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People's Daily Online>>China Society

China bullish about Canton Fair

By Li Jiabao and Xu Jingxi in Guangzhou (China Daily)

11:06, April 15, 2012

China is "prudently optimistic" about the result of this week's 111th Session of the China Import and Export Fair, or the Canton Fair, the Ministry of Commerce said on Saturday, a forecast that augers well for increased foreign trade.

"We have a prudently optimistic expectation about the export deals during this Canton Fair. We estimate that the value of orders placed by overseas buyers will maintain the record of $37.9 billion set in the autumn session of the 110th Canton Fair last year," Liu Jianjun, deputy director-general of the China Foreign Trade Center of the ministry, told a news conference.

China's GDP grew a less-than-expected 8.1 percent year-on-year in the first quarter, the least in almost three years after an 8.9 percent gain in the fourth quarter, as export and domestic demand cooled, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics on Friday. The nation reported a moderated import growth of 5.3 percent in March from a year earlier, the General Administration of Customs said on Tuesday, and exports rose 8.9 percent year-on-year.

China's foreign trade development is challenged by an uncertain global economy, Liu said. "The EU debt crisis still haunts the bloc, while major developed economies are troubled by high unemployment and insufficient growth momentum, and emerging markets suffer inflation and a slowdown in growth.

"However, the global market still has a strong demand for China's highly competitive exports," he said, which is why authorities expect the spring fair to generate sales near the record value of the last session.

More than 200,000 foreign buyers will come to the fair (April 15-19), while 104,000 domestic exporters have also applied to attend, according to a news release from the fair.

Wang Yuwen, an analyst with the Finance Research Center of the Bank of Communications, said that "China will regain export growth in the second quarter".

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