Sourcing from China: Should you attend the Canton Fair in China?

How familiar are you with the Canton Fair? Could the Canton Fair (also known as the China Import & Export Fair) be important to your growing business?  This trade show has been held twice a year since 1957 in Guangzhou.  It is known as the largest scale and highest level China trade show for all importers sourcing from China.  If you are an importer, and if you want to keep in touch with what China exports, you may want to attend this show.

The Canton fair exhibits the most comprehensive and widest range of products China exports in any industry, sector and even commodities.  Business people from all over the world, who are sourcing from China, gather there to meet the best Chinese suppliers in any category.  Chinese manufacturers use this platform to tell the world about their ability and to find new clients.  For US importers, it is a source of new ideas and an opportunity to develop new supplier relationships.

There are over 24,000 of China’s best foreign trade companies and manufacturers and over 500 overseas companies that participate in this fair.  The exhibition is so large that it got broken down into three phases that run one after the other in order to maximize the usage of the exhibition space which covers over 1.18 million square meters and over 60,000 stands so be sure to wear your walking shoes!

The three phases cover the following range of products:

Phase 1: (Apr 15th – 19th 2017) covers:

  • Electronics & Household Electronical Appliances
  • Lighting Equipment
  • Vehicles & Spare Parts
  • Machinery
  • Hardware & Tools
  • Building Materials
  • Chemical Products
  • Energy
  • International Pavilion

Phase 2: (Apr 23rd – 27th 2017) covers:

  • Consumer Goods
  • Gifts
  • Home Decorations
  • Pet Products & Food

Phase 3: (May 1st – 5th 2017) covers:

  • Textiles & Garments
  • Shoes
  • Office Supplier, Cases & Bags, and Recreation Products
  • Medicines, Medical Devices and Health Products
  • Food
  • International Pavilion

Also note that Hong Kong holds exhibitions there timed around the Canton fair to catch the flow of visitors sourcing from China.  A few of these are:

(Apr 6th – 9th 2017) HKTDC International Lighting,

(Apr 13th – 16th 2017 HKTDC Electronics Fair,

(20th – 23rd 2017) HKTDC Housewares Fair & Textiles & Furnishing  Fair,

(Apr 27th – 30th 2017) HKTDC Gifts & Premium

So should you attend?   It may well be worth it if you’re currently sourcing from China.  But if you go, prepare to stay at least 2 days and plan to also visit Hong Kong.

Have you been to Guangzhou? Have you had the opportunity to see more than just the Canton Fair.  I would like to hear some of your experiences.  Please comment below.

By Susan Timpe

 

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