in Phase 1 and Phase 3, with 7 sections and 20,000 square meters of exhibition area. There are 900 stands, 6 more than the last session. 562 enterprises from 38 countries and regions will exhibit their products, 10 enterprises more than the last session. And also there will be 11 national and regional trade delegations attending the International Pavilion. The top five countries and regions with the most exhibiting enterprises are Korea (161 enterprises), Taiwan Province (75 enterprises), India (70 enterprises), Malaysia (65 enterprises) and Turkey (50 enterprises).

2. Improve the Standard of Exhibition Organization and Exhibition Quality

In the National Pavilion, we start from revising the regulations and perfecting the mechanism to improve the standard of organizing exhibition and the quality of exhibition. In Canton Fair Regulations on Management of Stands in the National Pavilion, an article is added on how to deal with empty stands and disputes of stand ownership. In Regulations on Exhibits, new measures specify punishment on exhibitors who display his or her exhibits in public areas. In Canton Fair Regulations on Leaflets Distribution inside the Complex, an article is added on banning behaviors that violate the Regulations. In Letter of Accountability on Stand Usage, a newly-added constraint article regulates on-site displaying and banns exhibits put in public areas. In Letter of Accountablity on Stand Usage and Management, articles are added on dealing with empty stands and disputes of stand ownership, exhibits put in public areas, and IPR and trade disputes. In the qualifications of exhibitors, a newly-added article disqualifies exhibitors who have attended the Fair in the same Pavilion for two years yet without any progress in export. Besides, we have also improved the drawing management system and sorted out exhibit catalog to increase the efficiency of organizing exhibition.

In the International Pavilion, we integrate the exhibition themes and increase promotion to improve the quality of the International Pavilion. On the one hand, we have integrated household product categories and added textile fabrics in the International Pavilion, which will lead to better interaction between upstream and downstream industries in the National and International Pavilions respectively. On the other hand, we have improved qualification evaluation system and revised the assessment method for trade delegations. In this way we can improve the quality of exhibiting enterprises. We have also stepped up our efforts of inviting exhibitors in European and American countries. As for the invitation of domestic buyers, we continue our efforts in two channels, namely invitation by China Foreign Trade Center and by overseas exhibitors. We held 6 promotion conferences in Liaoning, Tianjin, Anhui, Zhejiang, Fuzhou and other places. It is also the first time that in these conferences we focused on domestic trade enterprises with good retail channels; altogether more than 200 representatives from chain supermarkets, shopping malls, and import companies participated in the promotion conferences. They inquired about machinery and electronics, food, textile fabrics and so on; some of them expressed strong intention of attendance and purchasement. During this session, a special hotline (call 4000-888-999 and get transferred) for buyers of the International Pavilion was set up to give detailed information about badge application and other services. By April 10 2013, nearly 1700 domestic buyers have applied for buyer badge in the International Pavilion.

3. Differentiated and targeted promotion activities

In view of the current economic situation, we optimized promotion strategies for the 113th Canton Fair, namely we focused on key markets with targeted promotion activities.

Step up buyer invitation in key markets. We kept our efforts of buyer invitation for the 113th Canton Fair, and altogether invited 1.486 million buyers. Specifically, we focused on the top 30 countries with the most buyer attendance in the 112th session and the top 30 countries with the largest decline in buyer attendance (altogether 38 countries and regions). We also invited 100,000 new buyers.

Push forward market-oriented promotion. We paid more attention to the effects of our publicity and promotion activities, improved assessment of advertisement effectiveness, and highlighted the application of new media. We also valued the key markets. During the preparation for the 113th session, 8 promotion teams launched promotion conferences in 21 countries and regions. And we pushed forward market-oriented promotion in 11 countries and regions including India, Brazil, Turkey, etc. We also explored emerging markets with huge potential like Malaysia, India, and Russia; and second- and third-tier cities in the United States, the European Union and other traditional quality markets. For this session, more market-oriented promotion activities have been launched than that of the previous two sessions combined.

Encourage exhibitors to invite more buyers. For the first time, we launched “Exhibitors Inviting Buyers Program” among all trade delegations and exhibitors, with free accommodation and other incentives as the reward of the program. Exhibitors took an active part in it, and the invitation sent by them increased by multiple times.

4. Innovate services and improve value-added services to promote the transformation and upgrading of enterprises

In the 113th Canton Fair, we emphasize innovation-driven development to improve value-added services to promote the transformation and upgrading of enterprises. For example, we will launch design contest, e-commerce platform, static display and provide premium information.

