SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Elizabeth White, Sean Houghton, Glenn Rossman, Ignacio M. Llorente, Xenia von Wedel

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Canton Fair: An Optimistic Outlook

Global economic growth set to boost new year commerce

GUANGZHOU, China, Jan. 12, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- While commerce and attendance figures for both Canton Fairs in 2013 were generally stable compared to the previous year, a healthier global economic outlook means China's most prestigious trade event is facing a more promising 2014. A survey sent to over 600 participating companies showed over half were upbeat about increasing trade year, with the Fair continuing to play a key role.

The Canton Fair is generally seen as a barometer for the health of the Chinese economy. Despite continuing problems with weaker global demand, China's foreign trade appears to have come through a difficult 2013 in good shape. According to government sources, China's foreign trade rose 9.3% year-on-year in November, with exports up 12.7% to over US$ 200 billion. This is expected to push annual trade growth for 2013 close to Beijing's 8% target.

China's foreign commerce is forecast to maintain its upward growth trend this year, with an increase not less than in 2013. With trade projected to reach a record high of US$ 4 trillion in 2014, China will become the world's largest trading country by volume for the first time.

In terms of the international trade environment, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) both forecast the global economy to grow by 3.6% this year, compared to 3% in 2013.

Economic growth in the European Union (EU) and United States (US) is helping to underpin growth in Chinese exports, with the trend expected to continue into this year. Driven by economic growth in the US, up 4.1% year-on-year in the third quarter of 2013, Chinese toy exports to America rose 5.5% to US$ 2.95 billion in the first three quarters of 2013, while toy exports to the EU were also up over the same period.

Chinese exporters are particularly bullish about the current economic conditions. In a recent survey of over 500 exporters, over two-thirds expected trade revenue in the first half of 2014 to display year-on-year growth. However, unpredictable trade fluctuation, an appreciating renminbi and rising production costs remain ongoing concerns.

Canton Fair organizers now look forward to welcoming all participants to the Spring and Fall installments of the event, the best window onto China's increasingly lucrative marketplace.

For further information please visit: http://www.cantonfair.org.cn/en/index.asp

SOURCE The Canton Fair

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