Photo shows the popularity of the Canton Fair held in south China. (Xinhuanet/Lu Jian)
"Just take a glimpse of this trade fair, we can easily find the tremendous achievement of China's reform and opening-up policy in the past four decades," Val Thompson, an American businessman, said at the 123rd China Import and Export Fair (Canton Fair).
Held from April 15 to May 5, "China's biggest fair" is held biannually in Guangzhou every spring and autumn with a history of 61 years.
The Fair has been hailed by overseas buyers and enterprises as an epitome of China's reform and opening-up and China's efforts to move closer to the center stage as well as a symbol of deepening international business ties.
"Since the reform and opening up, many U.S. citizens have visited China and are well impressed by its dynamic manufacturing capabilities and its diligent people," said Val Thompson, president and CEO of Houston International Trade Development Council.
In the new global economic situation, the Fair has become a vital step toward better business environment and a more open market.
"It is not only a stage for China to display itself, but also a platform for international cooperation when facing challenges and opportunities of globalization," Thompson said.
Thompson is not the only one impressed by China's rapid development in economic and social sectors.
"The Canton Fair has served as a platform where global buyers and sellers communicate with each other in the past decades," said Alim Markus, Chairman of the Indonesia China Business Council.
"I have attended the Canton Fair for eight consecutive years. During the period, China has become the second largest economy in the world and Canton Fair is a window through which the world witnessed such rapid growth. It sent a clear message that China welcomed others to board the express train of its development.
"The 123rd Canton Fair is a great event held on the same year of the 40th anniversary of China's reform and opening up, which lays a solid foundation of facilitating Chinese and Indonesian enterprises to expand business and promote brands," Markus added.
The history of the Fair reflects the development of China's foreign trade as well as its reform and opening up policy.
Forty years ago, there were approximately 21,000 overseas buyers from 97 countries and regions attending the 44th session of Canton Fair, with an export transaction volume of 2.448 billion U.S.dollars.
In 2017, there were some 191,950 overseas buyers attending the 122nd Canton Fair, with an export volume of 30.16 billion U.S. dollars.
Up to the 122nd session, the accumulated export transaction volume has amounted to 1.26 trillion U.S. dollars and the overseas buyers reached 7.85 million.
This year, over 25,000 exhibiting companies from home and abroad are estimated to attend the Fair.
In 1978 the total value of China's import and export was 20.64 billion U.S. dollars, ranking the 30th in the world, accounting for only 0.77 percent of total value of world's import and export.