Rising orders at Canton Fair signals grassroots recovery

16:25, November 05, 2009      

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The rise in new orders at the 106th China Import and Export Fair (Canton Fair) signaled signs of export demand recovery from its bottom, experts said Thursday.

Combined trading volume of new orders at the 106th Canton Fair, which closed Wednesday, topped 30.47 billion U.S. dollars, up 16.2 percent from the spring Canton Fair, according to the Ministry of Commerce (MOC).

"I am optimistic about the recovery of China's exports, as demand in overseas markets has been on the rise," said Zhang Hanlin, director of China National Institute of WTO under the Beijing-based University of International Business and Economics.

The foundation of foreign trade recovery is sound, and a steady growth in exports could be expected in the first half of next year, he said.

The rise reflected an increase in export demand from the first half of this year when the world economy was hit hard by the economic downturn, said Professor Zhang Junsheng, a foreign trade expert at the university.

China's foreign trade continued to fall in September, but the rate of decline slowed sharply. The total value of imports and exports for September was 218.94 billion U.S. dollars, down 10.1 percent from the same month last year, but up 14.2 percent from August.

"Yet exports have not fully recovered, as the trade volume was still down 3.4 percent compared with last year's autumn fair. The foundation of global recovery will not be solid until the second half of next year, which makes foreign trade prospects uncertain," Zhang Junsheng said.

Short and mid-term orders accounted for 92 percent of total orders at the fair, reflecting the cautious attitude of foreign buyers, said Wen Zhongliang, an official with the MOC's Department of Foreign Trade.

The 106th Canton Fair opened on Oct. 15 in southern Guangzhou city, and the next fair will open on April 15, 2010.

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