In a bid to ease some pressure for exhibitors amid the global financial crisis, the organizing committee of China Import and Export Fair (Canton Fair), which begins here on April 15, will lower the prices of exhibition booths.
This is the first time in the 52-year history of the Canton Fair that booth charges have been slashed, organizers said.
"Standard booths in exhibition halls A and B will be cheaper by 1,000 yuan ($146), while booths in hall C will be 2,000 yuan cheaper for the upcoming 105th session of the fair," Mu Xinhai, spokesman for the fair, announced last week.
He added that the organizing committee decided to provide space "free of cost to exhibitors from least-developed countries" as listed by the United Nations, and offer a 25 percent discount to other foreign exhibitors.
The rent for a standard booth, covering an area of 9 square meters, for the three-week fair will be 30,000 yuan, he said.
"Canton Fair is the biggest trade fair and most important export channel of general trade in the country. The move aims to reduce the burden on exhibitors during the global economic slowdown," the spokesperson said.
Additionally, the closing time of the fair each day will be extended by one hour to 7 pm, "so that buyers and exhibitors have more time for business".
Lin Zhongyong, the general manager of a firm in Chaozhou in the east of Guangdong province, said though price cuts are always welcome, reducing the price of exhibition booths by a mere 1,000 yuan or 2,000 yuan doesn't make much sense.
Lin said his porcelain firm generally applied for about five booths for each session of the fair, which came to about "180,000 yuan".
"It would make more sense to reduce the charges by 10 to 15 percent, or give Chinese exhibitors the same discount as the foreigners are being offered," he said.
According to Mu, the organizing committee of Canton Fair has budgeted over 10 million yuan for overseas promotions of the 105th session and plans to invite at least 800,000 overseas buyers.
Source: China Daily