Is the Canton Fair Open for Foreigners in 2023?
The Canton Fair, also known as the China Import and Export Fair, is a biannual event held in Guangzhou, China. The fair is one of the largest trade shows in the world and attracts buyers and sellers from all over the globe.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Canton Fair was held virtually in 2020 and 2021. However, the organizers have announced that the fair will be held in person for the Spring 2023 session.
Overview of the Canton Fair
The Canton Fair, also known as the China Import and Export Fair, is one of the largest trade fairs in the world, held biannually in Guangzhou, China. The fair was first held in 1957 and has since grown to become a major platform for international trade, attracting thousands of exhibitors and buyers from all over the world.
The Canton Fair is organized into three phases, each spanning five days, with different product categories featured in each phase. The first phase usually focuses on electronics, machinery, and building materials, while the second phase features consumer goods, gifts, and home decorations. The third and final phase includes textiles and garments, footwear, and food and beverage products.
The fair offers exhibitors the opportunity to showcase their products, meet with potential buyers, and network with other industry professionals. It also provides buyers with a chance to see the latest products and trends in their industries, connect with suppliers, and negotiate deals.
In recent years, the Canton Fair has embraced technology to make the event more accessible to international buyers, with features such as virtual booths and online matchmaking services. However, the in-person fair remains an important event for many businesses and continues to draw large crowds.
Canton Fair Dates Spring 2023
The 133rd Canton Fair will be held at the China Import and Export Fair Complex, Area A and Trade Service Point D. It will be held from April 15 to May 5, 2023, in three online and offline phases.
(i) Offline exhibition period:
Phase I: 15-19 April 2023.
Scope of Exhibits: Electronics & Home Appliances, Consumer Electronics, Lighting, Vehicles & Accessories, Machinery, Hardware & Tools, Building Materials, Chemical Products, New Energy
Phase II: 23rd – 27th April 2023.
Scope of Exhibits: Consumer Goods, Toys, Festive & Gifts, Furniture & Home Decor, Tableware, Ceramics, Gardening
Phase III: 1-5 May 2023.
Exhibitors: Textiles Fabrics Apparel, Shoes, Office Luggage & Leisure Products, Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare, Food
Exchange period: 20-22 April and 28-30 April 2023.
Photo source: Guangzhou Pazhou Exhibition Centre Service Station
(ii) Online platform service hours:
16 March – 15 September 2023.
(Times are subject to adjustment and will be notified)
The relevant person in charge of the China Foreign Trade Centre said on 28 January 2023 that the 133rd Canton Fair, which is scheduled to open on 15 April, will fully resume its offline exhibition.
The 133rd Canton Fair will be held in three phases
Exhibition hall area: expanded from 1.18 million square meters in the past to 1.5 million square meters
Offline exhibition booths: expected to increase from the original 60,000 to nearly 70,000
Invitations have been extended in advance to 950,000 domestic and overseas buyers, 177 global partners, etc.
The 133rd Canton Fair will be held in three phases, with the exhibition hall area expanding from 1.18 million square meters in the past to 1.5 million square meters and the number of offline exhibition booths expected to increase from 60,000 to nearly 70,000. Invitations to attend have been extended in advance to 950,000 domestic and overseas buyers, 177 global partners and others.
Who Should and Shouldn’t Visit the Canton Fair？
The Canton Fair is an international trade fair and is open to anyone who is interested in exploring business opportunities with Chinese manufacturers and suppliers. However, the fair may be more relevant and beneficial for some groups of people than others.
Here are some groups of people who should consider visiting the Canton Fair:
- Business owners and entrepreneurs who are looking for new products or suppliers to expand their business.
- Importers and exporters who want to source products from China or explore new markets for their products.
- Manufacturers who want to showcase their products, network with other industry professionals, and explore potential business opportunities.
- Sales and marketing professionals who want to learn about the latest products, trends, and innovations in their industries.
- Students and researchers who want to gain insights into China’s economy, manufacturing industry, and international trade.
Here are some groups of people who may not find the Canton Fair relevant or beneficial:
- General tourists who are not interested in business or trade.
- Visitors who are not able to communicate effectively in English or Chinese.
- Visitors who are not willing to engage in negotiations or do business with Chinese suppliers.
