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Press Release of the Concluding Press Conference of the 120th Session of the Canton Fair

    Xu Bing, Spokesperson of the Canton Fair and the Deputy Director General of China Foreign Trade Centre 
Nov 4th 2016

    Friends from the press: 

    Ladies and gentlemen:

    Good afternoon! Welcome to the concluding press conference of the 120th session of the Canton Fair.On the opening of the 120th Canton Fair, Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory message, Chinese  Premier Li Keqiang gave instructions, and Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang made an inspection of the Canton Fair and gave a speech on the seminar for China’s foreign trade. With the attention and care of the central government, the support of provincial and municipal governments and other relevant agencies, under the leadership of the Ministry of Commerce and Guangdong Province, and the concerted efforts of our staff, the 120th Canton Fair went on smoothly and we reached our goals. The 120th Canton Fair will conclude this afternoon.

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

    1. Study the congratulatory message of President Xi and instructions of Premier Li The congratulatory message 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. 

    According to the instructions by the Ministry of Commerce and Minister Gao, the Leading Committee of the Canton Fair attached great importance to implementing Xi’s congratulatory message and Li’s instructions, held thematic meetings on all 3 phases, studied and arranged related work. Trading delegations of different localities, chambers of commerce, China Foreign Trade Centre responded quickly and studied in various forms, updated the mindset and actions of all staffs in all phases. In this session we adopted the development concepts of innovation, coordination, green development, opening up, and sharing, and improved specialization, branding, globalization, information application and market-oriented development.

    2. Recovered growth of overseas buyer attendance and steady pick-up of export transaction
185,704 overseas buyers from 213 countries and regions around the world attended the 120th Canton Fair, an increase of 4.6% over the 118th session (same below) of last year.

    In terms of buyer attendance of all continents in descending order, the number of buyers from Asia totaled 104,783, taking up 56.4% of the total; Europe 35,360, accounting for 19.04%; Americas 26,192, accounting for 14.11%; Africa 13,764 with 7.41% share, and Oceania 5,605 with 3.02% share.

    Compared with the 118th session, buyer attendance from Asia increased by 4.22%, from Europe increased by 6.53%, Americas up by 10.91%, Africa down by 6.32%, and Oceania up by 0.11%.

    The number of buyers from countries in the “Belt and Road Initiative” stood at 81,604, up by 7.93% and accounting for 44% of the total.

    Buyer attendance of the top 20 countries and regions accounted for 62.45% of the total, roughly the same share compared with the 118th session. The top 10 countries and regions in terms of buyer source are Hong Kong, the United States, India, Taiwan Province, Thailand, South Korea, Russia, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Japan.

    Buyer attendance from China’s top 10 trading partner countries and regions accounted for 63.31% of the total, 1.53 percentage points higher than the 118th session. Altogether 1,167 international chain companies attended the Fair, down by 6.19% compared with the 118th session. 2,471 representatives from these companies attended the Fair, down by 6.33%. 100 out of the Top 250 Global Retailers in 2015 attended the Fair. Among them there were 5 of the Top 10 retailers: Wal-Mart, Tesco, Carrefour, Metro and Aldi Einkauf.

    Regular buyers with more than 10 times’ attendance totaled 48,836, up by 1.3%; buyers with more than 15 times’ attendance 35,114, up by 4.73%.

    In terms of the proportion of buyers’ business line to the total number, the top 5 are: electronics and household electrical appliances accounting for 40.3% of the total, daily consumer goods 30.9%, home decorations 28.9%, gifts 27.5%, and machinery products 25.3%.

    The buyer attendance this session achieved a 4.6% increase and the main features are: emerging markets and developing countries witnessed an 8.37% increase, higher than the total level. Buyer attendance from Belt and Road countries rose by 7.93%. ASEAN and SAARC witness remarkable growth, contributed by Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. Buyer attendance from Russia increased by 9.56%, and from Iran 21.53%. Latin American also witnessed remarkable growth, with buyers from Argentina, Columbia and Brazil up by over 20%. Among developed countries, the EU and Japan experienced salient growth and buyers from the US and Canada also rose. 

    During this session, we responded to the Belt and Road strategy by guiding companies to strengthen R&D, nurture brands, and build marketing network to advance the shift of foreign trade growth source and structure optimization. Trading delegations of different localities, chambers of commerce and associations encouraged exhibitors to reach more orders. China Foreign Trade Centre relieved the burden of exhibitors by improving exhibition services.

    The accumulated export transaction of this session totaled 187.301 billion RMB Yuan (or 27.89 billion US dollars), an increase of 3.2 % over the 118th session.

    Transaction of machinery and electronic products ranked the top among all products at 15.1 billion dollars, up by 1.8% and accounting for 54.1%; light industrial products 7.2 billion dollars, up by 2.9% and accounting for 25.8%; textile and garments 1.63 billion dollars, up by 1.8% and taking up 5.8% of the total.

