Surrounded by whimsical butterfly- and rabbit-shaped lamps, workers are busy assembling illuminations while others rehearse for the highly anticipated light show at the upcoming 28th China (Guzhen) International Lighting Fair (GILF). Set to kick off on March 18, the fair in Guzhen town, Zhongshan city, South China’s Guangdong province, has fully resumed offline exhibitions with an exhibition area of more than 1.5 million square meters, said Kuang Zhi, secretary of the Party committee of Guzhen Town.
Last year, the 28th GILF was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it has been rescheduled for this year and has attracted more than 3,500 companies and over 60,000 registered professional buyers, including more than 2,400 professional buyers from over 110 countries and regions.
Located in the Pearl River Delta, Zhongshan is one of China’s manufacturing hubs featuring furniture, home appliances, and illuminations. Exhibitions and fairs are crucial for local enterprises as they facilitate transactions and cooperation.
China has dynamically optimized and adjusted its COVID-19 prevention measures, and Chinese and overseas enterprises are looking forward to participating in more offline fairs this year. “I will not lose this chance to see and check new items here,” said Issam Sarakbi, a buyer from Syria visiting the GILF, who advised his friends working in the illumination industry to come to China. Face-to-face meetings are helpful for building trust and cooperation, he added.
Besides the GILF, several other offline fairs and exhibitions have taken place in China in recent months. The Fifth National Forest Fire Protection Equipment Exhibition and Emergency Rescue Equipment Exhibition, held on Feb 8 in the southern Chinese metropolis of Guangzhou, featured hundreds of advanced products and technologies, including aviation firefighting equipment and intelligent unmanned aerial vehicles. Over 80 percent of exhibitors who attended the fair received purchasing orders.
As offline exhibitions resume this year, buyers and sellers from all over the world look forward to seeing the largest scale Canton Fair ever, said Harley Seyedin, president of the American Chamber of Commerce in South China. With over 30,000 Chinese and foreign companies expected to partake in the fair’s 133rd session, the exhibition area will reach 1.5 million square meters this year.
Fairs and conventions serve as bridges between supply and demand, gathering people, goods, capital, and technology to promote industrial upgrading, employment, consumption, resource allocation, and innovative development. They play a vital role in promoting high-level opening-up and high-quality development by connecting supply and demand and linking circulation and consumption, said Chen Xunchao, deputy director of the Trade Development Bureau of the Ministry of Commerce.
Overall, the resumption of offline fairs and exhibitions in China is a promising sign for the country’s economy and its potential for growth and development in the coming years.