Canton Fair expecting fewer buyers
GUANGZHOU -- Organizers of the spring session of the China Import and Export Fair, also known as the Canton Fair, are expecting uncertainties in external markets to mean a decline in the number of buyers, as they prepare to open the event on Tuesday.
Liu Jianjun, deputy director of the China Foreign Trade Center, and the fair's spokesman, said factors including the US and European countries' sanctions on Russia, the consequences of missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 and the fair's clash with the Easter Day holiday in Western countries have dampened trading expectations.
Liu said that the number of participants from the European Union countries is likely to fall.
The autumn session of the biannual fair showed a drop in both transaction volume and attendance. The export volume of 194.61 billion yuan ($31.69 billion), down 10.9 percent from the figure reported at the fair's spring session last year, was the lowest since 2009.
Held to be a barometer of China's foreign trade, the country's largest trade fair will offer 59,708 exhibition booths at the upcoming spring session, up 169 from the previous session.
Liu said 24,581 exhibitors from China and 43 other countries and regions have registered to attend, up 64 from the previous session.
Considering the unfavorable external factors, the fair organizers have made more effort to lure overseas purchasers, by -- for example -- cooperating with airlines to offer discount air tickets, in the hope of matching the trade volume of the spring session last year.