Canton Fair Attendance Up Slightly, Trade Volume Down
Billed as the world’s largest trade fair, the Canton Fair held biannually in Guangzhou China, closed its doors in early May with numbers that were only slightly up.
Difficult financial and job market conditions in Europe and the United States impacted the show, though less than what was expected, according to organizers.
There were approximately 210,000 buyers from 213 countries, up 0.23 percent and 1.23 percent from the 110th and 109th sessions in 2011, respectively.
Total value of export deals concluded at the Fair also fell to 2.3 percent year-on-year to US$36.03 billion, down 4.8 percent from last year's autumn session.
Trade volume of the U.S. and Europe was down steeply, 8.1 percent and 5.6 percent, respectively.
On the other hand, the number of export deals concluded with companies based in emerging markets, such as India, Brazil and Russia, saw a 4-percent increase.
The volume of trade with African countries also rose sharply to 13.5 percent.
Attendees gave the fair overall positive reviews.
"This is my first time to be in the Canton Fair," said Kristrian Holmqvist, a buyer from a trading company in Finland.
She added, “It saved me a lot of time from going to many places to search for new suppliers. For the financial crisis around the world, it's hard to say that it has specific effect on my business. But the Canton Fair does provide better ideas on doing trade business and make us to be more competitive."
Hassan El Bizri from Brazil said, "I think the world economy is experiencing a recession, but it is a good time for us to develop.”
The next installment of the Canton Fair is in October.