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Course of Development of Canton Fair

source: author: time:2007-08-21  

In the spring of 1957, the CECF was inaugurated in Guangzhou city, which is adjacent to Hong Kong and Macao and cherishes advantageous conditions of trading. At the first session, 13 trading delegations exhibited over 10,000 kinds of products and 1,223 buyers from 19 countries attended the fair. In its first year, the CECF achieved a transaction of the national income of foreign exchange that year.

1960's- 1970's
The Fair was held continuously even in the period of 3-year natural calamities and during the 10-year Cultural Revolution. The annual transaction volume broke through 5 billion USD and the number of buyers totaled 40,000. The Fair built a solid base for the coming tide of reform and opening-up.

In April of 1982, at the 51st session, the Fair shortened its duration from 30 days to 20days. In the spring of 1983, at the 53rd session, foreign-funded enterprises began to exhibit at the CECF. In the autumn of 1989, at the 66th session, the CECF once more shortened its duration from 20 days to 15days. In the same year the CECF achieved the outstanding annual transaction volume of 10 billion USD.

In 1993 and 1994 the Fair introduced two major reforms in its traditional pattern of organizing trading delegations and exhibition booths according to the categories of products, by adopting the principle(still applicable today)that “while the trading delegations are to be organized by different provinces and municipalities, the exhibition sections are to be arranged by chambers of commerce, the exhibits to be displayed by different industries in accordance with the principle of combining trading delegations with exhibition sections”. To meet the requirement of the reform in the foreign trade system, the Fair carried out strategies of “ market pluralism”, of “winning by quality”, of “invigoration trade with science and technology” and of “a big economic cooperation and trade”. Both attendance and turnover continued to go up steadily. Even in the years 1998 and 1999when our foreign trade was hard hit by the impact brought about by the Asia Financial Crisis, the attendance and turnover didn’t go down; instead, they created new records.

New Century
In the spring of 2000, the 87th Fair shortened its duration from 15days to 12 days. In the spring of 2002, the 91st Fair took on a significant reform of holding the Fair in two phases. The original twelve-day fair was divided into two stages, each lasting six days. Ever since the reform, the Fair combines the feature of comprehensiveness with specialization. At the session, 120,000 buyers attended the CECF and a transaction volume of USD 16.85 billion was achieved. At the 94th session, the number of buyers and transaction volume both hit an all-time high. 150.000 buyers attended this session were visited by and the turnover broke through 20 billion USD. At the spring Fair, 2004, the first phase construction of CECF (Pazhou) Complex was put into full use and the 95th CECF was held simultaneously at the two fair complexes, with the size of the Fair expanding to the third place among the world’s annual exhibitions. The 96th CECF continues to be enlarged and leaps to 2 among the world’s annual exhibitions.


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