Guangzhou fair orders hit US$6b
By KENT CHEN and agencies
ORDERS for nearly US$6 billion worth of export goods were placed at the 10-day Chinese Export Commodities Fair held in Guangzhou.
The fair, which ended on Saturday, was shortened to 10 days this year from 15 days as organisers used the spring fair to sell specialised light industry goods and textiles. The autumn fair will remain comprehensive.
The fair, considered the largest semi-annual trade fair in China, accounts for a quarter of the country's total exports.
According to China's official media, the final contract volume was estimated to be near the $6 billion mark achieved during last year's spring fair.
Guangdong, China's fastest growing province, posted the largest amount of export contracts, worth $900 million, while Guangzhou municipality alone netted $130 million in contracts at the fair.
Some 38,300 foreign businessmen from 141 countries participated in the semi-annual fair.
However, attendance by Japanese businessmen was down 50 per cent to some 2,000 participants. Fewer Hongkong businessmen also attended.
The fair's light industry and textiles theme was believed to be the main reason for the poor showing.
New arrangements introduced at the 10-day fair drew strong criticism from mainland exhibitors and overseas buyers who complained that the division of trade delegations caused confusion.
In order to maintain the Guangzhou fair's leading position on the country's trade exhibition calendar, organisers have decided to buy the nearby Guangzhou Stadium.