Chinese delegation visits San Francisco to promote Canton Fair

Updated: 2014-08-16 06:16

By LIAN ZI in San Francisco(China Daily USA)

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Chinese delegation visits San Francisco to promote Canton Fair

Wang Runsheng (right), president of China Foreign Trade Center gives a gift to Dan Herling (left), board chair of San Francisco Center of Economic Development during the press conference which announced the 116th China Import and Export Fair at the office of San Francisco Chamber of Commerce in San Francisco, California on Friday. Lian Zi / China Daily

A senior-level trade delegation from the China Foreign Trade Center visited the San Francisco area on Friday to encourage American companies to participate in the 116th China Import and Export Fair, one of the world's top trade fairs.

Held biannually in Guangzhou, China, the Import and Export Fair, also known as the Canton Fair, is one of the best platforms for overseas businessmen to purchase Chinese products, said Wang Runsheng, president of China Foreign Trade Center (CFTC). "It also helps foreign exhibitors gain access to a market of about 1.4 billion Chinese population and more than 200,000 overseas buyers," he added.

The 116th Canton Fair will be held in the China Import and Export Fair complex in Guangzhou from October 15 through November 4.

"I am delighted that the representatives of the Canton Fair could come to the San Francisco Bay Area to explain the importance of the fair," said Dan Herling, board chairman of the San Francisco Center for Economic Development (SFCED). "San Francisco and Guangzhou are known as gateways for overseas companies to go to the US and China."

Xia Xiang, economic and commercial counselor for China in San Francisco, said that the trade between US and China was probably the most important bilateral relationship in the world. Last year, trade volume between two countries expanded to $562.3 billion. And so far, seven provinces in China, including Shanghai, Chongqing, Jiangsu, Guangdong, Neimeng, Hebei and Shandong, have built state relationships with California since President Xi Jinping's visit to southern California last year.

Dennis Conaghan of SFCED has been impressed by previous Canton Fairs: "It is very important to know about the impact of the fair on the global economy."

Last year, the 115th Canton Fair attracted 188,119 buyers from 214 countries around the world. More than 10,000 buyers were from the US, ranking second among Canton Fair's overseas' buyers. About 2,847 US buyers have attended the fair more than 25 times, said Wang. "These figures are a testament to the huge commercial value of the Canton Fair and its importance in fostering global trade."

Most buyers from US sourced electronics, daily consumer goods, gifts and home decorations, Wang added.

He also described new changes for the upcoming Canton Fair in 2014. "We will set up new export pavilions for new energy resources and pet products. New overseas and domestic exhibitors for textiles will be arranged in the same pavilion which has never happened before."

The Canton Fair, established in 1957, is co-hosted by China's Ministry of Commerce and the Government of Guangdong Province, and is organized by the China Foreign Trade Center.