by Xinhua writers Zhou Qiang, Ma Xiaocheng, Hong Zehua
GUANGZHOU, Oct. 17 (Xinhua) -- China is demonstrating its long-lasting pursuit of innovation, inspiration, and willingness for higher-level opening up at the ongoing China Import and Export Fair, or the Canton Fair, which has grabbed the world's attention with new products and new paths of development.
Held both online and offline for the first time, the event has attracted about 8,000 enterprises that have set up nearly 20,000 booths at the exhibition center in Guangzhou, capital of south China's Guangdong Province. More companies were expected to join the event online during the five-day fair from Oct. 15 to 19.
FROM MANUFACTURING TO INNOVATION
At China's home appliance giant Gree's booth, people waited for the launch of the company's latest "zero-carbon ecosystem". According to the company, no electric charge is needed when power generated by solar power photovoltaic battery completely meets the load of the unit in operation, which can therefore lead to zero carbon emission.
"European and American countries strictly regulate coal and natural gas use for heating. Gree's eco-friendly products suit the needs of less carbon emission," said Kevin Bai, president assistant of Gree Electric Appliances, Inc. "Many of our products have seen sales double or even triple over the past year despite the COVID-19 pandemic."
Since its founding in 1991, the Zhuhai-based company has grown into one of the largest household electric appliance enterprises in the world with innovation and new products.
As China opens its arms to embrace the global market, Chinese companies face more development opportunities amid fiercer competition. Bai said most of the Chinese factories he knew about have shifted from merely manufacturing to shaping their own brands with core technologies.
Anne Casso, a sourcing director with the French multinational retail group Auchan Retail, would agree with Bai. Having attended the fair for 13 consecutive years, Casso considered herself a witness to the change of the Chinese suppliers.
"We used to come and find what we needed in the past. Now, more frequently, we come to see what's new. Chinese suppliers have gradually built up their collection of new products with bold ideas and practices," Casso said.
Auchan Retail's sourcing team is looking for eco-friendly products and smart appliances connected to 5G this year. Casso believes the rising demand will be properly met by the Chinese suppliers as Chinese companies have innovative ideas and strong production abilities.
For Chinese home appliance manufacturer Galanz, the ongoing session of the Canton Fair, held twice a year in spring and autumn respectively, is different in many ways from the previous ones. The company is displaying products that target not only overseas customers but also domestic consumers. It has invited both overseas clients and major domestic buyers to the fair.
As one of the earliest private companies to participate in the fair, Galanz has taken advantage of this platform to set foot in the overseas market.
"Guided by the 'dual circulation' development paradigm, we are further promoting our brand globally, as well as reshaping it in the domestic market," said Liang Zhaoxian, chairman of Galanz Group. "We will make more innovative products through technological innovation and global division and cooperation."
Launched in 1957, the fair is seen as a significant barometer of China's foreign trade. This session of the Canton Fair, themed "Canton Fair, Global Share", features "dual circulation", as China is building a new development paradigm where domestic and overseas markets reinforce each other, with the domestic market as the mainstay.
The online events aim to draw more global buyers for export-oriented companies to find new orders, while the offline events invite both domestic and overseas buyers to help Chinese foreign trade companies develop new markets, said Chu Shijia, head of the China Foreign Trade Center, one of the fair's organizers.
"The session is a milestone, as it has taken advantage of both domestic and overseas markets and resources, showing China's determination to promote and build a high level and open world economy," Chu said.
MINISO, a Chinese retailer known for its fashionable but affordable household products, operates 4,500 stores in 99 countries and regions. The Guangzhou-based company attended the fair as a buyer for the first time.
"The momentum of economic development and new opportunities will be generated through the development of domestic and overseas markets," said MINISO founder Ye Guofu.
Ye said his company values the platform provided by the fair as an important opportunity for sourcing new items.
(Xinhua reporter Ding Le also contributed to the story.)