Canton Fair

Guangzhou trade fair to include imports

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 14 April, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 14 April, 2007, 12:00am


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More than 300 importers from 36 countries and regions will take part in the inaugural China Import and Export Fair (CIEF), which takes over from Guangzhou's 50-year-old export commodities fair tomorrow.

'Setting up the import fair will complement the country's trade policy with the goal of reducing the trade surplus,' CIEF spokesman Xu Bing told a news conference.

The organisers have set aside an exhibition hall covering 10,400 square metres to provide 629 booths for exhibitors of import products but the space remains tiny compared with that for exporters.

The exhibition, more popularly known as the Canton Fair, is spread over 620,000 sqmetres and is divided into 31,053 booths.

A western diplomat said he was waiting to see how much interest the fair generated for imports and how such interest would grow in succeeding fairs.

Although the import fair was being promoted as a means to help narrow the country's growing trade surplus, the actual effect might be just symbolic, said the diplomat.

Most of the importers, 89, are from Hong Kong, followed by 42 from Taiwan, 36 from South Korea, 35 from Malaysia, and 19 from the United States and other countries.

Mr Xu said the choice of import products was partly based on the needs of domestic consumers, and would be adjusted in subsequent fairs.

Among the importers, 81 will exhibit electronics products, 43 machinery, 42 jewellery, 38 consumer products and 32 hardware.

Mr Xu said that 10 countries and regions had also been invited to make product presentations to give exposure to importers who failed to secure exhibition space.

Mr. Xu also said the fair would introduce measures to crack down on violations of intellectual property rights, including barring companies caught infringing patents from joining the exhibition for up to six sessions.

'Adidas, Hello Kitty and NBA will be the brands we will focus our attention on,' Mr Xu said.