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As China's foreign trade wanes, it is increasingly looking toward domestic consumption to shore up the economy.
China General Chamber of Commerce announced on Friday it will open the country's largest marketing conference - China Marketing Conference (2012) - between Sept 16 and 18 at China National Convention Center in Beijing.
The country's largest non-governmental commercial organization said the event is expected to provide an arena for representatives from Chinese commodity traders and local government officials to discuss cooperation and seek possibilities for investment in marketing projects, according to the organizing committee.
Luo Yulong, secretary general of the China General Chamber of Commerce, said the event is jointly sponsored by the commerce chamber, China Development Bank, Asean-China Center and Invest HK, a division set up by the government of the Hong Kong Special Administration Region to attract business.
"The development of Chinese consumption requires a reform of the country's marketing mechanism and an upgrading of its wholesale and retailing facilities," Luo said.
According to Luo, most of the country's commodity trading markets now operate and profit from rents by leasing counters to small businesses. As a result, the country's more than 80,000 commodity trading markets act as a go-between for small businesses and the vast Chinese market.
So far, more than 5,000 trading markets have seen their annual business turnover reaching more than 100 million yuan ($16 million) each, Luo said.
Beijing, for example, has more than 1,300 commodity trading markets, with a total business area of 6.89 million square meters and an annual gross business turnover of 248.9 billion yuan. However, because of bad management, 114 markets of this kind have closed down and another 249 have lost half their business.
The theme of the China Marketing Conference (2012) is "building the nest for marketing business, introducing the elites of industries and promoting economic prosperity", said He Jihai, honorary president of China General Chamber of Commerce.
Jiang Ming, vice-president of the chamber, said the conference is scheduled to host a series of business activities, including seminars on investment and economic cooperation, a forum on China marketing development, symposiums for Chinese cities' governors and representatives of local marketing projects and international cooperative programs.
People attending are from local governments and businesses from across the country, including Beijing, Shijiazhuang, Taiyuan, Shenyang, Hangzhou, Wuhan, Yiwu, Xinyang, Xi'an and Guangzhou.
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