The story appears on

Page A11

October 18, 2016

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Business » Finance

Canton Fair exporters optimistic

MORE than 80 percent of companies at China’s largest trade fair expect to export more next year, helped by innovation and currency movements, according to a Reuters poll, raising hopes of a turnaround after more than a year of weak export data.

Despite concerns at rising costs and feeble global growth, the mood was mostly upbeat at the Canton Fair in Guangzhou on southern China’s Pearl River, where tens of thousands of Chinese mainland exporters and foreign buyers gather for what is regarded as a barometer of the country’s foreign trade.

Chinese exports have been falling almost continuously since the second quarter of 2015, and showed an unexpectedly large drop of 10 percent in September, despite heading into what is usually the peak year-end shopping season.

A third of the 103 companies polled said they expected a rebound in the country’s exports soon, and 46 percent expect the slowdown to persist for between six and 12 months.

“The overarching environment is not that great, but we innovate so we remain competitive,” said Hill Xing, sales manager at Kemage Power Machinery, which makes small power generators for household and agricultural purposes and employs 600-700 people.

Andy Zhang, sales manager at Owatch, a virtual reality startup, echoed that theme.

“Traditional industries are lagging, but new innovative industries like us will do very well,” he said.

Struggling heavy industry helped pull Chinese growth to a 25-year low in 2015, and the country’s foreign reserves fell by US$513 billion.

Nearly half of those polled at the fair said exports would be helped by the falling yuan, which has dropped 8.4 percent since August 2015, with another third seeing no impact.

The fair runs until November 4. Phase one, ending tomorrow, features exhibitors in electronics and household appliances, along with heavy machinery and building materials. Phase 2, from October 23-27, covers consumer goods, gifts and home decorations. The final phase includes textiles and apparel, office supplies, health care and foods.

Forty-five percent of companies said they were upbeat on their order prospects, while 51 percent were neutral and 5 percent pessimistic.

On a list of eight issues polled, production costs were the biggest headache for most exporters at the bi-annual fair, which is attended by 24,553 exhibitors occupying more than 60,250 booths. This was followed by concerns over global economic growth, while rent was their least concern.

Nearly 70 percent of exporters said hiring costs had climbed by up to 10 percent this year, though close to 60 percent said it was easy to get a loan for their business.

More than 65 percent of companies expect to increase investment spending by up to 20 percent next year, while 16.5 percent expect to raise spending by over 20 percent. Fixed-asset investment in China grew just 8.1 percent in the first eight months of this year, the slowest pace since December 1999.

Increasing labor and overall operating costs have hurt the competitiveness of China’s exporters in recent years, with many switching to cheaper destinations in Southeast Asia, while others increase automation.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend