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Press Release of the Concluding Press Conference of 118th Session of the Canton Fair

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

Nov 4th 2015

Friends from the press, ladies and gentlemen:

Good afternoon! Welcome to the concluding press conference of the 118th 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 118th Canton Fair went on smoothly and we reached our goals. The 118th Canton Fair will conclude this afternoon.

Guided by the policy of “achieving progress while maintaining stability, reform and innovation”, we’ve focused on exhibition specialization and innovation, and facilitated transformation and upgrading of enterprises. Canton Fair has played a leading role in developing a new competitive edge of the foreign trade sector based on technology, brand, quality and service. It also helped companies achieve transaction 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 decrease of buyer attendance

177,544 overseas buyers from 213 countries and regions around the world attended the 118th Canton Fair, a decrease of 4.6% over the 116th session.

In terms of buyer attendance of all continents, the number of buyers from Asia totaled 100,545, down by 1.67% over the 116th session, taking up 56.63% of the total; Europe 33,192, down by 10.29%, accounting for 18.7%; America 23,616, down by 8.61%, accounting for 13.3%; Africa 14,692 with 8.37% share and decreased by 2.31%, and Oceania 5,499 with 3.21% share and 7.9% of decrease.

The number of buyers from countries in the “Belt and Road Initiative” stood at 75,608, down by 5.85% over the 116th session, and accounting for 42.59% of the total.

Buyer attendance of the top 20 countries and regions accounted for 63.32% of the total, 1 percentage point higher than the 116th session. The top 10 countries and regions with the most buyers are Hong Kong, the United States, India, Taiwan Province, South Korea, Thailand, Russia, Malaysia, Japan, and Australia.

Buyer attendance from China’s top ten trading partner countries and regions in 2014 accounted for 61.78% of the total, 0.94 percentage points lower than the 116th session. Altogether 1,244 international chain companies attended the Fair, down by 4.75% compared with the 116th session. 2,638 representatives from these companies attended the Fair, down by 15.23% compared with the 116th session. 116 out of the Top 250 Global Retailers in 2015 attended the Fair. Among them there were 6 of the Top 10 retailers: Wal-Mart, Carrefour, Metro, Home Depot, Tesco and Target.

In terms of the proportion of buyers’ business line to the total number, the top 5 are: electronics and household electrical appliances accounting for 46.16% of the total, daily consumer goods 39.23%, home decorations 36.96%, gifts 35.94%, and textiles and garments 30.08%.

Despite the slight change in the overall number of overseas buyers, buyer attendance from countries in “the Belt and Road Initiative” and developed economies kept stable. First, there was a sharp increase in the number of buyers from “Belt and Road” countries. The number of buyers from South Asian Association increased by 15.37% over the 116th session, India 11.26%, Bangladesh 32.61%, and Pakistan 35.25%. That from Saudi Arabia and Vietnam also increased by 16.4% and 26.2% respectively. Second, buyer attendance in the developed economies was more positive than that in the emerging economies and developing countries. The number of buyers from Canada, the UK and the US rose by 3.24%, 4.17% and 4.87% respectively over the 116th session.

2. China’s foreign trade companies accelerated their efforts of transformation and upgrading, and the adjustment of foreign trade mix is optimistic

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 facilitating orders. The 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 grasped the opportunities brought about by “the Belt and Road initiative” and stepped up their efforts in transformation and upgrading. Now these companies focused more on developing a new competitive edge in foreign trade sector based on technology, brand, quality and service. The exhibitors also endeavored to gain market shares with technological innovation, self-owned brands and environmentally- friendly products. Therefore, companies that valued branding, R&D, innovation and service witnessed growth in the number of their orders. From the products in the completed orders, we can say that the adjustment of foreign trade mix is optimistic and that we are on the way to develop a new competitive edge.

The accumulated export transaction of this session totaled 171.249 billion RMB Yuan (or 27.01 billion US dollars), a decrease of 7.4 % over the 116th session.

The transaction volume in brand zone reached 8.61 billion US dollars, an increase of 6.1% over the 116th session, accounting for 31.9% of the total.

Also, 46% of the orders are short term orders covering 3 months, 35.5% of the orders are mid-term orders covering 3-6 months, and 18.7% long-term orders covering more than 6 months.

3. The International Pavilion has witnessed companies from more countries and the products more specialized

In the 118th session, there were 604 companies and 12 national or regional delegations in the International Pavilion from 40 countries and regions. We’ve seen steady progress in the size, product specialization, and invitation to the domestic buyers. Also the overseas exhibitors come from more countries.

Some leading enterprises from home and abroad such as Honeywell from the US and SABAF from Italy attended the International Pavilion, among many world famous brands. Home textile companies from Turkey, India, Pakistan and etc were in the same exhibition section with Chinese exhibitors. Vanguard, Suning and other famous companies visited and sourced at the Fair. By Nov 3, there has been nearly 90,000 visits to the International Pavilion.

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

In this session we continued to hold Canton Fair Forums and “Design Events to Promote Trade” series activities. These activities were applauded by companies as they provided insights on innovation and design, and the Canton Fair served as a platform for industrial exchanges. We held 11 thematic forums, 43 design match-making activities as well as fashion show of original design. 100 design institutes from 15 countries and regions, 13 famous fashion designers as well as 10 Chinese and Korean “Design Talents” participated in the design activities. The total display area of PDC reached 1593 m2, up by 11.67% over the previous session.

The 2015 CF Awards were presented to 63 winning products. The 2016 CF Awards has been initiated and the deadline for application will be May 15 2016.

5. Progress in the “Green Canton Fair”

We have upheld the concept of green development and implemented sustainable development in the exhibition practices. We started to explore the green project in the 111th Canton Fair and came up with “Green Canton Fair” and its action plan in the 115th session. In the past 2 years, we’ve been able to cut the cost and promoted the idea of green development and ecological civilization among the exhibitors. According to our statistics, the number of green stands in this session stood at 51,758, accounting for 85.6% of the total, meaning that we achieved our goal of 80%. Exhibitors took an active part in the competition for green custom-built stands, with altogether 2,659 exhibitors’ application. The amount of waste planking in Phase 1 and Phase 2 was down by 27.86% and 31.13% over the 117th session. Air quality in the venue was greatly improved and the results for green stands display were enhanced. In some conferences held at the Canton Fair, we sent the documents in the digital way and adjusted the AC temperature to reduce the greenhouse gas emission. Various parties raised the awareness of environmental protection and low carbon development of the Canton Fair by participating in the green project and making due contribution.

6. Awareness of IPR protection has also been raised.

In this session, the Canton Fair Complaint Station handled 603 IPR cases, with 860 exhibitors filed and 368 determined as constituting alleged infringement. Compared with the previous session, the number of cases handled increased by 13.56%, the number of filed enterprises increased by 29.71%, and the number of alleged infringement was up by 0.55%. The Station also dealt with 29 trade disputes, down by 21.62% over the last session. The 118th Canton Fair continued to issue Agency Badge for IPR complaints, and 34 agencies applied for the Badge and provided their service in 229 complaints.

7. Progress in the “Smart Canton Fair”

In this session we forged ahead with “Canton Fair + Internet” and “Smart Canton Fair” and achieved some results. First is to launch “Buyers’ clicks” data service, “Updates for exhibitors” and “Information Station” to help enlarge the marketing of exhibitors. These data reflected the trend in the international market and the issues in the focus of buyers. From Oct 15 to Nov 3, buyers inquired or clicked the information about more than 20,000 exhibitors, 81 clicks on average. There was a peak record of 2,992 clicks on one exhibitor. Second, Canton Fair’s official Wechat account launched more mobile functions, i.e. rental business, payment, sign-up for conferences and forums as well as connecting to the WIFI in the complex. By Nov 3, the number of users following the Canton Fair Wechat and its service account has risen by 36.74% and 48.98% respectively over the previous session. Third, a new column “Window of brands” was launched on the official website. Nearly 1000 highlight products were collected in this column, receiving wide attention from the brand companies

8. Onsite services were steadily improved.

In this session, we strengthened comprehensive management system 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. We put up signs of waiting time in restaurants during peak hours so that visitors can choose an off-peak time. Also our staff would take pictures whenever there were problems to be solved in onsite service management and send these pictures to relevant departments.

Canton Fair Call Center provided more convenient online service. By Nov 3, through phone call, email, fax, and on-line customer service, we received 38,692 cases of inquiry, contacted customers in 24,000 cases, and handled 780 cases of complaints and malfunction from end to end.

To better serve exhibitors and buyers, we invited professional personnel from the customs, quarantine and law department, as well as some credit and insurance companies and foreign trade service providers to serve at the 118th Canton Fair.

The 118th session received wide attention from the present media agencies. Focused on the highlights and keypoints 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 based on technology, brand, quality and service. On behalf of the News Centre of the Canton Fair, I would like to express our sincere thanks for your hard work!

Thank you!