Reports China's Largest Trade Fair Opens Amid Signs Of Market Uptick

By: Tian Li

China' s largest trade fair opened Thursday as exporters were upbeat about a market recovery amid improving demands, while the world' s major economies were poised to go out of their predicament after stimulus measures produced results.
Exporters attending the 106th China Export and Import Trade Fair, or Canton Fair in the southern city of Guangzhou, expected a "prominent" order increase from the last fair in April, when trade value slumped 17 percent when economic downturn took its most bite.
The fair provided about 50,000 booths, falling short of more than 80,000 applicants. More than 160,000 buyers from more than 200 countries and regions flocked to exhibition halls, hunting everything from home appliance, machinery and textiles shoes, food and medicine
The event, which started in 1957, has long been a key barometer of global demand for Chinese goods, said Chen Chaoren, spokesman for the biannual fair. "Exhibitors from home and abroad showed keen interest in marketing offensive this time, pointing to signs of recovery in global trade."
Wang Yuechun, overseas sales manager of Changhong, China' s leading TV maker, was desperate last year as the overseas sales were halved from normal as demands tumbled amid the financial crisis. But this autumn, he seemed to be quite at ease.
"The first quarter of this year was the worst. The second was better. We expect to see a prominent rebound in the fourth quarter," he said. Exporter's confidence was founded on the better-than-expected trade figures released Wednesday. Exports fell 15.2 percent in September from a year ago, compared with a fall of 23.4 percent in Agugust. The decline of imports slowed to 3.5 percent from 17 percent in August.
This has been the third time for Silverline, A Turkish built-in appliance company to attend the Canton Fair. The company purchased about four million dollars of goods in the April fair, from refrigerators and micro-waves to air-conditioners, and sold them to 45 countries such as the U.S and in Europe.
"China is the main and best source of home appliance products," said Celalettin Yildiz, export development executive of the Istanbul-based company. "I think now the crisis is ending. The world buyers will restart purchasing products, so we come to the fair to buy more products and find new companies to meet the increasing demands."
The evidence of some uptick in trade came as statistics showed the China' s monthly export volume has seen a month-on-month increase for seven straight months.
Asian Development Bank predicted China's export was likely to switch from negative to positive growth in the fourth quarter. Thechange was led by the government' s stimulus policies to boost its export in the wake of economic downturn, the bank said. In the hard-stricken textile industry, many companies have restarted production as price requests and orders were rising, said Wang Yu, vice chairman of the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Textiles.
"Chinese textile companies got more market shares in the first eight months. The export of garment to the U.S and Japan increased despite the financial crisis." He said. He attributed the rise to the Chinese government's stimulus policies such as raising export tax rebates and expanding export credit insurance. "Although we cannot take it for sure the world economy is recovering, but we can say the worst time for China's textile industry has passed," he said.
Dong Xiaohua, brand director of Midea, China' s key home appliance producer, said the orders have been rising in the last three years and the exports are now on a stable level."
"But the orders from the international purchasers are smaller than before. There is a long way for us to reach the previous level," he said. While the financial crisis meant disaster for some manufacturers, it only brought gentle breeze to Gree, China' s major air conditioner producer. Dong Mingzhu, Gree's board chairperson, said the sales dropped slightly in the first three quarters, but profits increased by 30 percent.
"We are becoming more and more competent in the world market because we have our own brands and core technologies to vie with others," said Dong who invested 1.5 billion yuan a year in technology development. "The financial crisis is just like a cold for us. Those who boast key technologies have strong immunity to survive and become stronger.

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