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Press Release of the Concluding Press Conference of 117th Session of the Canton Fair

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Liu Jianjun, Spokesperson of the Canton Fair and the Deputy Director General of China Foreign Trade Centre

May 5th 2014

Friends from the press, ladies and gentlemen:

Good afternoon! Welcome to the concluding press conference of the 117th session of the Canton Fair.

The 117th Canton Fair is closing this afternoon. Guided by the policy of “achieving progress while maintaining stability, reform and innovation”, we optimized the mix of our exhibitors, promoted brand building and improved the effect of the Fair. The 117th session has brought new vitality to the transformation and upgrading of Chinese companies and the stability and restructuring of China’s foreign trade sector. We have played a leading role in developing a new competitive edge of the foreign trade sector based on technology, brand, quality and service,

Under the leadership of the party committee of the Ministry of Commerce, with the support of provincial and municipal governments and other relevant agencies, and the concerted efforts of our staff, the 117th Canton Fair went on smoothly and we reached our goals.

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

1. Slight decrease of buyer attendance

184,801 overseas buyers from 216 countries and regions around the world attended the 117th Canton Fair, a decrease of 0.7% over the 116th session.

In terms of buyer attendance of all continents, the number of buyers from Asia totaled 105,074, taking up 56.86% of the total; Europe 30,383, accounting for 16.44%; America 27,397, accounting for 14.83%; Africa 15,469 with 8.37% share, and Oceania 6,478 with 3.21% share.

Compared with the last session, the number of buyers from Europe decreased by 17.88%, Asia increased by 2.76%, America increased by 6.02%, Oceania up by 8.49% and Africa up by 2.86%.

The number of buyers from countries along the “One Belt One Road” stood at 80,954, up by 0.8% over the previous session, and accounting for 43.81% of the total.

Buyer attendance of the top 20 countries and regions accounted for 62.21% of the total, 1.54 percentage points lower than the previous session. The top 10 countries and regions with the most buyers are Hong Kong SAR, India, the United States, Taiwan Province, South Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, Australia, Russia, and Indonesia.

Buyer attendance from China’s top ten trading partner countries and regions in 2014 accounted for 58.82% of the total, 3.89 percentage points lower than the previous session. Altogether 1,249 international chain companies attended the Fair, down by 6% compared with the 116th session. 2,676 representatives from these companies attended the Fair, down by 15.9% compared with the previous session. 69 out of the Top 250 Global Retailers in 2014 attended the Fair. Among them there were 4 of the Top 10 retailers: Wal-Mart, Tesco, Carrefour, and Metro.

Among regular buyers, 52,735 attended the Fair for over 10 times, up by 2.81% over the 116th session; for over 15 times there were 33,364, up by 0.22% over the last session.

In terms of the proportion of buyers’ business line to the total number, the top 5 are: electronics and household electrical appliances accounting for 40.03% of the total, daily consumer goods 29%, home decorations 27.49%, gifts 27.1%, and textiles and garments 24.75%.

Buyers that attended more than 1 phase accounted for 15.79% of the total, about the same level compared with the last session. The number of buyers that attended Phase 1 and Phase 2 accounted for 6.57% of the total, that attended Phase 2 and Phase 3 accounted for 4.71%, that attended Phase 1 and Phase 3 accounted for 1.46%, and that attended all 3 phases accounted for 3.04%.

2. Chinese companies paid more attention to developing new advantages in foreign trade.

The accumulated export transaction of this session totaled 172.096 billion RMB Yuan (or 28.056 billion US dollars), a decrease of 9.64 % over the 115th session.

Transaction in Brand Zone was brisk and brand enterprises focused more on developing new competitive edge. Products with indigenous brand, advanced design concepts, innovative technology and smart and environmentally friendly features were very popular and witnessed thriving transaction. More and more companies realized that it is an inevitable choice for their survival and growth to develop new competitive edges based on technology, brand, quality and service.

Products in the International Pavilion were welcome among buyers. 600 enterprises from 47 countries and regions exhibited their products. To explore the Chinese market, overseas exhibitors displayed green, high-tech and featured products, which were very popular among domestic buyers.

3. Premium information services contributed to the transformation and upgrading of companies.

In this session we continued to hold Canton Fair Forums featuring in-depth discussion, and “Design Events to Promote Trade” series activities such as design display, design match-making and thematic talks. These activates were applauded by companies as they provided insights on innovation, design, transformation and upgrading. PDC held 3 design displays (in 3 phases), 10 thematic forums and 3 targeted design match-making activities as well as 28 “Design Talks” events. 102 design institutes from 10 countries and regions, as well as 8 “Design Talents” were invited to take part. The total display area of PDC reached 1426.5 m2, up by 13.21% over the previous session. Besides, it was the first time that we worked with Chamber of Commerce for Machinery and Electronics to hold the “Household Appliances: Branding and Innovation Summit”, which gathered leading companies in the relevant industries to analyze the industrial trend. We also cooperated with the Office for China (Guangdong) Free Trade Pilot Zone to hold an experience sharing event with the International Pavilion.

