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The Canton Fair (It’s full name actually being China Import and Export Fair) is China’s biggest import and export trade fair, it is held twice every year in the spring and autumn seasons of the year. The event was first held in April 1957, and since then has been held biannually.

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Hand-out / Canton Fair

The fair is hosted by China’s Ministry of Commerce, Guangdong Provincial Government and organized by China Foreign Trade Centre in Guangzhou China. It is China’s largest product exhibition, with a very wide array of products display ranging from electronics, to consumables. The event records China’s most diverse selection of buyers and highest business turn over. The fair enjoys the participation of private enterprises, factories, scientific research institutions, wholly foreign-owned enterprises, and foreign trade companies

This biannual event has been China’s biggest trade show for decades despite the many challenges it has faced. Some of these challenges includes the existence and competition from other trade shows in the country and the unprecedented overthrow of physical trading culture by online buying and selling; buyers no longer have to come to a physical marketplace or a trade show like the Canton Fair to assess assorted varieties of products. Despite these challenges and setbacks, the Canton Fair seems to be enjoying a surprising increase in popularity and turn over.

The impact of the trade fair on the Chinese economy can be seen from the statistics of previous sessions of the trade fair, and the prospects of the ongoing 122nd session of the event that kicked off on October 15th. The 121st session of the Canton Fair closed with a stunning 5.87% increase in overall international participation and successful business deals and purchase over the preceding session held in 2016 (in actual figures, there were 196,490 international participants), this was a total of US$30.02 Billion in export; a 6.9% increase over the 119th session which recorded US$28.04 Billion in total deals.

The Canton Fair has sure been a reflection of the thriving business ecosystem of the Chinese economy. The growth of the Canton Fair is evidence of the expanding Chinese market and its international appeal. The Canton Fair is widening the Chinese gate for international manufacturers and sellers, creating a go-to market for their indigenous manufacturers, provides a ready market for sellers, increase client base for manufacturers and provide buyers a vast range of product and dealers to compare and make real time business decisions.

Its impact in international trade can be seen in the statistics obtainable from the ongoing 122nd session of the trade fair. 25,000 manufacturers are showcasing different range of products in the ongoing session. And total export is expected to increase. For the data of the ongoing 122nd session, please refer to

The Chinese trade fair is expected to enjoy wider publicity and participation in subsequent years which will in turn increase China’s status in the world market.

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