Overall, the Canton Fair is a valuable platform for businesses and professionals who are interested in international trade and sourcing products from China. It is important to note that attending the fair requires significant time, resources, and preparation, and visitors should carefully plan their trip to maximize the benefits of the fair.
When to Go to the Canton Fair？
The Canton Fair is held twice a year, in spring and autumn. The spring session usually takes place from mid-April to early May, while the autumn session typically runs from mid-October to early November.
The best time to go to the Canton Fair depends on your business needs and goals. If you are interested in sourcing products for the spring/summer season, it may be more beneficial to attend the spring session as you will have access to the latest product releases. On the other hand, if you are looking for products for the fall/winter season, attending the autumn session may be more appropriate.
It’s important to note that the first phase of the Canton Fair typically attracts more visitors and exhibitors, while the second and third phases tend to be less crowded. If you are interested in specific product categories, it’s advisable to check the fair’s schedule and attend the relevant phase(s).
In addition, it’s important to plan your trip well in advance to ensure that you have enough time to register for the fair, arrange your travel and accommodation, and schedule meetings with potential suppliers. Many visitors also choose to spend a few days exploring Guangzhou and other nearby cities, so it’s a good idea to factor in some leisure time as well.
How to Get to the Canton Fair？
The Canton Fair is held in Guangzhou, China, and there are several ways to get there:
- By air: Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport is the closest airport to the Canton Fair. Many international airlines operate flights to Guangzhou, and there are also domestic flights connecting Guangzhou to other cities in China.
- By train: Guangzhou is well connected to other cities in China by high-speed trains. The Guangzhou South Railway Station is the main station serving the city, and there are regular trains connecting Guangzhou to major cities like Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong.
- By bus: There are also long-distance buses connecting Guangzhou to other cities in China, although this may be a less comfortable and convenient option.
Once you arrive in Guangzhou, there are several ways to get to the Canton Fair:
- By metro: Guangzhou has an extensive metro network, and there are several metro stations near the Canton Fair complex. Line 8 and Line 2 of the metro both have stations at the Canton Fair complex.
- By taxi: Taxis are readily available in Guangzhou, but it’s important to make sure that the driver uses the meter to avoid overcharging.
- By shuttle bus: There are also shuttle buses that operate between the Canton Fair complex and several major hotels in Guangzhou.
- It’s important to note that during the Canton Fair, transportation can be congested, and it’s advisable to allow extra time for travel to and from the fair.
Top 10 Canton Fair Hotels
There are many hotels in Guangzhou that are popular with Canton Fair attendees. Here are ten options, listed in no particular order:
- The Westin Pazhou: This luxury hotel is located adjacent to the Canton Fair complex and offers easy access to the fairgrounds.
- The Langham, Guangzhou: Another luxury hotel that is close to the Canton Fair complex, the Langham offers a range of amenities, including a spa and several restaurants.
- Shangri-La Hotel Guangzhou: This five-star hotel is located in the city center, about a 20-minute drive from the Canton Fair complex. It offers several dining options, a fitness center, and a rooftop pool.
- China Hotel, A Marriott Hotel: This Marriott property is located in the city center and offers easy access to the Canton Fair complex. It features several dining options, a fitness center, and an outdoor pool.
- Four Seasons Hotel Guangzhou: This luxury hotel is located in the Tianhe business district, about a 20-minute drive from the Canton Fair complex. It offers a spa, several restaurants, and a rooftop bar.
- Hilton Guangzhou Baiyun: This Hilton property is located in the Baiyun District, about a 30-minute drive from the Canton Fair complex. It offers several dining options, a fitness center, and an outdoor pool.
- Crowne Plaza Guangzhou City Centre: This hotel is located in the city center, about a 25-minute drive from the Canton Fair complex. It offers several dining options, a fitness center, and an outdoor pool.
- Grand Hyatt Guangzhou: This luxury hotel is located in the Tianhe business district, about a 20-minute drive from the Canton Fair complex. It offers several dining options, a fitness center, and an outdoor pool.
- The Ritz-Carlton, Guangzhou: This luxury hotel is located in the Tianhe business district, about a 20-minute drive from the Canton Fair complex. It offers several dining options, a spa, and an indoor pool.
- W Guangzhou: This trendy hotel is located in the Zhujiang New Town area, about a 30-minute drive from the Canton Fair complex. It features several dining options, a rooftop bar, and a fitness center.
