The 130th Canton Fair came to a close on October 19. Xu Bing, Spokesperson of the Canton Fair and Deputy Director General of China Foreign Trade Centre introduced the overall situation.
Xu said that the CPC Central Committee and the State Council attached great importance to the 130th Canton Fair. President Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory letter to the Fair and noted that it made significant contributions over the past 65 years, pointing a way for the Fair in the new journey of the new era. Premier Li Keqiang attended and addressed the opening ceremony. After that, he inspected exhibition halls. Premier Li said that he hoped the Fair could scale new heights in the future, and make more contributions to China’s reform and opening up. Party group of the Ministry of Commerce and Guangdong Provincial Party Committee attached great importance, and the interim party committee of the Canton Fair organized a seminar on the evening of October 14 for dedicated studies. Offices of the Canton Fair, trade delegations, chambers of commerce, party committee of China Foreign Trade Centre and exhibitors all participated in studies through various ways such as collective learning, discussions, and exchanges of gains. All said that facing global changes and a pandemic both unseen in a century, as well as profound transformations of the world economy and trade, the congratulatory letter of President Xi Jinping has extraordinary depth, rich content, and great significance, demonstrating China’s resolution to expand opening up and promote free trade. The encouraging congratulatory letter has injected strong impetus into the 130th Canton Fair amid the pandemic, motivated foreign trade practitioners to overcome difficulties and forge ahead. In the face of new development opportunities, the Canton Fair will follow the direction pointed out by President Xi in the congratulatory letter, accelerate innovative development, further burnish its credentials, and increase its influence and reach.
Xu said that guided by Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, with a philosophy of “Canton Fair, Global Share”, the 130th Canton Fair has opened the door wide to global buyers with a new image and attracted much attention, contributing to win-win development. With the care of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council, under the leadership of the Ministry of Commerce and People’s Government of Guangdong Province, thanks to concerted efforts of all parties, the 130th Canton Fair operated smoothly with more business models and functions. It completed various tasks, achieved the goal of presenting an innovative Fair with numerous highlights in a safe, orderly, and highly efficient way. Moreover, it contributed to advance the high-quality development of trade, global trade and economic recovery, and the building of a new development paradigm.
Xu introduced that the 130th Canton Fair held a grand opening ceremony. The Opening Ceremony of the 130th session of China Import and Export Fair and the Pearl River International Trade Forum was held on the afternoon of October 14. Vice Premier Hu Chunhua read President Xi Jinping’s congratulatory letter to the Canton Fair. Premier of the State Council Li Keqiang attended the opening ceremony and made a keynote speech. Peruvian President Pedro Castillo, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob, Cote d'Ivoire Prime Minister Patrick Achi and Secretary-General of the UN Conference on Trade and Development Rebeca Grynspan attended the ceremony via video link. About 600 guests attended the opening ceremony offline, including Vice Premier of the State Council Hu Chunhua, Secretary of Guangdong Provincial Party Committee Li Xi, State Councilor and Secretary General of the State Council Xiao Jie, Chief Executive of Hong Kong SAR Carrie Lam, Chief Executive of Macao SAR He Yicheng, officials of state organs and relevant ministries, leaders of provincial and municipal governments, diplomatic envoys in China, representatives of consulates general in Guangzhou, and representatives of overseas industrial and commercial organizations. Over 100 minister-level officials of relevant countries and regions, heads of international organizations and multinationals attended the ceremony online via video link. Foreign leaders spoke highly of the online-offline integrated format of the 130th Canton Fair, and its role in promoting international trade and investment cooperation, and facilitating the global economic recovery in the post-pandemic era. They expressed their confidence in China's economic development prospects and said that they will encourage companies from their countries to expand cooperation in China to better share China's development opportunities and inject new energy into the Asia-Pacific region and the global economic recovery. After the opening ceremony, Premier Li inspected exhibition halls. He appreciated the achievements of the Fair over the past 65 years, and hoped that it could scale new heights in advancing opening up, win-win cooperation and sustainable development.
The first Pearl River International Trade Forum was successfully held. The opening ceremony on the afternoon of October 14 was also the main forum of the Pearl River International Trade Forum. The theme of the main forum was “China's New Development Provides New Opportunities for the World”, showing the world China’s resolution to expand opening up and promote free trade, and sending a message that China would like to share with the world development opportunities, draw a blueprint and achieve better progress together. Three parallel forums held on the afternoon of October 15 were themed “High-Level Opening Up and Trade Innovation”, “New Forms and Models of Foreign Trade under the New Development Paradigm”, “International Trade & Cooperation of Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area”, respectively. More than 40 experts from political, business and academic circles and over 650 attendees engaged in the events. Experts had in-depth discussions on hotspot issues such as how to seize development opportunities, advance trade liberalization, promote international trade cooperation and so on, from perspectives of openness, innovation, and cooperation. Forums provide the Canton Fair’s solution with the voice of the Canton Fair being heard. Society well recognized the role of forums and believed that hosting them was a new initiative which enriched the Fair’s functions and content and strengthened its role in facilitating the flow of international trade factors, innovative development, and dual circulation.
