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Canton Fair opens looking to boost exports


19:27, April 15, 2013

GUANGZHOU, April 15 (Xinhua) -- The 113th Canton Fair opened here on Monday with the aim of boosting Chinese exports and promoting the integration of the country's economy with the world.

The opening comes amid China's economic slowdown but a 13.4 percent growth in foreign trade in the first quarter of the year.

Nearly 25,000 companies, including 562 from 38 countries or regions such as the Republic of Korea and India, are attending the fair, China's largest.

The fair, or China Import and Export Fair, will further promote the integration of the country's economy with the world, the stabilization of exports and expansion of imports, said China's Vice Minister of Commerce Li Jinzao.

The fair will focus on exports so as to realize the stable growth of China's foreign trade, said Li. The country will try to enhance the competitiveness of domestic firms by technological innovations, cultivating home brands, improving quality of products and services, he added.

"China's foreign trade has weathered through the most difficult period of 2012. The general trend will be to stop the slowdown and stabilize," said Liu Jianjun, spokesman for the fair.

About 200,000 overseas buyers are expected to attend the three-phase fair, which will last until early May. The fair has an exhibition area of 1.16 million square meters and nearly 60,000 booths.

The 112th session of the fair saw a turnover of 32.68 billion U.S. dollars, a 9.3-percent decrease compared to the spring session.

The fair opened as the country's gross domestic product growth slowed to 7.7 percent in the first quarter of 2013, down from 7.9 percent during the final quarter of 2012, the National Bureau of Statistics said Monday.

Customs data showed China's foreign trade grew 13.4 percent in the first three months, much higher than the growth rate of 6.2 percent in 2012.

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