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Press Release of the Opening of the 123rd Session of China Import and Export Fair

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The Press Conference for the opening of the 123rd session of China Import and Export Fair was held in Canton Fair Complex in the morning of Apr 14th. Mr. Xu Bing, spokesperson of the Canton Fair, Deputy Director General of China Foreign Trade Centre, introduced the general situation of this session.

Xu Bing stated that this year is the first year to implement the spirit of the 19th CPC Congress, also the 40th anniversary of reform and opening-up; it is a critical year to win the tough battle of targeted poverty reduction and to secure a decisive victory in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects. At the 123rd Canton Fair, we will follow the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, study and implement the spirit of the 19th CPC Congress, focus on the goal of becoming a strong economic and trading nation in advance and stick to the principle of maintaining stability while pursuing progress. We will also stay committed to the new development concepts, upgrade “Smart Canton Fair” and “Green Canton Fair”, consolidate Canton Fair’s image as the window of China’s protection of intellectual property and play the Canton Fair’s role as a compressive and multi-functional platform. We will continue to improve Canton Fair’s specialization, market-orientation, information technology application and international development, and drive Canton Fair’s development in a manner of high quality, to make new contributions to consolidate China’s status as a big trader, build China into a strong trading nation and form a new pattern of opening-up in all aspects.

According to Xu Bing, with intense but orderly preparation, the 123rd Canton Fair is ready, which will open tomorrow.

Xu Bing introduced that the whole arrangement of the 123rd Canton Fair remains the same and exhibition size steady. The 123rd session will still be held in three phases with a total exhibition area of 1.185 million square meters and 60,475 booths. There are 25,171 exhibiting companies from home and abroad. Phase 1 starts from April 15th to 19th, showing Electronics and Household Electrical Appliances, Lighting Products, Vehicles Spare Parts, Machinery, Hardware & Tools, Building Materials, Chemical Products and Energy Products. Phase 2 starts from April 23rd to 27th, showing Daily Consumer Goods, Gifts and Home Decoration Products. Phase 3 starts from May 1st to 5th, showing Textile and Garment, Shoes, Cases and Bags, Recreation Products, Medicine and Healthcare Products and Food.

16 categories of products will be exhibited in 51 sections. In this session, there are 59,483 booths and 24554 exhibiting companies in the National Pavilion. The booth arrangement is as follows: 11,925 brand booths and 47,558 general booths, taking up 20% and 80% respectively. The number of exhibiting companies in 3 phases is: 8,653 in Phase 1, 7,371 in Phase 2, and 8,530 in Phase 3.

The International Pavilion will be set up in Phase 1 and Phase 3, with an area of 20,000 square meters. There are 992 booths and 6 product zones, and 617 enterprises and 12 national and regional delegation from 34 countries and regions, among which Ukraine, Thailand and Nepal are exhibiting for the first time. 

Xu said that to further improve specialization and exhibition quality, we will optimize product zones in the National Pavilion. In this session we will further divide sections in a specialized setting and 152 product zones will be set up, 12 more than the last session. We will also optimize structure of exhibiting companies and exhibits. Update ratio of exhibiting companies has reached 5% and more brand exhibitors representing China’s top manufacturing capacity will participate; to be exact, 2149 brand companies in the National Pavilion. We will optimize New Energy, Outdoor Spa Equipment and other new themes; industrial leading brands continue to exhibit, and the overall quality of exhibition has been improved. More products of self-owned IPR and brands, high technological content and low-carbon and environmentally friendly products have been present and new images of Made-in-China and Chinese brands have been more noticeable. Also we will improve specialization in the International Pavilion. In this session we will launch the comprehensive health industrial cluster for international daily chemicals for the first time, and high end and organic daily chemical brands from the US, France and Germany will participate. We’ll also hold various trade-matchmaking activities, to build a “One-Stop” bridging platform for overseas exhibitors and domestic buyers.

For this session we’ve made innovation in promotion concepts and methods and carried out targeted marketing, invitation and service according to industries. Firstly, global promotion. We’ve advanced innovative buyer promotion mode based on Internet, new media and big data application, invite global buyers to attend through six social media, five search engines and professional email marketing. We’ve held 15 remote video conferences (International Promotion Campaign) in 15 countries, and expanded Canton Fair’s “Friends’ Circle”. Secondly targeted marketing. We’ve engaged in comprehensive cooperation on marketing with 113 industrial and commercial organizations in 67 countries. With professional channels and resources, we can target specific markets and key customers for targeted marketing activities. Thirdly targeted invitation. We’ve further advanced I-invite and ARNB activities to increase attendance rate. Fourthly, targeted service. We’ve enhanced buyers’ CRM and set up VIP Lounge and Restaurant to improve buyers’ experiences. It is the first time that we roll our incentive measures for supplier and buyer matchmaking activities and coordinate trading delegations, exhibitors and buyers on such activities. We’ve also enhanced our cooperation with airlines and hotels to provide more professional and convenient value-added services. We’ve made new attempts in applying Messenger Bot, VR video, AR technology, Progressive Web App, AI to improve smart services.

Xu introduced that the functions of Canton Fair have been further enriched; while export trade continues to be consolidates, comprehensives ones such as customer networking, display and negotiation, industrial exchange, information release and product promotion have been enhanced. In this session we will provide high-end information, supporting events and onsite value-added services that match exhibitors’ needs to contribute to the foreign trade transformation and upgrading. We will optimize design and matchmaking service. We will introduce quality partners, and hold design thematic activities and original design fashion show. 102 design companies from 12 countries and regions will participate. We will continue to select CF Awards. We have improved the selection rules and come up with new incentives, to improve the awareness and participation of exhibitors and promote the best practices of award winners. We will organize high-quality conferences and forums. Forums with 8 topics such as industrial summit, international market, design and innovation, branding, trend, R&D, local industrial promotion and company management optimization will provide value-added services that of strategic value to companies. In this way we will lead exhibitors to step up their design and research, accelerate transformation and upgrading and nurture new competitive edges.

