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Under the background of the complicated Covid-19 pandemic situation and a fragile recovery of the world’s economy, the Chinese government is going to hold the 130th China Import and Export Fair, also known as “Canton Fair”, from October 15 to 19, 2021 in an “online&offline integrated” manner. During this session of the Canton fair, “The First Pearl River International Trade Forum” will be held alongside. I am more than happy to introduce to all Pakistani friends about this 130th Canton fair, and sincerely invite all Pakistani friends, especially friends from business circles, to participate in this fair to make full use of Chinese market and share the rich fruits of China’s development. The following are contents and features for this session of the Canton fair:

To be held both online&offline, breaking the limits by time and space. The Canton fair has been successfully held for 129 sessions since its founding in 1957, and it has established trade relationships with more than 220 countries and regions around the globe. Not only is the Canton Fair is a key platform for international trade, it is also an important channel for China to trade and communicate with other countries. Furthermore, it is one of China’s major measures to positively embrace the global market. In order to firmly support multilateral trading system and work for an open world economy, the Chinese government attaches great importance to each session of the Canton Fair. With the experience and reputation accumulated in past 65 years, the Canton Fair has become a comprehensive international trade fair with the longest history, the largest in scale with the maximum commodity categories, the largest purchaser attendance, the highest business turnover and reputation. It is fairly considered as the barometer and indicator of China’s foreign trade. Usually, the Canton fair is held in every spring and autumn at Guangzhou, capital city of south China’s Guangdong province. Due to the global pandemic of Covid-19, the Canton fair was held online for 3 sessions since 2020, with a aim to put people’s safety and health in the first place. Owing to the joint efforts by countries all over the world, the pandemic is now controlled to a certain extent. However, the situation we face remains complicated and challenging. After considering the full picture, the Chinese government decided to resume offline activities of the Canton fair and keep its online activities in place. This session of the Canton fair will further improve the official online portal and use the portal to attract the online attention to offline activities. Also, this session will take full advantage of online&offline integration to offer more opportunities for information sharing and trade promotion, striving to make it a grand event of safety, good order, innovation, efficiency and splendidness.

Traders gather for countless business opportunities. With China’s current “Dual Circulation” development paradigm, this session of the Canton fair adopted the strategy of attracting both foreign and domestic traders. On one hand, it welcomes international traders, foreign enterprises, commercial institutions and foreign chambers of commerce posted in China to attend offline activities by utilizing new media to publicize the fair. On the other hand, the fair promotes China’s key industrial clusters to the world with online platforms to serve the innovative development of international trade and create a proper arena for local economy. It is estimated that there will be around 26,000 high quality enterprises from all over the world to showcase their products and services in either online or offline manner, and more than 200,000 purchasers will attend the offline activities. Over 60,000 online booths will be offered to meet the demand for one-stop trade by sellers and purchasers. At the offline end, 51 exhibition districts will cover 400,000 square meters in 16 major categories of commodities. These include electronic & household appliances, lighting equipments, vehicles & vehicle spare parts, machinery, hardware tools, building materials, chemical products, energy, consumer goods, textiles & garments, shoes, gifts, medicines & medical devices, food, cases & bags, and home decorations. Besides, there will be a special pavilion for import products such as household appliances, food, building and decorative materials, machinery & spare parts of machinery, and personal care products. This indicates this fair is also a good platform for foreign enterprises who wish to get access to China’s huge domestic market.

Promoting an open economy, sharing innovative ideas. With a view to offering more opportunities for information sharing and trade promotion and demonstrating China’s determination as well as confidence in building an open economy and a community of shared future for humankind, the Chinese government will hold “The First Pearl River International Trade Forum” during this session under the title of “Offering the World New Opportunities with New Development of China”. The main forum will be held on October 14 afternoon during the Canton fair’s opening ceremony. Around 600 distinguished domestic and foreign guests will attend the physical ceremony and leaders of relevant countries, regions and international organizations will be invited to give online speeches. On October 15 afternoon, three sub forums will be held simultaneously, and the themes of the sub forums are “High-Level Opening Up and Trade Innovation”, “New Forms and Models of Foreign Trade under the New Development Paradigm” and “International Trade & Cooperation of Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area”. Senior officials, renowned entrepreneurs and experts from all over the world will conduct strategic dialogues on related themes and hot topics of international trade. They will have in-depth discussions and communication on win-win co-operation strategies.

China and Pakistan are all-weather strategic partners. The Chinese government will adhere to open, cooperative and sharing attitude as always and constantly boost trade cooperation with Pakistani brothers, empowering two countries’ economies to recover in the post-pandemic era. Along with the progresses of the construction of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the potentials of trade between China and Pakistan will be further taped. We believe the Canton fair is able to connect corporations from China and Pakistan like a bridge by creating more opportunities for cooperation, and it will also help China and Pakistan achieve win-win cooperation and share new opportunities brought by the Belt & Road Initiative (BRI). China-Pakistan Dosti Zindabad!

(The writer is Economic and Commercial Counsellor, Chinese Consulate in Karachi)

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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