Trade sentiment gets boost from Canton Fair
China's foreign trade will continue its uptrend following last year's recovery, and the trade structure will be further optimized, said a spokesman of the county's biggest trade event.
"A new growth engine for foreign trade is accelerating, as the country has attached great importance to boosting quality and efficiency of its trade," said Xu Bing, spokesman of the China Import and Export Fair, a flagship trade event traditionally known as the Canton Fair.
China's overall trade volume for 2016 reached 24.33 trillion yuan ($3.54 trillion), with exports reaching 13.84 trillion yuan, according to the Ministry of Commerce.
"Trade has seen positive changes since the second half of last year, with more large-sized completed sets of equipment, high value-added products and self-developed brands being shipped," said Xu.
China's foreign trade volume increased by 21.8 percent year-on-year to 6.2 trillion yuan in the first quarter of 2017, according to the General Administration of Cutoms.
Exports grew strongly to 3.33 trillion yuan, an increase of 14.8 percent year-on-year during the first three months, and imports grew by 31.1 percent to 2.87 trillion yuan.
Companies along the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, known together as the Belt and Road Initiative, have also shown great interest in developing their business in China, according to Xu.
The biannual Canton Fair, which opens on Saturday in Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong province, hosts an imports pavilion during the first and third phase of the event, with 364 companies from countries and regions along the Belt and Road Initiative confirming they will showcase their products.
Improving product quality and brand-building will be of great importance for Chinese exporters to expand their overseas business, according to Xu.
"A growing number of Chinese manufacturers, which are regular participants at the Canton Fair, have given priority to development of their self-owned brands and improvement of product quality, aiming to boost competitiveness in the global market," said Xu.
Chen Guifang, president of Guangdong Louver Furnishings Group, said many furniture manufacturers associated with the company's trading platform have expanded overseas sales in recent years.
"The increased sales of traditional furniture exporters can be attributed to their improved quality and brands," said Chen.
The company, based in Shunde district, a major center for furniture manufacturing and sales in South China, has built a major trading platform, the Louver International Furniture Expo Center, which is home to thousands of local furniture companies, that display their products there.
"The growing international market, especially in India, Russia, the United Arab Emirates, Malaysia and Vietnam, are among the major destinations of Chinese furniture exporters," said Chen.
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