Exhibitors at the 124th China Import and Export Fair said on Sunday that although they are worried about the negative impact of the US-China trade tensions on their business, they will actively cope with the situation by exploring other markets.
The port of Lianyungang, located in East China's Jiangsu Province, handles cargo imported from overseas markets to China. (Photo: VCG)
They talked to the Global Times while finishing preparations for their exhibitions a day before the fair's opening.
Tang Liang, general manager of the Robotics and Smart Toy Research Center, said that he is a little concerned about whether the escalating trade tensions would hurt his business.
"We used to book two stands at the China Import and Export Fair and printed 2,000-3,000 brochures, but this year we only have one stand with 1,500 brochures," he told the Global Times on Sunday. Previously, Tang's purchasers mostly came from the US and South Korea.
But Tang said that his company will solve the problem by expanding markets in emerging economies like India, and the company has designed products that cater to the tastes of customers in those markets.
A representative from Galanz Group, a Chinese household appliance company, told the Global Times on Sunday that although many of the company's products are included in the US tariff-hike list, he has not seen too much of an impact on Galanz's business as the list was just announced.
Xu Bing, spokesman for the fair, said at a press conference on Sunday that most US purchasers said they would still attend the 124th China Import and Export Fair to look around and make purchases.
According to him, more than 11,900 US purchasers attended the 123rd China Import and Export Fair held in April and May, up by 7.85 percent on a yearly basis.
The China Import and Export Fair, also known as the"Canton Fair," was established in 1957 and has gradually evolved into China's largest and most representative trade fair. The 124th fair will be held in three stages, exhibiting products from both home and abroad.
Despite exhibitors' worries, positive signs have emerged regarding China's trade situation.
For example, Xu said that the number of companies that will showcase products at the upcoming Canton Fair will reach 25,583, compared with 25,171 exhibitors in the 123rd fair.
Customs data also pointed toward an encouraging situation. China exported $227 billion worth of products in September, up by 14.5 percent on a yearly basis, compared with 9.1 percent growth in August, customs data showed on Friday.
"Those readings show that China as a major trade power has strong resilience," Bai Ming, deputy director of the Ministry of Commerce's International Market Research Institute, told the Global Times on Sunday.
"But of course, the impact from the trade disputes will emerge next year, with the US government expected to increase its tariff barrier from the current 10 percent to 25 percent against Chinese products," Bai said.
Faced with the higher US tariffs, China's main countermeasure has been to boost trade through trade exhibitions like the Canton Fair and the upcoming China International Import Expo, as well as by maximizing trade partners, Bai said.
An increasing number of companies, both domestic and foreign, will attend the 124th China Import and Export Fair, with countries along the Belt and Road (B&R) initiative route playing a rising role among overseas exhibitors, Xu, spokesman of the fair, said on Sunday.
A total of 381 companies from countries and regions along the B&R route will attend the 124th China Import and Export Fair, Xu said.
"Increasing cooperation with B&R countries will increase China's weight as a kind of countermeasure against US protectionism," Bai said.
Cover image: Dongjiakou port area (File photo: VCG)