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The 129th Canton Fair Held Opening Press Conference

The Press Conference for the opening of the 129th China Import and Export Fair was held in Canton Fair Complex in the morning of April 14. Mr. Xu Bing, spokesperson of the Canton Fair, Deputy Director General of China Foreign Trade Centre, introduced the characteristics, highlights and preparation of this session to press from home and abroad.

Xu Bing said that 2020 was an extraordinary year. An epidemic unseen in a century spread across the world, hampering international economic and trade exchanges. To coordinate epidemic prevention and control and economic and social development, the 127th and 128th Canton Fair were held online; each session, about 26,000 exhibitors from home and abroad participated in the Fair, and buyers from over 220 countries and regions registered, attended, and conducted online negotiations. The two virtual sessions maintained trade exchanges between Chinese and overseas companies, and made contributions to stabilizing the fundamentals of foreign trade and investment and smoothing the industrial and supply chain of foreign trade. Since the epidemic has not been controlled at the global level, preventing the coronavirus from re-entering China to cause a new epidemic is still our top priority. As approved by the State Council, the 129th Canton Fair will be held online from April 15 to 24.

Xu Bing said the year 2021 marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China and the start of the 14th Five-Year Plan and the new journey of building a modern socialist country in all respects. At this special and crucial period, it is of great significance to make the Canton Fair a success. Guided by Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, we will follow the instructions of President Xi's congratulatory letter and implement decisions and policies made by the CPC Central Committee and State Council to stabilize foreign trade. Under the leadership of the party group of the Ministry of Commerce, we have made efforts to coordinate epidemic prevention and control and economic and social development, brought Canton Fair into full play as a platform for all-round opening up, and made use of domestic and overseas markets and resources at a higher level, so as to promote stable progress and innovative development of foreign trade, and help foster a new development pattern.

Xu Bing introduced that we have made solid efforts to organize the Fair and provide a feast of “Made in China”. The following columns continues to be set up on the platform, including Exhibitors and Products, Global Business Matchmaking, Exhibitors On Live, News and Events, Services and Support, Cross-border E-commerce Zone. The virtual platform will officially go online at 9:00 am on April 15. The overall scale remains stable. There are 50 exhibition sections under 16 product categories, including electronics and household electrical appliances, machinery, building materials, consumer goods, home decorations, textiles and garments, and so on. About 26,000 domestic and overseas exhibitors will come up online with nearly 60,000 virtual booths. The number of products hits a new high. Exhibitors are active in uploading products. As of now, over 2.7 million products have been uploaded, setting a record high with an increase of 230,000 products compared to the last session. Various new, smart, high-tech products with self-marketing, self-owned IP and brands will make their debut, including about 820,000 new products. Exhibitors will display products in text, picture, video, 3D and VR format, offering global buyers a feast of “Made in China” and “Created in China”. The zone “Rural Vitalization” will be set up. In order to consolidate gains of poverty eradication and ensure a smooth transition into rural vitalization, the 129th Canton Fair designates a special zone for 1,160 companies from formerly poor regions, enabling them to participate for free. The zone includes 49 exhibition sections, aiming to play Canton Fair’s role of helping companies in rural areas to explore the international market and boost rural vitalization. Fees for participation are exempted. As a response to policies of cutting taxes and fees to help enterprises address difficulties introduced by the CPC Central Committee and the State Council, the 129th Canton Fair will not levy fees on companies and cross-border e-commerce platforms for participation, giving them a leg up in expanding markets.

