“We are working with the BCCEC to foster greater awareness of the Canton Fair and encourage more business leaders to access it online”
NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Chinese Premier Li Keqiang commenced the 130th session of the China Import and Export Fair, or the Canton Fair, last Friday, granting Bahamian business leaders and foreign buyers alike a prime opportunity to trade directly with China.
The economic fair, co-hosted by the Ministry of Commerce of China and the provincial government of Guangdong Province, is a comprehensive international trading event and is positioned as the oldest and largest trade fair in China.
Since its inaugural launch in April 1957, it has been held on a semi-annual basis, every spring and autumn.
The Canton Fair will host the first phase of its autumn session from October 15 to October 19, with the five-day event taking place both in-person and virtually.
Its in-person component will be hosted in Guangzhou, China.
In a statement to Eyewitness News, Chinese Ambassador to The Bahamas Dai Qingli praised the fair for bolstering business relations between Chinese manufacturers and buyers from all over the globe.
“The Canton Fair is probably China’s most popular trade event, with buyers all over the world. Nearly 8,000 global companies will participate offline and around 26,000 companies online,” she said, referencing both the fair’s in-person and virtual platforms.
“This year’s Canton Fair is held at a special time. Economic recovery has notably gathered pace in many parts of the world, yet many uncertainties remain and societies are struggling to resume normal lives.
“This Canton Fair will not only showcase China as a manufacturing powerhouse offering practical solutions for all imaginable business needs, but also provide a timely platform to facilitate direct interactions and cooperation among businesses around the world and boost global trade and economic development”.
Dai also noted the importance of Bahamian businesses taking advantage of the event.
“We are glad to see that more and more Bahamian business leaders are taking an interest in the Canton Fair,” she said.
“Many of them actually visited the Canton Fair and bought commodities and equipment via the Canton Fair. This year, we are working with the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers’ Confederation (BCCEC) to foster greater awareness of the Canton Fair and encourage more business leaders to access it online.
“The Canton Fair provides a particularly valuable platform for Bahamian businesses to trade directly with China, instead of via third countries.
“We do hope more Bahamian businesses will see the potential of the Canton Fair. We at the Chinese Embassy will be happy to provide whatever facilitation within our capacity to make things easier for Bahamian businesses.”
The Canton Fair follows a three-phase format: October 15-9 (Phase 1); October 23-27 (Phase 2); and October 31-November 4 (Phase 3).
The fair first adopted a hybrid format featuring a virtual platform in the spring of 2020, in response to the 2020 coronavirus outbreak that originated in Wuhan, China.
Written by Eyewitness News Intern Gabrielle Sterling