Guangzhou, 25 April (ZXS) — The Canton Fair witnessed that China’s attitude toward win-win cooperation with the world has been consistent

China News Agency reporter Cheng Jingwei

On April 25, 1957, the first Canton Fair opened in Guangzhou. So far, after more than 60 years of ups and downs, the Canton Fair has never stopped, becoming a barometer and weather vane for China’s foreign trade, witnessing that China’s door to opening up is getting wider and wider.

At that time, Liang Yongsong, a foreign trade salesman of Guangzhou Light Industrial Products Import and Export Company (now Guangzhou Light Out Group Co., Ltd.), dressed in a neat Zhongshan suit, rode his bicycle early in the morning to the Sino-Soviet Friendship Building in Guangzhou, the site of the first Canton Fair.

“I am very excited, and the colleagues who participated in the Canton Fair together are also surnamed Liang, and our ‘Er Liang’ constantly welcomes the merchants who come to consult. At that time, I carried pens, contracts, seals, etc. with me and signed contracts on the spot. Liang Yongsong still remembers the first order signed on the spot, which was to sign a tire agency with a company in Singapore, and later became a long-term partner.

From the Sino-Soviet Friendship Building, Qiaoguang Road Exhibition Hall, Uprising Road Exhibition Hall, to Liuhua Road Exhibition Hall and Pazhou Exhibition Hall, the Canton Fair Complex has been relocated four times, and the construction area of the exhibition hall has grown from 18,000 square meters in the early days to more than 1.1 million square meters now.

Today, the fourth phase of the Canton Fair Complex project located in the Pazhou area of Guangzhou is under construction day and night, and the steel structure project has been fully capped recently, and it is expected to be officially put into use in the autumn fair in 2022. By then, the total construction area of the Canton Fair Complex will increase to more than 1.62 million square meters, becoming one of the largest exhibition complexes in the world.

With the help of the Canton Fair platform, countless Chinese enterprises have successfully gone overseas and opened up the international market. One of them is Guangdong Sitong Group Co., Ltd., a ceramic giant in the Chaozhou region, whose general manager, Cai Zhentong, has been conducting whenever the Canton Fair is held since its first participation in 1989.

With the advantages of multi-category and high quality, Sitong Ceramics has become the “darling” of overseas buyers at the Canton Fair, and the enterprise booth is often surrounded by water, and orders fly in like snowflakes. More than ten years ago, the company’s annual output value reached hundreds of millions of yuan.

According to the data provided by the Canton Fair News Center, in the mid-60s of the 20th century, the export transaction of the Canton Fair accounted for more than 30% of the country’s total annual foreign trade exports, and in 1972 and 1973, the proportion accounted for more than 50%, supporting the “half of China’s foreign trade exports”. Since the Spring Fair in 2005, the transaction volume has been about 30 billion US dollars per session.

Since the 101st Canton Fair in the spring of 2007, the Canton Fair has been transformed into a two-way trading platform for import and export, and an import exhibition area has been added.

Under the circumstances of the spread of the global epidemic and the serious impact on world trade, the 127th to 129th Canton Fair was successively held online. In 2021, the 130th Canton Fair was held online and offline for the first time.

“Online exhibition is an inevitable requirement in the context of the development trend of digital economy, and it is also a pragmatic choice to cope with the epidemic.” At the 131st Canton Fair, which continued to be held online, Wang Shouwen, vice minister of the Ministry of Commerce and deputy representative of international trade negotiations, said that the Canton Fair was held online, breaking through the limitations of time and space, allowing the majority of merchants to “buy the world and sell the world” without leaving home.

At the 131st Canton Fair, 25,500 exhibitors uploaded a total of 3,052,100 exhibits, a total of 536,000 overseas buyers from 228 countries and regions registered to visit the exhibition, and the number of global partners of the Canton Fair reached 170, further expanding the global partners and foreign trade circle of friends.

Xu Bing, spokesperson of the Canton Fair and deputy director of the China Foreign Trade Center, believes that this year’s Canton Fair has built a bridge to the cloud, and has made positive contributions to promoting the high-quality development of trade, maintaining the stability of the industrial chain and supply chain, and promoting the recovery of the world economy.

“The Canton Fair not only allows Chinese manufacturing and Chinese brands to go global, but also provides convenient channels for products from all over the world to enter the Chinese market, allowing the world to share China’s development opportunities.” Jean Mougin, vice president of the French Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Lyon Region, said.

After a lot of work, from physical to online, and then to online and offline integration exhibition, the Canton Fair shows the charm of Made in China, and also highlights China’s determination to open up to the outside world, as well as its consistent win-win attitude of cooperation with the world. (End)