How to Get a Chinese Visa？
To get a Chinese visa, you will need to follow these general steps:
- Determine the type of visa you need: There are different types of Chinese visas, such as tourist visas, business visas, and work visas. The type of visa you need will depend on the purpose of your visit.
- Prepare the required documents: The specific documents you need will depend on the type of visa you are applying for. Generally, you will need a valid passport with at least six months validity and two blank pages, a completed visa application form, a recent passport-sized photo, and any additional documents required for your specific visa category.
- Submit your application: You can submit your visa application at the Chinese embassy or consulate in your home country or in a country where you have legal residency. Some Chinese visa centers may also accept applications on behalf of the embassy or consulate.
- Pay the visa fee: The visa fee will depend on the type of visa you are applying for and the country to which you are applying. You will usually need to pay the fee at the time of submitting your application.
- Wait for processing: Chinese visa processing times can vary depending on the embassy or consulate where you submitted your application, as well as the type of visa you applied for. Generally, visa processing can take a few business days to a few weeks.
- Collect your visa: Once your visa is processed, you can collect it from the embassy or consulate where you submitted your application. Make sure to check the visa validity dates and any restrictions before traveling to China.
It’s important to note that the Chinese visa application process can be complex and may require additional documentation or steps depending on your individual circumstances. It’s a good idea to check with the Chinese embassy or consulate in your home country or the country where you plan to apply for your visa for specific instructions and requirements.
How to Dress and Bring to the Canton Fair？
Dressing appropriately and bringing the right items to the Canton Fair can help ensure a comfortable and productive experience. Here are some tips:
- Dress appropriately: The Canton Fair is a professional trade event, so it’s important to dress appropriately. Business attire is recommended, such as suits or dresses for women and dress pants and button-down shirts for men. Avoid wearing casual or beachwear, such as shorts, flip-flops, or tank tops.
- Wear comfortable shoes: The Canton Fair grounds are large, and you may be doing a lot of walking, so wear comfortable shoes that can handle long periods of standing or walking.
- Bring a light jacket or sweater: Guangzhou can be humid and warm, but the air conditioning in the exhibition halls can make it feel chilly. Bringing a light jacket or sweater can help you stay comfortable indoors.
- Bring a backpack or tote bag: You’ll likely receive a lot of materials and samples at the Canton Fair, so bring a backpack or tote bag to carry them in.
- Bring business cards: Business cards are an important tool for networking and exchanging contact information with potential business partners. Make sure to bring plenty of business cards to hand out during the fair.
- Bring a translator or translation app: While many attendees and exhibitors speak English, some may not. Bringing a translator or translation app can help you communicate more effectively with non-English speakers.
- Bring a portable charger: With all the networking and business discussions taking place, you may be using your phone or other electronic devices more than usual. Bringing a portable charger can help ensure that you stay connected throughout the day.
Overall, dressing professionally and bringing the right items can help you have a productive and comfortable experience at the Canton Fair.
Why Should You Visit the Canton Fair?
There are several reasons why you should visit the Canton Fair:
- Wide range of products: The Canton Fair showcases a wide range of products across various industries, including electronics, textiles, machinery, and more. This makes it a great opportunity to see the latest products and innovations in your industry.
- Networking opportunities: The Canton Fair attracts exhibitors and buyers from all over the world, providing a great opportunity to network and establish new business connections.
- Competitive prices: Many of the exhibitors at the Canton Fair offer competitive prices on their products, which can be especially attractive for buyers looking to purchase in bulk.
- One-stop-shop: The Canton Fair is a one-stop-shop for finding suppliers and products, which can save time and resources compared to traveling to multiple locations to find what you need.
- Cultural experience: Guangzhou, where the Canton Fair is held, is a vibrant and dynamic city with a rich history and culture. Attending the Canton Fair can provide a unique cultural experience and an opportunity to explore the city and its attractions.
Overall, the Canton Fair is an excellent opportunity to explore new products, network with industry professionals, and experience the culture of Guangzhou.
How Much Does It Cost To Attend The Canton Fair？
The cost of attending the Canton Fair can vary depending on various factors such as travel expenses, accommodation costs, and registration fees.
Registration fees for the fair typically range from free to several hundred dollars, depending on the type of registration and the location of the attendee. For example, online registration for the fair is typically free, while registration at the fair itself may cost a few hundred dollars.