Xu said that the 129th Canton Fair has stepped up marketing efforts and optimized global market mix. Invitation targeting overseas and domestic buyers has been enhanced, making contributions to a new development pattern of the dual circulation. We have conducted targeted marketing across the globe. Adhering to the principle of “innovative, specialized, targeted, delicate” and based on the Canton Fair Global Cooperative Partnership Program and Buyer Incentive Program, we have invited global buyers to register and attend the Fair, and diversified buyer source countries. Firstly, ensure worldwide coverage. We have employed more channels to carry out email direct marketing (EDM) and increased the frequency of emails sent to about 800,000 overseas buyers who have attended Canton Fair in recent years. A combination of new media resources have been used to conduct online marketing covering various topics and the whole timeline of the Fair. By these efforts we aim to increase the number of Canton Fair social media fans to attend the Fair. Secondly, focus on key markets. We will prioritize key markets such as “Belt & Road” and RCEP countries and regions, China’s major trade partners and Canton Fair’s main buyer source countries to launch targeted marketing and invitation towards important customers. An approach based on specific industry and exhibition section that varies from country to country will be adopted. Thirdly, enhance cooperation. By pooling our global resources and worked with embassies and consulates of foreign countries in China, Chinese embassies and consulates in other countries and overseas industrial and commercial organizations, we’ve launched 44 “Promotion on Cloud”, virtual matchmaking and signing ceremony events in 32 countries. And we’ve invited Fortune 500, Top 250 Global Retailers, multinational sourcing companies and representatives of overseas industrial and commercial organizations in China to attend the above-mentioned events. Fourthly, improve services. We’ve provided delicate and tailored services to key customers and organized over 300 training activities for overseas buyers across various channels and in different stages. Guide and training for partners, important buyers and social media fans have been stepped up to enhance users’ attending experience. We’ve redoubled efforts in domestic marketing. An online-offline merged approach has been taken to invite more domestic buyers to register online and participate in offline matchmaking. Firstly, give full play to our advantage as the organizer. We’ve partnered with commerce departments of different localities and professional chambers of commerce and associations to boost publicity of the Canton Fair virtual platform. Secondly, utilize our geographical advantage. In key cities of the GBA, we’ve worked with retail chain, cross-border e-commerce companies and import & export chambers of commerce to assist in organizing domestic buyers, and invited large supermarkets, e-commerce platforms and other professional sourcing groups to attend. Thirdly, bring into full play the guide on domestic trade. We’ve added a tag of domestic trade on exhibitors’ store page for those with the intention to sell in the Chinese market, and we’ve put out an online guide book of quality exhibitors on domestic trade. These efforts will facilitate domestic buyers to better utilize the virtual platform and increase matchmaking efficiency.

Xu stated that we will further optimize the digital platform to enhance the experience of relevant parties. Following two successful online sessions, we’ve upgraded the Canton Fair digital platform to achieve the goal of “registering, finding products and conducting negotiations” and to facilitate supplier-buyer matchmaking. The official website has been launched in advance for pilot operation. To help companies better use the digital platform, we started the test run of our website from April 6-14, 4 more days than the previous sessions. Also we’ve staged series of targeted training to help exhibitors and buyers become more familiar with website functions and improve customer experience and satisfaction. Matchmaking efficiency has been enhanced. We’ve optimized the features of processing sourcing request and instant messaging for exhibitor’s account. A feature to share exhibitors’ stores to WeChat and other social media platforms has been newly developed to attract more potential buyers. Live-streaming efficiency has been improved. We’ve taken targeted measures to distribute live-streaming resource and help exhibitors to make a good use of the resource. Management of Exhibitor Centre has been upgraded. A new function to display and move exhibits off the shelf in batches has been added to facilitate exhibitors to manage their exhibits. We’ve also optimized account management system to allow exhibitors set and adjust the features and permissions of sub-accounts, i.e. exhibitors’ primary account can set different features and permissions for sub-accounts. An information update reminder and verification by trading delegation have been provided to improve efficiency. Smart customer service has been advanced. We’ve perfected our multimedia, multi-lingual and 24/7 smart customer service system that features “staff support plus smart service”, highlighted Help Centre and enriched video training to offer convenient services across the board. Internet security has been ensured. Internet security is pivotal to the Canton Fair virtual platform. We’ve adopted level-3 information security policy and taken a two-pronged approach that focuses on both business and security, designed system and enhanced security in the principle of planning, building and operating at the same time to ensure stable and secure operation of the website.

