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March 2, 2010

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Concerns still dog fair exhibitors

GROWING trade disputes, major fluctuations in exchange rates and rising prices of raw materials are major concerns of exhibitors and buyers attending the East China Fair which opened yesterday at the Shanghai New International Expo Center.

The country's largest regional trade fair, celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, attracted 3,376 companies to showcase their products this year in a 103,500-square-meter area. The fair will run through Friday.

Some exhibitors are concerned over the outlook for global trade due to a deteriorating climate and possibility of more protectionism.

Nie Lihua, a sales manager at Shanghai V-Fong Zipper Co, said escalating trade disputes have affected its business even though her company is just a supplier for apparel producers.

"We sincerely hope for an end to the trade conflicts," Nie said. "If the rows continue to worsen and spread, it will cost us more to sell our products (overseas), forcing us to shift to the domestic market."

Hans-Jurgen Adamski, a German buyer from Grada-Textil GmbH, said his top concern was the price rise of textile products. "The price increase in textile products is tremendous this year," Adamski said after talking with a few exhibitors. The rise was due to higher costs of cotton.


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