The 2015 CF Awards was open to application on Oct 15 last year. Trading delegation and chambers of commerce mobilized their member enterprises to take active part through emails, telephone, and Wechat promotion. By May 2 this year, 450 companies have applied with 680 products.

4. Canton Fair set up the standards for building ecological civilization of exhibitions

During this session we continued to implement the Green Development Plan to drive low carbon development and environmental protection. We strengthened policy guidance, encouraged exhibitors to build and dismantle their stands in a green way, promoted green conferences and a green venue. The Green Development Plan was implemented on a full-fledged scale and we set up relevant standards for building an ecological civilization in the Chinese exhibition industry. According to our statistics, the number of green stands in this session stood at 44,195, accounting for 73.1% of the total, meaning that we achieved our goal of 70%. Exhibitors took an active part in the competition for green custom-built stands, with altogether 2,170 exhibitors’ application, an increase of 4.03% over the previous session. (The green stands in Phase 3 were included in the above figures. As we haven’t completed dismantling all the stands in Phase 3, the final precise data will be published after all stands are dismantled.) The amount of waste planking in Phase 1 and Phase 2 was down by 11.04% and 4.3% over the 116th session. The pace of stand dismantling was quickened and efficiency improved. Air quality in the venue was greatly improved and the results for green stands display were enhanced.

To meet the rising demand for green and environmentally friendly products from the international market, exhibitors focused on the research and development of new materials, improved new technologies, and paved a new way with low-carbon and environmentally friendly products. They gained market shares and developed new advantages. All relevant parties, from host and organizer of the Fair, trading delegations, chambers of commerce, exhibitors, buyers, designers, suppliers of environmentally friendly building materials to companies with custom-built stands, recognized the importance and participated more in the establishment of a low-carbon and environmentally friendly Canton Fair. We followed the Canton Fair Green Development Plan and opened a new chapter of a green venue.

5. IPR protection was strengthened to create a sound climate for innovation and development

IPR protection was strengthened in this session to improve the awareness of all relevant parties and create a sound climate and a good order for transactions. In this session, the Canton Fair Complaint Station handled 531 IPR cases, with 663 exhibitors filed and 366 determined as constituting alleged infringement. Compared with the previous session, the number of cases handled increased by 0.95%, the number of filed enterprises increased by 5.91%, and the number of alleged infringement was up by 10.91%. The Station also dealt with 37 trade disputes, down by 24.49% over the last session. The 117th Canton Fair continued to issue Agency Badge for IPR complaints, and 28 agencies applied for the Badge and provided their service in 189 complaints.

6. Initial results achieved in “Smart Canton Fair” 

We emphasized digital application in this session and drove the development of “Smart Canton Fair”. We held 3 Facebook Fans Meeting and connected online activities and offline events such as sharing information of the Fair and experience of purchasing. We improved the function of Canton Fair official website and sent to our buyers the latest information of the Fair through multiple channels. Online rent function of Easy Exhibitor was extended and improved, and online renting service was available on the Wechat service account as well as navigation interaction service. By May 4, the number of users following the Canton Fair Wechat service account has risen by 140% over the previous session. We also upgraded the inquiry system of exhibitors and products, with updates of more than 20,000 exhibitors and 100,000 products of 51 categories. By May 4, there have been about 10 million clicks on the system and 220,000 visits, an increase of 20% over the last session.

Through the E-commerce Platform of Canton Fair in this session, we initiated the “Canton Fair New Product Launch Center”. By making use of big data and Internet search, technology display, on-site purchasing consultant APP and on-site experience of new products in 9 industries, we introduced and published new products of relevant industries. We also held “Canton Fair E-commerce·New Product Launch of Generators and Industrial Chain”, invited overseas buyers and domestic suppliers to engage in face-to-face exchange and achieve cooperation deals quickly. During the 117th session, the number of newly registered buyers on the E-commerce Platform grew by 15%.

7. Onsite services became more targeted

In this session, we strengthened comprehensive management system, followed the requirements of “quality, efficiency, green development and security” to make our services more professional, standardized, and targeted. We improved the visual management of onsite services so that our staff was under supervision constantly and a good image was maintained. We improved the efficiency of services by measuring the service time. Referring to the catering service model in Disney, we put up signs of waiting time in restaurants during peak hours; and in this session more restaurants in our catering area provided such signs. Also we continued to improve our service efficiency: our staff would take pictures whenever there were problems to be solved in onsite service management and send these pictures to relevant departments.

The Canton Fair Call Centre had 36 seats in this session, providing an all-day staff and automatic answering service in Chinese, English, Spanish, French and Russian. Through the hotline 4000-888-999, email, fax, and on-line customer service, we received 48,593 cases of inquiry, contacted customers in 24,000 cases, and handled 747 cases from end to end.

The 117th Canton Fair was greatly supported by the provincial and municipal governments, the relevant commerce departments and the armed police force. The attending media from home and abroad gave comprehensive, objective and in-depth reports on efforts of exhibitors to adapt to the “New Normal” in the development of China’s foreign trade sector, to promote innovation, build brands, develop new competitive edge based on technology, brand, quality and service, and contribute to “stable growth, restructuring and transformation”. On behalf of the News Centre of the Canton Fair, I would like to express our sincere thanks for your hard work!  Thank you!