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China's Canton Fair sees declining participants, turnover

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GUANGZHOU, Nov. 4 (Xinhua) -- The 112th session of the Canton Fair, China's largest trade fair, witnessed a decline in both participants and turnover, according to the event's closing press conference on Sunday.

Statistics from the fair's organizer show that, as of Saturday, 188,145 overseas participants from 211 countries and regions have signed into the fair, said spokesman Liu Jianjun.

The figure was 10.26 percent lower than the last session, in spring, and 10.5 percent lower than the corresponding period last year, he said.

The declining number of overseas buyers at the fair -- a barometer of China's export situation -- indicated weak global demand amid a sluggish recovery, compounded by a more recent eurozone debt crisis, according to insiders.

And regular customers and exhibitors comprised a major portion of over 73.3 percent of all participants in the fair, Liu added.

The fair has also seen a fall in its turnover of 32.68 billion U.S. dollars, a 9.3-percent decrease compared to the spring session.

Orders from the traditional market of European countries and Japan dropped considerably, while those from emerging markets showed minor declines.

At a time when the entire world is tightening its belt, global buyers have become more cautious and hesitant in clinching orders.

"The double declines have shown China's severe situations in foreign trade. The good news is that some Chinese enterprises have shown their competitiveness with brands and innovations," said Liu.

China's foreign trade in the first three quarters of 2012 rose a mere 6.2 percent to 2.84 trillion U.S. dollars, sharply contrasting to the 20.3-percent growth registered during the same period in 2011, according to the General Administration of Customs.

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