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Post-COVID Canton Fair to see active global attendance offline

Xinhua | Updated: 2023-04-06 09:41
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Aerial panoramic photo taken on Nov 14, 2021 shows the scenery along the banks of the Pearl River in Guangzhou, South China's Guangdong province. [Photo/Xinhua]

BEIJING -- The 133rd China Import and Export Fair, scheduled from April 15 to May 5, will welcome buyers from over 220 countries and regions as it reopens all offline exhibitions in South China's Guangzhou city, officials said Tuesday.

The event, also known as Canton Fair, will be of great significance to the recovery and growth of the Chinese and global economy because it provides opportunities for companies worldwide to create secure, reliable, and efficient supply chains with Chinese partners, Vice Commerce Minister Wang Shouwen told a press conference.

The 1.5 million-square-meter venues for offline exhibitions will house booths for imports and exports. About 34,000 domestic firms will fill the export section, among which 5,700 hold leading brands or technologies. The import section will feature 508 overseas companies from 40 economies, including the United States, Canada, Italy, Germany, and Spain, Wang said.

Valid support

China has taken a series of measures to facilitate entry for global participants. Chinese embassies and consulates globally are putting in extra hours and workforce to process visa applications, which are rising since China resumed pre-COVID visa policies, said Wu Xi, an official from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Having an official invitation from the Canton Fair, one can apply for a visa at any Chinese embassy or consulate, Wu added. Families of participants are also welcome to come on tourist visas.

For holders of virtual APEC Business Travel Cards, China will grant business visas free of charge until the card comes into effect on May 1, said Wu.

The Civil Aviation Administration of China pledged a speedy review of requests for adding flights, chartered flights, or business flights during the event, said CAAC official Liang Nan.

The number of international flights China handled last week stood at 26.5 percent of the pre-COVID weekly figure, said Liang. The destinations include 58 foreign countries, around 80 percent of the pre-COVID level.

Fresh appeal

This Canton Fair has more space, themes, and plenty of new products to offer participants from home and abroad, said the vice commerce minister.

The exhibition areas are 25 percent larger than the previous event and cover segments not seen before, such as smart manufacturing, new-energy and intelligent connected vehicles, maternal and infant products, and the "silver-haired" economy that caters to the old-age people.

Over 3 million new products will also launch at online exhibitions. Of these, 500,000 are low-carbon, and 130,000 are smart-technology-assisted products.

These highlights helped bring in 9,000 first-timers to the fair, said Wang. Official data also showed that, by Monday, buyers from 203 countries and regions in both developed and emerging markets have registered for offline exhibitions, and the registry is rising rapidly every day.

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