Interview: Canton Fair Boosting Trade Ties

2019 Canton Fair Venue
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The Canton Fair, with a history of 62 years, is China’s biggest trade fair. It is also the oldest and the most representative trade fair in China.

The 125th Canton Fair will take place in three stages: Phase I: 15-19 April 2019, Phase II: 23-27 April 2019 and Phase 3: 1-5 May 2019.

Each year, Canton Fair is attended by nearly 200,000 international buyers from more than 200 countries and regions, according to Chinese data.

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We at Arabian Gazette had the chance to interact with some of the Canton Fair officials here in Dubai during their roadshow to promote the event, to find about more on the upcoming Canton Fair, the expectations, the three phases of Canton Fair, and the impact of US-China trade war.

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Here are the excerpts from our interview:

The main attractions of Canton Fair…

The 2019 Canton Fair is being organized after some careful planning and thought process with the following objectives:

1) To further enhance the level of exhibition specialization, and bring a rich and convenient experience of exhibition procurement for purchasers.
2) High-quality enterprises gather together to fully display the charm of “China Intelligent Manufacturing”.
3) Careful cultivation of new themes and multi-dimensional selection of excellent exhibitors.
4) The exhibition area of special products in poverty-stricken areas bring unique local characteristic products.
5) Optimizing Online Services, Promoting Exhibitors’ Search Experience and Building Wisdom Canton Fair.
6) Work hand in hand with business associations to provide more abundant and comprehensive industry information for purchasers.

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How 2019 April Canton Fair is going to be different from previous versions…

The 124th Canton Fair has 107 design companies/institutions from 14 countries/regions, including the United States, Germany, France, Greece, Netherlands, Italy, Australia, Korea, Japan, Singapore, Sweden, Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, China and mainland China. Fifty-one clothing and luggage design brands participated in the design exhibition, with 225 booths and a display area of 2025 square meters. Fangmi, in which the Hong Kong Exhibition Group participated in the design exhibition with six world-class design companies, and set up a theme exhibition area of “Good Design in Hong Kong” in PDC Design Gallery for designers and exhibitors to exchange and negotiate cooperation. The 107 design and exhibition organizations of the Canton Fair have contacted 19,334 people, of which 35.4% can be further discussed, an increase of 14.7% over the same period last year.

At the 125th Canton Fair, PDC will adhere to the development concept of “innovation, coordination, green, open and sharing”, continue to serve Canton Fair participating enterprises as the core, cultivate new international competitive advantages of Canton Fair participating enterprises as the working goal, and serve our foreign trade “steady growth, structural adjustment, rotation and quality improvement”.

The expectations for 2019 April Canton Fair…

Firstly, spur innovation in marketing mode. We have carried out big-data driven digital marketing based on social media and search engine, introduced Facebook messenger bot, Progressive Web Apps, AI and other technologies, strengthened remote video promotion, to improve the intelligent marketing.

Secondly, focus on specialization. We’ve focused on content marketing and will enhance the theme and creative idea design of the content according to different sections, industries and markets. We also send content in line with marketing purpose through professional channels.

Thirdly, targeted marketing. In the framework of Canton Fair Overseas Partnership Program, we have enlarged our cooperation with overseas industrial, commercial and trade promotion organizations as well as specialized industrial associations; engaged in targeted marketing with different strategies for different regions and countries according to the demand of exhibition sections and target markets; improved big data analysis and life cycle management of buyers and invited buyers of different regions and industries in a targeted manner.

Fourthly, delicate service. We have advanced Buyer Incentive Program and stepped up our cooperation with airlines, hotels and financial industry; improved CRM of key customers through Overseas VIP Lounge, I-Invite, ARNB and etc. In the meanwhile, we will organize supplier-buyer networking for regional trading delegations and multinationals sourcing activities to provide more professional and convenient services and to improve buyers’ attending experience.

The three phases of Canton Fair…

The 125th Canton Fair will continue to be held in three stages. The Export Fair will have 51 exhibition areas for 16 categories of commodities and the Import Fair will be held in the first and third stages.

The time and theme of the Canton Export Fair are as follows:

Phase I: 15-19 April 2019
Exhibition contents: electronic and household appliances, lighting, vehicles and accessories, machinery, hardware tools, building materials, chemical products, new energy, etc.

Phase II: 23-27 April 2019
Exhibition contents: consumer goods, gifts, home decorations, etc.

Phase 3: 1-5 May 2019
Exhibition contents: textile clothing, shoes, office bags and leisure goods, medicine and medical care, food and so on.

The second part is about the propaganda content, calibre, basic situation, new features and new measures of the import exhibition area of the 125th Canton Fair. The import exhibition of the 125th Canton Fair covers an area of 20,000 square meters and will attract more than 600 high-quality overseas enterprises from 50 countries and regions.

Countries with most trade visitors…

At the 125th Canton Fair, Turkey, Egypt, Malaysia, India, Korea, Germany, Nepal, Macao, China and Taiwan have decided to set up national or regional exhibition groups. In addition, a number of internationally renowned industry leaders will gather, including Caterpillar ranked Fortune 500, Simfer Turkish household appliances leader, Cascade British renowned decorative lighting equipment brand, NUC, Japan Pump Industry Leader, LORENZETTI Brazilian renowned bathroom brand, as well as from “one area, one area”.

Impact of US-China trade spat on Canton Fair…

As the U.S. and Chinese governments confront each other in trade disputes, Chinese exporters have expressed concern about the escalation of the conflict, but many say the worst is not expected as negotiations between the two countries continue. China’s exporters are more concerned about manufacturing costs, new orders and exchange rates than about concerns about rising protectionism. Although commodity fairs have sprung up all over China in recent years, coupled with the emergence of online platforms such as Alibaba, the two-yearly Canton Fairs still rank first in scale. Canton Fair can attract more Chinese manufacturers and foreign buyers than other competitors and is regarded as the vane of China’s export industry. China’s export industry accounts for about 18% of gross domestic product (GDP). The Hong Kong Electronics Exhibition is one of the largest exhibitions in the region.

Some of the biggest participating Canton Fair exhibitors…

The second phase exhibits consumer goods, gifts, home decorations and other exhibits, with more than 20,000 exhibition places, an exhibition area of about 400,000 square meters, and more than 7,500 enterprises. From the scale of the exhibition, the categories of consumer goods and household decorations are more than 140,000 square meters, and the categories of gifts are more than 90,000 square meters.

The 125th Canton Fair Import Fair will continue to keep abreast of market trends, optimize the “International Daily Health Industry Cluster” and infant and child products special area, and organize several special promotional activities to effectively connect with high-quality buyers such as importers, distributors and retailers from all over the country, so as to help overseas exhibitors grasp the new opportunities of the Chinese market in a timely manner.

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