Technologies like the internet, big data, cloud computing and artificial intelligence will be leveraged fully to open up new vistas for exhibitors at the upcoming 127th session of the China Import and Export Fair, its organizers said on Wednesday.
Due to the COVID-19 epidemic in many parts of the world, the government rescheduled the international flagship trade event, also known as the Canton Fair, in late March, and decided to hold the same as an online event from Monday to June 24 in Guangzhou.
In line with China’s focus on livestreaming, an increasingly popular tool in the country’s digital marketing landscape, the fair will provide 24-hour live broadcasting platforms for exhibitors to better interact with the buyers throughout the world, said Li Jinqi, deputy director-general of the Canton Fair’s organizing committee.
In addition to using well-known digital platforms such as Google and Facebook, as well as a number of social media portals, buyers from home and abroad can easily access the related exhibits while watching live broadcasts, he said, adding there are a variety of online communication tools to help buyers and sellers interact in real time, as well as improve the efficiency and effectiveness of online negotiations.
To promote global trade and share mutually beneficial development, Li said activities, such as online signings and new product launches to showcase innovative products, will be encouraged during the event. Companies can display their brand image in multiple dimensions through formats such as pictures, videos and 3D imaging to buyers in other parts of the world.
As the Canton Fair looks to engage exporters, exhibition fees will be waived to cope with the effect of the COVID-19 epidemic and help foreign trade companies expand their market and tide over the difficulties, said Zhang Li, deputy director-general of the department of foreign trade under the Ministry of Commerce.
Cross-border e-commerce platforms that participate in the fair-related activities will get fee exemptions, he said, adding that the ministry will attach equal importance to imports and exports, promote the matching of production, supply and sales, enhance online experiences of enterprises and merchants with higher technology levels and better services to succeed in the online session.
Domestic manufacturers have been gearing up to fulfill their overseas orders via the internet as the country’s largest trade event is scheduled to be conducted online due to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Plans have already been made to increase overseas customers’ knowledge of our products through online measures,” said Pan Zisheng, vice-director of the Asia-Pacific business department at Foshan, Guangdong province-based Galanz Group.
As a major producer of household electrical appliances in China, Galanz will design a web page with 3D features to display its latest products and services for overseas buyers during the online fair, he said.
Experts expect China’s exports to show a stable recovery in the second half of the year on the back of a notable improvement in the industrial, supply and service chains as well as from major trade events like the upcoming Canton Fair and the third China International Import Expo.
Because the COVID-19 pandemic has already cast a shadow over global trade, aviation, services and tourism, business people are reluctant to travel to other countries. Chinese companies will have better access to the global market by showcasing their products online, said Sang Baichuan, an economics professor at the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing.
Bai Ming, deputy director of the international market research institute under the China Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, said organizing the event online is not only a flexible measure to deal with the pandemic, but also an innovative measure to upgrade the traditional fair, as the internet and smartphones already play a big role in people’s lives and business activities.