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Economic figures for the third quarter indicate a further slowdown (5)

By Zhou Xiaoyan (Beijing Review)

08:18, October 22, 2012

Mixed messages

The gloomy global economy dampened the China Import and Export Fair, or Canton Fair, a barometer of the country's foreign trade situation. The event is held twice a year, in spring and in autumn. This autumn's fair is being held from October 15 to November 4, in Guangzhou, capital of south China's Guangdong Province.

The opening day of the Canton Fair saw fewer people in attendance due to a lackluster global trade situation. "This is the most sluggish Canton Fair I've ever seen," said Liu Fengyi, Board Chairman of the GongChang Technology Co. Ltd.

Liang Huan, a sales assistant for an energy-saving lamp company from Hangzhou, said this year her company's business is not performing as strong as last year.

"Our major markets are in Europe. The European debt woes are having a direct impact on our orders," she said.

Qiu Zhen, a sales manager for a Qingdao factory that makes solar-energy street lamps, said that the anti-subsidy investigation against China's solar industry has hurt her company's business.

"Now we are diverting our efforts to another kind of lamp, which is unrelated to the solar industry," she said.

Forecasts for the number of participants, including buyers and exhibitors, as well as turnover, are "not optimistic," said Liu Jianjun, a spokesman for the Canton Fair.

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