When talking about the coming Canton Fair, Dr. Harley Seyedin, President of the American Chamber of Commerce in South China (AmCham South China), can’t help praising the combination of online and offline formats. “I think without one, the other one doesn't work right now. So the combination is the future for global business.”
The 130th session of the China Import and Export Fair, also known as the Canton Fair, will kick off tomorrow (Oct 15) in offline and online forms for the first time.
Since first participating in the Canton Fair in 1992, Seyedin expressed his eager expectation for the coming Canton Fair. He said in a recent interview with GDToday that due to the COVID-19, the global economy is still facing uncertainty. Still, most members of his chamber of commerce are optimistic about the growth of the Chinese market and look forward to the coming Canton Fair to continue to build the Sino-US trade bridge.
Change the way how to do business
According to Seyedin, the Canton Fair has always been a place twice a year where people come to see what's going to be available for them to sell next year. However, due to the COVID-19, most international buyers can’t go to Guangzhou. Luckily, most of the shopping has been moved online, so has the Canton Fair. “It has changed the way how to do the business.”
It’s not so easy for international buyers, especially those with massive amounts of orders. Seyedin indicated that western buyers prefer face-to-face trade because they can touch and feel the products by themselves. Online shopping can’t provide this kind of service.
As for international buyers, the integrated online and offline Fair has advantages of traditional face-to-face trade to build trust and reach a deal. In addition, it follows the development trend of the digital economy that helps to satisfy the various needs of enterprises around the world.
"That's why now the government has learned how actually to have a combination of online-offline fairs,” said Seyedin.
This year, AmCham South China has organized an exclusive delegation for the Fair for the first time. (File Photo: Nanfang Daily)
Organize an exclusive delegation for Canton Fair
Having relocated to Guangdong for tens of years, Seyedin has strong feelings about the incredible support that he and his member companies have received from the Chinese government, especially since the outbreak of the COVID-19.
Seyedin insisted that China is the first and the only country that has taken the COVID-19 under control. “The safety of our employees and ourselves is guaranteed here. All of that has to do with the government.”
“Every one of our employees has been vaccinated. That's something the government does.” Moreover, if he or his employee needs to do a nucleic acid test, they can make the reservation and test immediately, “and the cost is very low."
While on a large scale, Seyedin indicated that international transportation is widely available, and the country has managed the ports so that there's no backlog in China, helping their international business recovering swiftly. This is one reason why so many member companies in AmCham South China are enthusiastic about coming to Guangzhou for the Canton Fair. This year, AmCham South China has organized an exclusive delegation for the Fair for the first time.
According to a special report released by AmCham South China this year, Guangzhou has been selected as the top preferred reinvestment destination for four consecutive years. Most member companies ascribe their determination to establish a company in Guangzhou to the growth potential of the Guangzhou market, and 90% of them have achieved profitability in Guangzhou.