Remarkable results were achieved in the online-offline integration. Against the backdrop of the spreading pandemic, the 130th Canton Fair was held in an online-offline merged format for the first time. That accelerated its digital transformation and kicked off a new model, new normal, and magnificent scene of a hybrid Canton Fair. The online platform further optimized functions of negotiations, enriched display formats of texts, pictures, videos, 3D, VR, and livestreaming, and enabled suppliers and buyers to connect, make deals, and reach cooperation without the limit of time and space. Focused on independent R&D and underpinned by technological innovation, more and more Chinese exhibitors build brands and launch new products at the Canton Fair, which has become a new normal. About 26,000 companies at home and abroad participated, uploading over 2.87 million products, an increase of 113,600 compared with the last session. Among them 898,200 are new products, 112,700 intelligent products, and 248,600 products with independent IPR, up by 59,700, 2000, and 9200 respectively compared with the last session, presenting the innovative vitality of “Made in China”, “Created in China”, Chinese brands, and Chinese technology to global buyers. The online platform was visited by 32.73 million times accumulatively. Exhibitors livestreamed 43,000 times accumulatively, with over 350,000 people watching online. The offline exhibition area totaled about 400,000 square meters with 7,795 exhibitors participating. The Canton Fair Complex received 600,000 visits accumulatively. Many exhibitors moved livestreaming rooms to the offline exhibition. The hybrid display model led to in-depth interaction, and improved companies brand image via multiple channels in an all-round way. From the perspective of actual effects, this session fully took the advantage of online-offline integration by providing two channels and two display formats, offering the Canton Fair’s solution for hybrid development of large exhibitions.
The integration of domestic and foreign trade facilitated dual circulation. Themed promoting domestic and international circulations, this session took full advantage of domestic and international markets and resources. Driven by domestic and international marketing, global buyers were invited to attend the Fair online and offline, giving companies a leg up in taking orders, expanding markets, and strengthening brands, and contributing to the interconnection of domestic and foreign trade. In terms of domestic circulation, domestic buyers had high enthusiasm with many industry-leading companies and specialized chambers of commerce from department stores, retailing, wholesaling, distribution, e-commerce, supply-chain management, imports and exports and other industries taking part in, including Vanguard, Yonghui Superstores, JD.com, Vipshop, Miniso, NetEase Selected, and Suning. Dual Circulation Promotion activities were successfully held with significant results, connecting 10 leading sourcing companies such as Vanguard and Miniso with about 110 exhibiting companies from 31 provinces and cities. As for domestic and international circulations, overseas buyers and purchasing agents played an active part despite the pandemic. 18 industrial and commercial organizations including American Chamber of Commerce in South China and Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency organized over 500 member companies to attend the offline Fair. 18 famous international companies such as Walmart, Staples, Auchan organized buyers to source at the Fair. An increasing number of buyers from a record-breaking 228 countries and regions registered and attended the online Fair, further diversifying the Fair and advancing its international development.
Progress was achieved in rural vitalization. This session designated a “Rural Vitalization” zone at the offline Fair for the first time. The zone was also set up online, with 883 companies participating online or offline for free. Companies uploaded 39,600 featured products. Exhibitors of this zone said that as an international platform, the Canton Fair enabled them to know the latest market trends, connect with customers, receive orders, and be a part of the dual circulation. They broadened their international horizons, opened minds, and found the right direction. The hybrid Fair helped them to learn more about new media marketing and train skilled staff for livestream marketing, accelerate digital transformation, and invigorate economic development of formerly poor areas as well as promote the upgrading of featured products and industry.
The effectiveness of trade services was raised. Based on online-offline integration, the 130th Canton Fair strived to provide comprehensive trade services. Targeted matchmaking activities were held to connect 13 foreign trade transformation and upgrading bases in Shiling in Guangdong province, Linhai in Zhejiang province, Jinjiang in Fujian province, Nantong in Jiangsu province and other places with famous multinational sourcing groups, facilitating local industries and brands to go global. A record-breaking number of 1,972 products provided by 943 companies competed for the 2021 Canton Fair Product Design Award. 135 products brought by 90 companies won Best of the Best Award, the Gold Award, the Silver Award, and the Bronze Award. The Award further promoted Chinese brands. 43 domestic design organizations from 11 cities participated in the themed display of “Chinese Industry Design Power”. The Canton Fair Fashion Week, Latin Night and Sustainable Development Forum, and other activities were also hosted to strengthen the role of design in promoting trade. 116 industry-leading companies from 31 provinces and cities held 170 new product release activities covering 43 exhibition sections of 16 product categories, demonstrating the innovative vitality of Chinese companies. On the basis of online-offline foreign trade supporting services including customs, insurance, logistics, certification, and finance, third-party services such as public overseas warehouses and shipping were introduced for the first time, optimizing trade services. Dual protection of IPR was conducted to ensure innovation-driven development. IPR infringement cases involving 99 companies were received online and offline, and 20 companies were determined as constituting alleged infringement. A series of the Canton Fair Green Space activities were hosted, awarding ten best-designed standard booths and companies the Green Booth Prize, boosting the green development of the Canton Fair.
Safe and secure operation has been ensured. Epidemic prevention and control were top priorities of the 130th Canton Fair. Guangdong province focused highly on epidemic prevention and control, formulated a “1+8+16+23” plan under the guidance of National Health Commission, designed classified emergency response plans, and strengthened prevention and control measures. With measures including pre-registration, division of time periods, and restriction of traffic, this session ensured strict and effective epidemic prevention and control, and achieved “zero cases” and “zero infections”. Strict and tight security plans were conceived with no security cases happening. The three-tier mechanism of “coordination by the central government, a dedicated team of MOFCOM, security ensured by local governments” played its role, ensuring that the official website operated smoothly with no cybersecurity cases happening.
Xu Bing stated that the 130th Canton Fair received great attention from media outlets at home and abroad. Nearly 600 Chinese and overseas journalists covered the event with in-depth and heartfelt reports, telling the world the story of the Canton Fair and the special significance of this session as well as spreading the voice of the Canton Fair, thus creating a positive public opinion atmosphere. He looked forward to meeting everyone in the 131st session.