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Chinese manufacturers woo foreign buyers

(Xinhua)

08:00, October 16, 2012

GUANGZHOU -- Chinese manufacturers are striving to clinch deals at the country's largest trade fair as they feel the pinch from the economic downturn.

The Canton Fair, which kicked off on Monday in Guangzhou, capital of South China's Guangdong province, has attracted 24,840 exhibitors from home and abroad. This is an increase of 196 from the spring session, according to the event's spokesman Liu Jianjun.

Demand for exhibition booths, which have all been filled, was double what was being offered, said Liu.

"It is an indication that numerous Chinese export-oriented manufacturers are eager to expand into the overseas market under the current global economic uncertainty," Liu said.

China has reported better-than-expected trade, rebounding in September. Exports surged 9.9 percent from a year ago to a record monthly high of $186.35 billion. This increase is in sharp contrast with a previous year-on-year gain of 2.7 percent in August.

Imports in September also rose 2.4 percent year-on-year after consecutive falls in previous months.

In the first three quarters of the year, China's foreign trade expanded 6.2 percent to $2.84 trillion, widening the country's trade surplus to $148.31 billion.

However, growth has dwindled compared with the same period last year, when China registered a foreign trade growth of 24.6 percent.

"In general, the foreign trade situation over the next few months will remain grim because the global economy is still in a downturn," Liu said.

"Under these circumstances, export-oriented Chinese enterprises will have to adjust structures and change their development modes to boost their productivity and competitiveness," Liu added.

This autumn's Canton Fair, the 112th since its establishment in 1957, is expected to attract almost the same number of visitors from home and abroad as the spring session, organizers said. However, they are pessimistic about the event's turnover.

The spring session registered a record number of purchasers of more than 210,000, with a slightly shrinking turnover of $36.03 billion compared with previous events.

Officially known as the China Import and Export Fair, the event has become an important barometer for the country's foreign trade as well as overall economy.

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