Extend premium information service

Canton Fair Product Design and Trade Promotion Centre (PDC) is enlarged to 859.5 square meters, up by 66% compared to the last session and four folds to the time when it was first established. 45 design institutes from 10 countries and regions including France, Italy, the Netherlands, Greece, Japan, Spain, Korea, Chinese Mainland, Hong Kong SAR and Taiwan Province will participate in the PDC display. At the same time, thematic activities such as design forums and trade match-making will be held. Conferences and forums will take the themes of international market, brand marketing, design strategy, trend and so on. The international market forum this session will focus on Russia.

Initiate the Canton Fair Design Awards (CF Awards) Contest

As an important indicator of China’s foreign trade, the Canton Fair encourages exhibiting enterprises to improve their design and R&D ability to facilitate the upgrading of foreign trade. Therefore, the Canton Fair has drawn upon experiences of world famous trade fairs to promote product innovation, and plan to launch CF Awards Contest once a year starting from 2013. In 2013, the Contest only opens to exhibits in the National Pavilion, specifically 5 categories of 13 product sections. Design experts at home and abroad are invited as judges, with the evaluation standards being innovation, beauty, quality, function and environmental protection. The selection will be completed, the results published, and the awards given before the end of 114th session.

Canton Fair E-commerce Platform is officially launched

We will initiate pilot projects of “trade behavior collection terminal” to increase the efficiency of match-making. We will provide exclusive space for member companies to realize intelligent pairing. And we will also join hands with financial partners to provide trade financing services. Besides, we have worked with 98 overseas industrial and commercial institutes; and we stay in touch with them both online and offline—on the Internet and through purchasing meetings. In this way we provide 24-hour seamless connection between suppliers and buyers; the connection is also area- and industry- specific.

Innovate static display

From the 113th Canton Fair, 430 square meters of the static display zone is set up at the North platform in Area A. This is for local governments to promote their efforts of upgrading foreign trade, such as demonstration bases, high-tech development zones, emerging industrial parks or bases.

5. Improve exhibition services and establish industry standards

In this session, we come up with new service concept and mode, and improve every link of the services.

First, we will implement the national strategy of ecological civilization and promote low carbon environmental protection in Canton Fair. We will implement the Opinions on Promoting Environment Protection and Low Carbon Development in Canton Fair in stand construction and dismantling, as well as buyer attendance. We will launch competition of low carbon and environmental protection among custom-built stands in 3 phases. Winning exhibitors and builders will receive awards, including priority in stand arrangement. Besides, we encourage enterprises to use environmentally-friendly materials instead of paint and whitewash, and to use energy-saving lamps. In this way, we can upgrade the exhibition mode of Canton fair.

Second, we will extend our service commitment and improve the efficiency. The service commitment gained recognition from exhibitors, buyers and trade delegations in the last session, and increased customer satisfaction. It also improved the efficiency of on-site services. In this session, we will extend our commitment to 18 services, and revise our quantitative criteria of time for each service. The service commitment will be released for public supervision, which will improve the brand image of professional services in Canton Fair.

Third, we make use of information technology to innovate and enrich our services. We have introduced "wifi zone (charge station)" and a China Telecom special line with 300M bandwidth, which can improve network environment in public areas. We will also prolong free wifi time to 3 hours for exhibitors and buyers, and launch cellphone APP based on IOS (for Apple).

Fourth, we will strengthen badge management. In the badge application system, information of exhibitors, trade delegations and exhibiting enterprises must be precisely matched with their badges. We will also strengthen the examination of badge and ID information, and set up badge examination facilities in stand dismantling period, in order to prevent invalid badge entry. We will also regularly publish blacklist of fake badges.

At last, I'd like to briefly introduce the major events and activities in next few days for this session.

Opening Reception of the 113th Canton Fair will be held in Westin Pazhou in the evening of April 14th.

The Canton Fair E-commerce Platform Launching Ceremony will be held on the Central Platform in the morning of April 15th.

Canton Fair (Russia) International Market Forum will be held in Conference Room No.8, Floor B, Area B on April 16th.

Dear friends from the press, 2013 is the first year for China to implement the guidelines of the 18th National Party’s Congress, and a crucial year to carry out the Twelfth Five-Year Plan. Therefore it is of great significance to hold the 113th Canton Fair against this background. We need to lift our confidence and seize the opportunities to bring Canton Fair to the next level. We believe that, under the leadership of the Ministry of Commerce and the People’s Government of Guangdong Province, with concerted efforts of everyone working in the foreign trade sector, we will achieve great success in holding this session. What’s more, we will make greater contribution to achieve the goal of “steady growth, restructuring and balanced growth” in China’s foreign trade, and to open a new chapter for the “Chinese dream”!

Welcome to cover 113th session of the Canton Fair!

Thank you!