The Press Conference for the opening of the 131st session of China Import and Export Fair was held in Canton Fair Complex in the morning of April 14. Mr. Xu Bing, Spokesperson of the Canton Fair, Deputy Director General of China Foreign Trade Centre, introduced the characteristics, highlights and preparation of this session to the press from home and abroad.
Xu stated that the CPC Central Committee and the State Council care very much about the Canton Fair. President Xi Jinping sent congratulatory letters to Canton Fair twice and noted that it made important contribution, pointing a way for its innovative development. Premier Li Keqiang attended and addressed the opening ceremonies twice. This year is essential to the building of a modern socialist country and the new journey toward the second centenary goal. The 20th CPC National Congress will be held. Yet the epidemic is still spreading across the globe, with the world economic recovery facing instabilities and trade in goods losing its momentum. Standing at the important historic point, the hosting of a high-quality online 131st Canton Fair fully demonstrates China’s confidence and resolution to expand opening-up and cooperation with other countries. It is conductive to further consolidate the achievements of epidemic control as well as economic and social development, protect market entities, market shares, and the stability of industrial chain and supply chains, and promote world trade cooperation and economic recovery.
Xu said that guided by Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era，the 131st Canton Fair will coordinate epidemic control and socio-economic development, implement the spirit of President Xi Jinping’s congratulatory letter to the 130th Canton Fair and decisions of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council, and pursue progress while maintaining stability as stressed in the Central Economic Work Conference and the National Commerce Work Conference. In the new development stage, we will follow through the new development concept and make every effort to ensure the 131st session a successful and effective one, so as to better serve the new development paradigm.
Xu introduced that this session brings higher quality exhibitors. Themed facilitating the "dual circulation" of domestic and overseas markets, the event will be held from April 15-24 online. The exhibition offers an online display platform, business matchmaking services, and a cross-border e-commerce zone. Exhibitors and Products, Global Business Matchmaking, New Product Release, Exhibitors on Live, VR Exhibition Hall, News & Events, Services & Support and other columns are set up on the official website, with 16 product categories in 50 exhibition sections displayed. About 25,500 overseas and domestic exhibitors take part in. Among them are 974 companies from formerly poor regions, which will display products in the Rural Vitalization zone. The National Pavilion boasts high-quality Chinese enterprises, including 2,132 brand enterprises, 4,395 leading small and medium enterprises that specialize in niche sectors, national hi-tech enterprises, time-honored Chinese enterprises, top manufacturing enterprises and those with titles such as the National Enterprise Technical Center and the high-level AEO certification by the China Customs, and about 950 companies from 102 national foreign trade transformation and upgrading bases. 402 international businesses from 32 countries and regions will join the International Pavilion, including Fortune 500 Honeywell, Cascade from Britain, Sezze from Japan and others. Over 2.9 million exhibits are uploaded, among them are over 900,000 new products and over 480,000 green and low-carbon products, all hitting a new high. The 131st Canton Fair will not charge fees from exhibiting companies, nor cross-border e-commerce platforms.
Xu said that the 131st Canton Fair has optimized and upgraded the official website with a better application of digital technologies. To improve matchmaking effectiveness and user experience, the Fair has updated its official website system to optimize configuration of global network acceleration in order to improve the speed of cross-border access and search accuracy. Supported by the new website framework, the exhibitor and product data are restructured to enable quicker response to user operations. The Fair has also upgraded functions by adding tags for specialized, high-tech or time-honored Chinese brands and green or intelligent products for easy recognition. New columns such as Product Release and Featured Livestream are set up to allow companies display brand images in a comprehensive way. Moreover, with authorization, exhibitors can check buyer information, get their business cards and initiate instant messaging. Apart from more convenient interaction, more considerate services are also offered with training sessions, video guides, and round-the-clock intelligent customer service specially provided for exhibiting companies and buyers, facilitating better use of the platform. Since it is held online, cybersecurity is the top priority. Security testing was carried out to ensure the sound and stable operation of the website.
