The recent 125th China Import and Export Fair (Canton Fair) has witnessed 9.9 percent rise in the trade volume from the countries in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), reaching US$10.63 billion.

The trade between BRI countries and China at the fair accounted for 35.8 percent of the total turnover, with rise in existing buyers by 0.5 percent.

“Canton Fair has increased promotion in countries and regions along the BRI route, as trade connections are important to promoting business cooperation.

The average number of buyers from BRI countries reached 80,000, accounted for 45 percent of the total amount. 8,198 exhibitors from BRI countries exhibited their products at Canton Fair; the largest group in the Fair’s History,” said Xu Bing, spokesperson of the Canton Fair and deputy director general of China Foreign Trade Centre.

Li Kuiwen, Director of the Department of Analysis, Chinese General Administration of Customs, noted that Chinese trade companies, having consolidated their presence in the domestic market, are now expanding into emerging markets along the BRI route.

In the first four months of 2019 alone, the import and export trade volume between China and BRI countries reached US$ 394,921 billion, a year-on-year increase of 9.1 percent.

Buyers from Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore and Cambodia increased by 10.75, 9.08, 23.71, 4.4 and 8.83 percent respectively. Russia has also seen an increase of buyers to the Canton Fair by 1.29 percent.

The Canton Fair has helped improve business cooperation between China and BRI countries by introducing its Global Partnership Program. The fair has now established strategic partnerships with 48 industrial and commercial organisations in 32 BRI countries, working together on promotion, exhibition, visits and information service. The effect has been a boost in economic and trade cooperation along the BRI, with partnerships expected to cover the entire BRI area in the next 2 to 3 years.

The Canton Fair has not only attracted big names in Egypt but also small and medium-sized enterprises to test their product in the international market, said Taymour M. Essam, International Exhibitions Project Manager at the Export Development Authority, Egypt.

“Canton Fair is one of the largest fairs in the world. This year, 9 Egyptian companies at this year’s fair took advantage of this status to meet clients from Africa and Latin America and have established a relationship with the global network as a result,” added Essam.