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Features - 22 October 2014

Trade Drops for Phase 1 of Canton Fair 2014

Held twice a year in the city of Guangzhou, capital of the Guangdong province, the Canton Fair has been running since 1957 and is considered to be the largest trade fair in China. The Canton Fair (full name being China Import and Export Fair) is organized by China Foreign Trade Center and supported by the Ministry of Commerce of China and People’s Government of the Guangdong Province. To accommodate the more than 150,000 different products showcased by more than 55,800 exhibitors, the Canton Fair is split into three sessions. Phase 1 of the current Canton Fair took place on October 15-19 and included Electronics & Household Electrical Appliances; Lighting Equipment; Machinery, Vehicles & Spare Parts; Hardware & Tools; Chemical Products; Energy Resources; and Building Materials. Phase 2 is set to take place on October 23-27 featuring Consumer Goods; Gifts; and Home Decorations. Phase 3 on October 31 to November 4 includes Office Supplies; Recreation Products; Cases & Bags; Food; Textiles & Garments; Shoes; and Medicines, Medical Devices & Health Products.

The first phase of the Canton Fair ended with a marked decline in the sectors of machinery and electronic products, with turnover totaling US$ 6.44 billion in comparison with US$ 12.5 billion in the same period in 2013. The drop in trade was attributed to weakening demand and the sluggish global economy. Other factors suggested included a lack of innovative products, particularly in consumer electronic products, as well the trend of manufacturers moving their production facilities out of China to other Asian countries where labor is cheaper, and example being Samsung and LG that have moved some of their production over to Vietnam.

E-commerce platforms have also had an impact on attendance figures as potential customers source their products online. It was also noted that there was a considerable drop in the numbers of visitors from Africa which was attributed to the ongoing Ebola crisis. Conversely, there was reportedly an increase in representatives from Russia, which is in line with recent reports that trade between China and Russia is on the increase.

One of the booths to attract a steady flow of visitors was presenting new freight train routes, running along similar routes to the legendary Silk Road – one linking western china with Central Asia, and the other linking to Russia and Eastern Europe. It is anticipated that merchants along these routes will support trade with China as delivery obstacles are overcome.

With two more sessions left of the Canton Fair there are still many opportunities for manufacturers and suppliers to network and establish and strengthen trade ties.


New Film Studio to Boost Business in Qingdao - 8 October 2014

With hopes of attracting film producers to China, the Dalian Wanda Group Corp has announced its intention to set up an annual fund to the value of 1 billion yuan for the production of television programs and films at its planned Oriental Movie Metropolis in Qingdao, Shangdong Province. The district government of Qingdao will also be offering subsidies to filmmakers using the studios. The announcement was made by chairman of the real estate and entertainment corporation, and one of China’s richest men, Wang Jianlin, at a meeting attended by a host of studio executives and film producers, including chief operating officer of Weinstein Co. David Glasser, and head of Alibaba Group Holding’s production division Zhang Qiang.


China's Economic Growth Slows, Shadow Lending Grows - 24 September 2014

A recent report published by New York-based research company China Beige Book (CBB) revealed that China's economic growth is faltering, despite the government's 'mini-stimulus' strategies launched in May, which included a more relaxed approach to lending and a wave of infrastructure investment projects. The CBB report, which is compiled from surveys of more than 2,100 firms around China, noted that less than 20 percent of the firms surveyed borrowed in the third quarter, whether it be from the bond market, banks or shadow finance firms, which is a drop of 29 percent when compared to the third quarter of 2013. The report also shows that capital expenditures have dipped to the lowest level since the CBB survey began in 2012.