Xu noted that targeted marketing work has been conducted with an emphasis on trade matchmaking. Adhered to a philosophy of “systematic, innovative, specialized, targeted”, the Fair has strengthened marketing, invitation, and service for domestic and overseas buyers. 40 series of emails have been sent to buyers from over 220 countries and regions to invite them to log in and negotiate. New media marketing is carried out with various themes to attract new buyers. With a focus on the Belt and Road and RCEP countries, targeted marketing and invitation have been conducted. Matchmaking effectiveness is also boosted with 50 “Trade Bridge” Virtual Promotion Events and 8 “Discover Canton Fair with Bee and Honey” activities held, connecting China’s key industrial clusters and brand companies with top multinational and professional buyers. Global Cooperative Partnership Program will be further advanced to have 170 partners, with the joining of 14 members from Vietnam, Laos, Kuwait, Iraq and other Belt and Road and RCEP countries. Domestic marketing is also carried out in multiple channels, such as through departments of commerce at all levels, partners, business associations, and sourcing groups, to invite large retailers, wholesalers, cross-border e-commerce buyers to attend online. The tag of “for domestic sale” is added to exhibitors to help domestic buyers pin down the products they want.
Xu introduced that the IPR protection and the handling of trade disputes are strengthened to ensure a fair and secured trading environment. An online-offline integrated model is adopted. Online applications will be received on a 24-hour basis and experts are invited to handle disputes offline. In the preparation stage, we have invited exhibitors, trade delegations and business associations to learn about the online complaint registration in advance, and the inspection of exhibiting samples are also strengthened. During the exhibition, we will work hard to handle complaints concerning IPR and trade disputes. After the conclusion, we will actively follow the disposal of products and companies suspected of infringement.
Xu said that we would innovate activities and services to build a comprehensive platform for trade and service. By improving the consulting and trade supporting services, we can give better play to the Fair’s role as a multi-functional and comprehensive trade platform. It is the first time that Product Release activities are organized to show the latest achievements of Chinese manufacturing. With over 100 such activities, new products, technologies, brands and services from the high-quality enterprises will be showcased in 5 themes, namely Advanced Technology, Intelligent Manufacturing, Delicate Lifestyle, Low-carbon & Green Products, Trade Service.
Promotion activities for dual circulation are hosted. We invite top 100 domestic retailers and well-known cross-border e-commerce platforms to publish sourcing requests and supply chain management standards. We cooperate with banks to provide financial solutions for small and medium-sized foreign trade enterprises in exploring the domestic market, and help enterprises solve problems such as financing difficulties and high financing costs. Focusing on trending topics such as dual circulation, RCEP, and "dual carbon", 10 online forums will be held to help enterprises further understand market insights.
The CF Awards are upgraded to emphasize design and innovation. The selection scope is expanded with new awards added, and openness, authority, professionalism and internationality enhanced. Based on trade services such as customs, freight forwarding, finance, insurance, certification, and design, new services such as China-Europe trains, shipping, cross-border e-commerce and overseas warehouses are introduced to provide foreign trade enterprises with more comprehensive trade services.
Xu said that the "Rural Vitalization" zone would be set up this session to serve the realization of common prosperity. That will help enterprises in formerly poor areas to develop international markets. The zone is open to all enterprises from formerly poor areas, with no restrictions on quantity and no threshold conditions. We attach exclusive tags to attract buyers in a targeted way. We provide training guidance in multiple ways to improve online marketing skills of enterprises. Moreover, we provide exclusive trade matchmaking services, assist the targeted enterprises in expanding markets and achieving common prosperity.
Xu Bing said that the current situation of epidemic prevention and control is still severe. In order to perform well in epidemic prevention and control, we have formulated a special epidemic prevention and control work plan for this session, further improved the prevention and control mechanism and the emergency response process, and made every effort to ensure "zero infection".
Xu also answered questions about the innovation and development achievements of the Canton Fair since the 18th CPC National Congress, how can the Fair help enterprises seize the new opportunities as the RCEP agreement came into force, integrate into the "dual circulation" and improve the effectiveness of trade matchmaking. Moreover, there are questions about the upgrading of "Canton Fair Design Award".
Over 30 domestic and foreign media agencies including the People’s Daily, Xinhua News Agency, China Media Group, China News Service, China Daily, Nanfang Daily, Guangdong Radio and Television Station, Guangzhou Daily, Phoenix TV, Hong Kong Commercial Daily, Macao Daily News attended the press conference to cover the Canton Fair.