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Thomas Russell

China's Canton Fair drew 200,000 overseas buyers this spring

GUANGZHOU, China — The 113th China Import and Export Fair, also known as the Canton Fair, saw an increase in international visitors during its most recent run, which ended May 5.

Fair officials reported the event drew 200,000 overseas buyers, which was up 7% from attendance last fall but 3.8% down spring 2012. Asia represented the highest level of attendance from outside China with 110,000 buyers, or 54.3% of the total, followed by Europe with 36,453 buyers and North America with 31,709.

Europe's attendance was down about 6.2% but attendance from North America was up 11.4%. Compared with last spring, attendance from North America was down 7.8% and Europe was down by 4.9%.

Officials also reported that written orders at the show rose 9% from last year to $35.5 billion.

Officials attributed the orders increase to a slow global economy in 2012.

"Last year was the most difficult year for Chinese exporters," Liu Jianjun, a fair spokesman, said in a statement. "As China's economy picks up, exporters commonly agree that the situation will be better in 2013 in terms of increased overseas orders."

The event was held April 15-May 5 at the China Import and Export Fair Complex in Guangzhou. The second phase of the event, held April 23-27, featured home furnishings and other consumer goods.

The 114th edition of the Canton Fair will be held Oct. 15-Nov. 4, with the home furnishings segment taking place Oct. 23-27.

For more information on the event, visit


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