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Imported goods now Canton Fair highlight

Source:   Time:

BEIJING, March 29 (Xinhuanet) -- Imported goods will again be a highlight at the China Import and Export Fair in April - a vast change from when it was founded in 1957 without a single import on offer.

Commonly known as the Canton Fair, the trade mart has been held in Guangzhou of Guangdong province every spring and autumn for 54 years. It was called simply the China Export Fair when it began because no overseas goods were exhibited.

The first imported goods zone covered 10,000 square meters at the 101st Canton Fair four years ago when foreign companies were invited to participate for the first time.

With the import zone doubling in size and number of goods, the fair is now regarded as one of the best markets for overseas companies to find buyers.

Each of the two fairs last year welcomed more than 200,000 dealers and visitors, with contracted deals worth more than $30 billion.

At the 108th Canton Fair last autumn, more than 500 enterprises from 43 countries and regions across the world showed their products in the imported goods zone, attracting more than 88,000 buyers from China and overseas.

The fair received high praise from business delegations from many countries and regions including India, Singapore, South Korea, the Netherlands and Turkey.

The imported goods zone is planned for two of the three five-day periods in this spring's Canton Fair. The first session lasts from April 15 to 19 focusing on electronic appliances, machinery and industrial raw materials. The second runs from May 1 to 5 to display food, farm produce, cosmetics and health care products.

Expanding scale

The twice-a-year gala is among China's most important international business fairs, boasting the longest history, excellent reputation, large scale, vast range of products and great numbers of dealers involved.

During the nation's 11th Five-Year Plan (2006-2010) period, the Canton Fair expanded its exhibition area from 620,000 square meters to more than 1.1 million square meters as its number of booths grew from 30,000 to 57,000.

More than 150,000 products from 23,000 companies were exhibited in the fair over the period, attracting 1.9 million buyers from 212 countries and regions. Export contracts worth more than $330 billion were signed over those five years.

"The Canton Fair will go on highlighting its market orientation and global insights," said officials of the fair. "With many years' revolutionary reforms, the fair has greatly improved, and is able to provide a broader, more professional platform for enterprises all over the world to trade and share information."

"But we still have to upgrade our service and organization to offer more and better opportunities for business cooperation," they added.

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