Xu said that as a window of IPR protection and innovation encouragement of the Chinese government, in this Canton Fair we will provide guarantee of IPR for innovation-driven development. We will improve IPR protection awareness. Through summarizing the experiences, classic cases, and results, and disseminating through media coverage, we will ensure that the concepts of IPR protection concepts will take root. We will also improve precaution mechanism. Through risk reminder, self examination and correction, inspection during the Fair, we will cover all the exhibition sections. We will enhance law enforcement authority. We will invite experts of state and Guangdong provincial IPR law enforcement department and trade dispute arbitration professionals to station at the Fair, chambers of import and export and foreign-funded associations will also send staff to coordinate to make sure the cases are dealt with in a fair, just and open manner. We will also optimize environment for case handling. We have improved Complaint Station sign and navigation, bettered the environment for complaints and cases to facilitate patent owners to safeguard their rights.

Xu introduced that in this session we will continue to launch “Canton Fair + Internet” action plan to integrate online and offline service,accelerate digital transformation to improve service quality especially smart services. We’ve completed the construction of wifi in Area A and will operate on a trial basis; therefore internet speed in Area A may be greatly improved. We will also improve the Canton Fair big data screen display and enrich the display method and content. We have also introduced smart technology for badge application to streamline the pre- application procedures for buyers on the BEST platform and increase the efficiency and experience of buyers. We have improved smart service of exhibit moving and realized the electronic processing of business procedures to speed up response. We have optimized the exhibitors and products search system and strengthened smart search engine function. We will improve “Highlight Products” column. We have set up the “Highlight Products” column on the website, to promote brand companies in an all-round way. Since its launch, there has been great achievements made; the number of enquiry and clicks on products are both higher than average. By April 13, 1735 companies in the “Highlight Products” have uploaded 23,624 pieces of exhibit information. It will continue to be a popular column.

Xu said that in this session we will consolidate progress made in green development and press ahead Canton Fair Green Development Plan 2.0. We will advance comprehensive green development and industrial upgrading. By coordinating government departments, venues, organizers, exhibitors, attendees, constructions companies and various industrial resources, we will provide green service guide, to promote coordination across the whole industry and lead a new ecosystem of green exhibition. We will also improve the display effect of green booths. We’ve enhanced the green design and building capacity of construction companies for custom-built booths. We will promote the usage of professional materials, lower safety risks and improve the professionalism, safety and display effect of green booths. We will also advance waste discharge monitoring and garbage classification. According to the principle of “overall amount control, classification management, garbage collection within a fixed amount and self-handling of garbage beyond the fixed amount”, we’ve established a constraining system and issued plans to reduce environment pollution and resource waste. We will also increase publicity of green development. We’ve issued Canton Fair Green Development Promotion Manual, launched green booth selection and awarding ceremony, and conducted various kinds of interaction and communication events both online and offline, to enhance the influence of green development.

Xu said that the report at the 19th CPC Congress mentioned that we should mobilize the energies of our whole Party, our whole country, and our whole society, and continue to implement targeted poverty reduction and alleviation measures. We must ensure that by the year 2020, all rural residents living below the current poverty line have been lifted out of poverty, and poverty is eliminated in all poor counties and regions. Poverty alleviation should reach those who truly need it and deliver genuine outcomes. To implement the central government’s strategy on poverty alleviation, we will issue various measures to reduce the burden of exhibitors and support foreign trade development of poor areas, according to the overall arrange of the Ministry of Commerce on poverty reduction. We will collect booth fee in accordance with the reduced standard in the 119th session and cancel booth fee for exhibitors from poor areas. We will continue to reduce and cancel 23 service fees and provide free carpet laying for standard booths. We will continue to set up the Traditional Chinese Specialties section and cancel their booth fee. There are altogether 200 booths, or 181 exhibiting companies from 21 trading delegations. All relevant parties have taken measures to enhance and training and guidance on participating trade shows and transactions of exhibiting companies from poor areas, thus the Canton Fair’s role of driving foreign trade and economic development of poor areas has been well played.

Xu emphasized that in this session we will strive to ensure the stable operation of the fair to create a peaceful and safe environment. According to the notice of the Ministry of Commerce, we will strictly implement booth management regulations and strengthen onsite organization and management. We will punish violation of booth usage and normalize the order of exhibition organization. We’ve worked closely with relevant departments of Guangdong Province and Guangzhou Municipality to build a comprehensive security and prevention system using big data. A real-name badge application system will be extended to all personnel and security check. We’ve also used facial recognition technology to increase the efficiency and accuracy of onsite verification. We’ve also established a multi-layered cyber security prevention network; increased our investment on terrorist attack and explosion prevention, food safety, etc.; and improved emergency plan to increase our responding capacity.

Xu Bing also answered questions of journalists on Canton Fair’s role in reform and opening up, high quality development, implementation of “Belt and Road” initiative, contributing to targeted poverty reduction, digital transformation and quality improvement of green development. 

In this session some key events are as follows.

The Opening Reception of the 123rd Canton Fair will be held in Westin Hotel in the evening of Apr 14th.

“Open a New Era for China and Latin America Cooperation Forum” will be held in Conference Room No.8, Area B, in the afternoon of Apr 16.

Canton Fair Green Booth Awarding Ceremony will be held on the central platform on Apr 16.