China Import and Export Fair, also known as Canton Fair, was established in 1957. Co-hosted by the Ministry of Commerce of PRC and the People's Government of Guangdong Province and organized by China Foreign Trade Centre, it is held every spring and autumn in Guangzhou, China. Canton Fair is a comprehensive international trading event with the longest history, the largest scale, the most complete exhibit variety, the largest buyer attendance, the broadest distribution of buyers' source country and the greatest business turnover in China.
Since its inception, Canton Fair has been adhering to reform and innovation. It has withstood various challenges and never been interrupted. Canton Fair enhances trade connection between China and the world, demonstrating China's image and achievements of development. It is an outstanding platform for Chinese enterprises to explore the international market and an exemplary base to implement China's strategies for foreign trade growth. Over years of development, Canton Fair now serves as the first and foremost platform to promote China's foreign trade, and a barometer of the foreign trade sector. It is the window, epitome and symbol of China's opening up.
Up to the 126th session, the accumulated export volume has amounted to about USD 1.4126 trillion and the total number of overseas buyers has reached 8.99 million. The exhibition area of each session totals 1.185 million ㎡ and the number of exhibitors from home and abroad stands at nearly 26,000. In each session, about 200,000 buyers attend the Fair from more than 210 countries and regions all over the world.
In 2020, against the raging global pandemic of coronavirus and severely battered global trade, the 127th and the 128th Canton Fair were held online. This is a significant decision made by the central government and the State Council to coordinate the pandemic prevention and control and economic and social development. At the 128th Canton Fair, 26,000 Chinese and international exhibitors displayed products in live marketing and conducted online negotiation via virtual Canton Fair. Buyers from 226 countries and regions registered and visited the Fair; buyer source country reached a record high. The success of virtual Canton Fair blazed a new path of international trade development, and laid a solid foundation for online offline integrated development. The Fair made great contributions to stabilizing the fundamentals of foreign trade and investment, with its role of an all-round platform of opening up given a better play. It showed the international community China’s resolution to expand opening up and safeguard the security of global supply and industrial chain.
Going forward, Canton Fair will serve China’s new round of high-level opening up and the new development pattern. The specialization, digitalization, market orientation, and international development of the Canton Fair will be further improved. A Canton Fair that never ends will be built with online offline functions integrated, to make new contributions for Chinese and foreign companies to develop broader markets and for the development of an open world economy.