    The EU, BRIC and the US are the top 3 contributors of transaction achieved. Their volume stood at 5.6%, 11.5% and 14.7%, taking up 25.5%, 13.6% and 13.3% respectively. Transaction with the Belt and Road countries totaled 8.25 billion dollars, increased by 1.5% and accounting for 29.6% of the total.

    Private companies took the lead in completing orders. Transaction achieved by private companies stood at 18.65 billion dollars, up by 4.4% and taking up 66.9%; by state-owned companies 3.76 billion dollars, down by 8.6% and accounting for 13.5%; by foreign invested countries 5.48 billion dollars, up by 8.6% and taking up 19.7% of the total.

    The transaction volume in brand zone was brisk, reaching 9.51 billion US dollars, an increase of 10.5% over the 118th session, accounting for 34.1% of the total.

    A large proportion, 81.6%, of the orders are short- and mid-term orders within 6 months, and 18.4% are long-term orders covering more than 6 months. Compared with the previous sessions, buyers showed stronger purchasing will and less sensitivity to price, paying more attention to product quality and service.

    3. Continuous innovation and bigger role as a comprehensive platform

    In the new era, we have extended the Canton Fair’s function from achieving export transactions only to a multi-function platform of import promotion, business networking, display and negotiation, industrial communication, information release and branding. Firstly we’ve improved Canton Fair’s function as an export platform. Canton Fair’s transaction volume in a year totals around 60 billion dollars, a vital platform for the export of foreign trade companies. According to our survey, for exhibitors, transactions achieved at the Canton Fair take up 47.9% of their annual transaction. Secondly we’ve enhanced the import function. We’ve held various forms of trade matchmaking events to improve the effects of trade. Many overseas companies have found quality domestic agents through the International Pavilion and entered the Chinese market. Thirdly we’ve built Canton Fair as a channel for business networking. Our survey shows that more than 90% of exhibitors and 60% of buyers attend the Fair to meet clients. In this session we also held trade matchmaking events such as import products matching of Liaoning Province, China-Saudi Arabia business networking, capacity building of Wal-Mart female entrepreneurs, etc, to facilitate companies establishes customer relationships. Fourthly we’ve driven industrial communication. In this session, we held 74 Canton Fair Forums such as industrial summits and design innovation and 94 design institutes took part in the activities. Fifthly we’ve built Canton Fair as a place for new products and brand promotion. In this session brand zone took up 20% of all the booths and contributed 34.1% of the total transactions, playing an active role in building self-owned export brands. The 2016 CF Awards also helped exhibitors set up their brand image and showcase created-in-China products. The number of winning companies and winning products of CF Awards have both hit historic high at 57 and 72. Some exhibitors witnessed 50% update rate in their new products.

    4. Improved smart services

    To build a smart Canton Fair, we will focus on an online-offline integrated service system based on smart service, smart business travel, Canton Fair certification, and enterprise promotion. We have updated the Canton Fair official website, the Canton Fair Call Center and our mobile APP to bring innovation into our marketing, and advance smart management and convenient services. 

    By Nov 3, BEST sent 134,066 emails with a 90% reached rate. The number of visitors pre-registered through new media marketing increased from 2,500 in the 117th session to nearly 70,000 this session.

    By improving the Canton Fair website, updating mobile APP, launching a new exhibitor and product search system, advancing the online service of carrying exhibits, introducing facial recognition technology at entrances, we’ve enhanced the interactive experience at the Fair and our services.

    5. Goals reached in the green development plan

    According to the plan of Ministry of Commerce, we spent 3 years in implementing the green development plan. By this session, we’ve reached our goals in green development and achieved 100% rate in green booths. Through advocating green move-in, green move-out, green booths, green conference and green venue, we’ve cut the cost of building booths and improved exhibition effects. The waste has been reduced greatly and air quality significantly improved.

    6. Enhanced IPR protection 

    The Canton Fair has put in place a complete and pragmatic IPR protection system and played a big role in encouraging companies for self innovation and transformation and upgrading of foreign trade. In this session, the Canton Fair Complaint Station handled 567 IPR cases, with 610 exhibitors filed and 331 determined as constituting alleged infringement. Compared with the previous session, the number of cases handled increased by 18.37%, the number of filed enterprises decreased by 0.49%, and the number of alleged infringement was up by 2.16%. The Station also dealt with 36 trade disputes, 6 more than the last session. We continued to issue Agent Badge for professionals from IPR and trade dispute institutes. 31 agents applied for such badges and provided service in 177 cases.

    The 120th session received wide attention from media at home and abroad. Focused on the highlights and key points of this session, journalists interviewed our exhibitors, buyers and commerce departments of different provinces. These attending media 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 of foreign trade. On behalf of the News Centre of the Canton Fair, I would like to express our sincere thanks for your professionalism and hard work!

    I wish to see you again in the 121st session in April next year. Thank you!