Xu introduced that in this session we will stage trade promotion activities to facilitate the building of a new development pattern. A series of supporting events will be held to provide value-added services to exhibitors and buyers. Hold dual circulation activity. We will work with the Department of Commerce of Guangdong Province, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Guangdong provincial retail, chain and e-commerce associations and hold an offline event to promote dual circulation themed “Driving Domestic and Foreign Trade in the Dual Circulation”. Foreign trade companies are encouraged to focus on both domestic and foreign trade, tap the potential of the domestic market and build new development strength. Stage new product releases. We’ll stage 137 new product releases, where quality exhibitors of different sectors will display their latest products in live-streams to demonstrate the progress made by Chinese companies in upgrading and innovation-driven development. Launch 2020 CF Awards New Product Show. By showcasing quality Chinese products with the most innovation and commercial value to the world, this event will help buyers get to know the details of 2020 CF Awards winning products and select quality “Made in China” products.

Xu said that we will focus on IPR protection to ensure a favorable innovating environment for enterprises in this session. We will stick to the prevention of IPR infringement before the Fair and complaint handling during the Fair to strengthen IPR protection. Raise exhibitors’ awareness of IPR protection. We will motivate trading delegations and commercial associations to perform their duties and strengthen relative publicity and education among exhibiting enterprises to implement IPR protection and maintain the order of the virtual exhibition. Enhance self-examination and self-correction before and during the Fair. In the previous two sessions, China National Intellectual Property Administration facilitated the establishment of the working mechanism concerning the Canton Fair IPR protection around the country. For this session, we will continue to bring the mechanism into play and step up self-examination and self-correction before and during the Fair. We will list the directory of the previous frequent IPR complaint cases to provide reference for exhibitors to verify, self-examine and correct, thus reducing the risks of IPR infringement. Handle the complaints with an online-offline merged model. On the one hand, we will optimize the online portal for filing IPR complaints to provide more convenient functions including complaint, objection, withdrawal and inquiry. On the other hand, we will continue to invite experts from government departments in charge of patents, trademarks, and copyrights to work offline and provide support at the Canton Fair Complaint Station for IPR and Trade Dispute. Their professional and authoritative opinion on whether suspected infringements are involved to ensure fair and just handling of cases.

Xu stated that we will improve supporting services to provide more convenience. We will continue to enrich the online supporting services for exhibitors. Quality online supporting services for exhibitors and buyers will be offered at “Services & Support”on the Canton Fair official website. Provide exclusive financial services. Having worked with 7 domestic large financial institutions, we will provide tailor-made financial services for exhibitors, including settlement, financing, insurance and etc, to satisfy their various needs in fulfilling the contract. Moreover, we will organize an offline matchmaking event on financing with Bank of China Guangdong Branch to achieve face-to-face communication with exhibiting companies and provide targeted financial services on site. Hold series of “trade enhanced by design” activities. Canton Fair PDC will welcome nearly 90 specialized design agencies from 12 countries and regions including France, South Korea, the Netherlands and etc, and provide a platform for around-the-clock display and communication with online and offline activities combined, aiming to assist enterprises in improving quality, building brands and exploring markets by innovation on design. Enhance online customs service. We will offer online consultation, live-streaming room and the “Customs Window” to provide more information, and guide enterprises to take full and better advantage of relative policies. Integrate foreign trade services. We will offer supporting services, such as postal service, transportation, commodity inspection, product quality certification, to build a “one-stop” service platform and highlight the importance of Canton Fair’s value-added services.

Xu Bing also answered questions from media on highlights and features of the 129th session, how to better play Canton Fair’s role as a comprehensive platform for opening up, how to drive innovation-led development of foreign trade, how to enhance global promotion, how to serve the establishment of a new development pattern and implement the strategy of rural vitalization.

46 domestic and foreign media agencies including Xinhua News Agency, China Media Group, China News Service, huanqiu.com, International Business Daily, Guangdong Radio and Television Station, Nanfang Daily, Guangzhou Daily, Takungpo, Macau Commercial Post, Japan Broadcasting Corporation and Nihon Keizai Shimbun attended the press conference to cover the Canton Fair.