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Trade fair promises good year for exports

By Li Jiabao and Qiu Quanlin in Guangzhou (China Daily)

09:18, April 15, 2013

The value of deals signed at China's flagship trade fair may be on par with the previous session, which suggests improving sentiment about the world's biggest exporter, officials said.

"Last year was the most difficult year for Chinese exporters," Liu Jianjun, spokesman for the Canton Fair and deputy director of the China Foreign Trade Center, told a news briefing on Sunday.

"As China's economy picks up, exporters commonly agree that the situation will be better in 2013 in view of the improvement in overseas orders," Liu said.

The 113th Canton Fair, officially the China Import and Export Fair, China's largest biannual trade fair and a barometer of its exports, will be held in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, from Monday to May 5.

"The number of overseas buyers at this session, according to our monitoring, is expected to edge up, and the value of export deals will be equal to that of the last session," Liu said.

But he said uncertainties such as the H7N9 bird flu may take a toll on exports.

The last session of the Canton Fair, held in November, saw overseas buyers decrease by 10.3 percent to 188,000, while the value of export deals declined by 9.3 percent to $32.68 billion.

"The world economy is reversing the downturn and stabilizing," Liu said.

Outbound shipments from the world's biggest exporter gained 10 percent year-on-year in March. China's foreign trade rose 13.4 percent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2013 with exports increasing 18.4 percent.

Chen Hufei, a researcher at Bank of Communications, said that China's double-digit export growth in March was due to the improvement of global demand and the US economic recovery.

"China's exports in April are likely to maintain double-digit growth and maintain a strong momentum the rest of this year," he added.

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