On Sunday in Guangzhou Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao announced that the 50-year-old Chinese Export Commodities Fair will change its name to the Chinese Import and Export Commodities Fair at the next meeting.
The fair, also known as Canton Fair, has been a biannual event in spring and autumn since 1957.
Wen said the new name will come into effect at the 101st fair. The move aims to expand China's range of imports and pushes for the balanced development of China's foreign trade, said Wen.
He said China will continue to implement a policy of opening-up, encourage Chinese companies to invest abroad and welcome foreign companies investing in China.
China will perfect economic regulations concerning foreign business, improve protection of intellectual property rights and create a fair trade environment for all companies.
Wen said that the Canton Fair is a showcase for China's reform and opening up drive and the country cannot develop without the assistance of the rest of the world.
He said the fair promotes China's opening up drive and is an important part of China's "win-win" strategy.
He stressed that the country will abide by World Trade Organization regulations and help to build the global multilateral trade mechanism.
China will try to absorb more advanced technology and management expertise from other countries, and learn all mankind's achievements.
China vows to expand Canton Fair's role in import
The Canton Fair should become a major platform for imports into China, said Chinese Vice Premier Wu Yi
on Sunday in Guangzhou.
China will build the fair into a world-class exhibition and have more and more overseas companies and international brands participating, Wu said at a meeting.
The fair used to be the only international showcase of Chinese products. Contracts signed at the fair account for a quarter of China's exports, according to the Ministry of Commerce.
Henceforward adding the word "import" to its name reflects an adjustment in China's economic development mode, which features the expansion of exports, said industry insiders.
During the meeting, Wu called for protection of intellectual property rights at the fair and the creation of a fair environment for all participating companies.
100th session of CECF kicks off in Guangzhou
The 100 th session of the Chinese Export Commodities Fair (CECF), the first exhibition to showcase Chinese products to the outside world, was opened on Sunday morning.
Business people queued an hour before doors opened at 9 a.m. A traditional lion dance kicked off the fair.
The fair, which has been held since 1957, is also known as Canton Fair. It is a biannual event held in the spring and autumn in Guangzhou, a business hub and capital city of South China's Guangdong Province. It is the biggest and the oldest fair of its kind in China.
Contracts signed at the fair account for a quarter of China's exports. The 15-day fair has 31,408 standard booths, 1,350 more than the spring session. More than 14,000 businesses will participate; a record for the fair.
The exhibition hall on Liuhua Road will have 452 booths selling medicines and 6,518 booths selling textiles. At the Bazhou Exhibition hall, industrial commodities, including household appliances, electronic products and cars will be displayed at 8,229 booths.