The official statement from the Deputy Director of the Trade Department of Guangdong stated that due to the spreading coronavirus pandemic, the Canton Fair was postponed. The spring edition of the Canton Fair should start on April 15 and last until May. The fair has been held continuously since 1957. However, this year, the fate of the world’s largest trade fair has become questionable.
The Canton Fair 2020
The Canton Fair, or the Chinese Import and Export Fair, is the largest trade fair in China held since 1957. It is organized every year in spring and autumn in Guangzhou, popularly known as Canton. The show is prepared by the Chinese Centre for Foreign Trade. Many major Chinese exporters, factories, research institutions, foreign capital companies, and private companies are involved in the fair.
Last year, over 25 thousand exhibitors presented themselves on the total area of 1,185,000 sqm of the Canton Fair Complex. There were about 61 thousand stands in the exhibition hall. 186,015 buyers visited the fair. Its business turnover was around 29,288 billion USD.
The Canton Fair was postponed – what next?
Prime Minister Li Keqiang wanted the spring session to take place because it was an important part of Beijing’s efforts to stabilize the economy. However, the organizers were forced to suspend the fair. The decision was not only influenced by the spread of the virus.
With the outbreak of the pandemic and its rapid spread around the world, many regular participants of the event were informed that they would not be present at the spring edition. What is more, Guangzhou has joined other large cities, including Beijing and Shanghai, and introduced new restrictions that require all foreign guests to undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine at their own expense. The precautionary measures introduced also deterred many entrepreneurs planning to come to the Cantonese Trade Fair, as this generates additional costs.
For this moment, no new Canton Fair Trade date has been given. Guangdong Province authorities have reported that they are in talks with Beijing about postponing the event, most likely to May.