Travel expenses, including airfare, transportation, and lodging, will vary depending on the location of the attendee and the level of accommodation they choose. Additionally, costs can vary depending on the time of year and the availability of flights and hotels.
Overall, it is difficult to estimate the exact cost of attending the Canton Fair as it will depend on various factors. However, it is recommended that attendees budget for travel, accommodation, and registration costs, and plan accordingly to ensure a successful trip
How to Attend the Canton Fair？
To attend the Canton Fair, you will need to follow these steps:
- Determine which phase of the Canton Fair you want to attend: The Canton Fair is held in three phases, with each phase featuring different product categories. Determine which phase is most relevant to your business needs.
- Apply for an invitation: To attend the Canton Fair, you will need to apply for an invitation. You can apply online through the Canton Fair’s website, or through the Chinese embassy or consulate in your home country.
- Obtain a visa: If you are not a Chinese citizen, you will need to obtain a visa to enter China. Check with your local Chinese embassy or consulate to determine which type of visa you will need.
- Book your travel and accommodation: Once you have your invitation and visa, book your travel and accommodation for your stay in Guangzhou. Make sure to book in advance, as hotels and flights can fill up quickly during the Canton Fair.
- Register for the fair: Upon arrival in Guangzhou, register for the Canton Fair at the fairgrounds. You will need to bring your invitation and passport to complete registration.
- Attend the fair: Explore the fair and meet with exhibitors to find products and suppliers relevant to your business. Make sure to bring business cards and any necessary documents or information to help you communicate effectively with potential partners.
- Follow up: After the fair, follow up with any potential suppliers or partners to continue building your business relationships.
Overall, attending the Canton Fair requires careful planning and preparation, but it can be a valuable opportunity to connect with suppliers and find new business opportunities.
How Do I Get an Invite to the Canton Fair?
To get an invitation to the Canton Fair, you can follow these steps:
- Visit the Canton Fair website: The Canton Fair website is the official platform for the fair, and it provides all the information you need to know about the fair, including registration details and how to get an invitation.
- Register for the fair: To get an invitation, you need to register for the fair on the Canton Fair website. You will need to provide your personal information, business information, and the product categories you are interested in.
- Wait for your invitation: Once you have registered for the fair, the Canton Fair will review your application and send you an invitation. This can take several days or even weeks, depending on the volume of applications they receive.
- Apply through a Chinese embassy or consulate: If you prefer, you can also apply for an invitation through a Chinese embassy or consulate in your home country. You will need to provide your personal and business information, as well as the product categories you are interested in.
- Work with a trading company or supplier: If you work with a trading company or supplier in China, they may be able to provide you with an invitation to the fair.
Overall, getting an invitation to the Canton Fair requires careful planning and preparation. Make sure to register well in advance, provide all necessary information, and follow the instructions provided by the Canton Fair to ensure a successful application.
Ten Important Tips for Canton Fair
The Canton Fair, also known as the China Import and Export Fair, is one of the largest trade fairs in the world. Here are some important tips for attending the fair:
- Plan ahead: Before you attend the fair, research the exhibitors and products you are interested in. Make a list of the booths you want to visit and the questions you want to ask.
- Register early: Registration for the fair can take time, so register online as early as possible to avoid long lines and potential delays.
- Bring enough business cards: You will meet a lot of people at the fair, so make sure you have enough business cards to hand out. This will help you stay in touch with potential business partners and suppliers.
- Wear comfortable shoes: The fair is huge, and you will do a lot of walking, so make sure to wear comfortable shoes.
- Bring a translator: If you don’t speak Chinese, it can be helpful to bring a translator or interpreter with you. This will help you communicate with exhibitors and suppliers more easily.
- Arrange transportation in advance: Guangzhou is a large city, and getting to and from the fair can be challenging. Plan your transportation in advance to avoid delays.
- Be prepared for crowds: The fair is very popular, and it can get crowded. Be prepared to wait in lines and navigate through crowded areas.
- Negotiate prices: Many exhibitors will be willing to negotiate prices, so don’t be afraid to ask for a better deal.
- Bring a map: The fairgrounds are massive, and it can be easy to get lost. Bring a map to help you navigate.
- Take advantage of the resources available: The fair offers a wide range of resources and services, including interpreters, business centers, and meeting rooms. Take advantage of these resources to make the most of your visit.
How to Become More Effective at Canton Fair？
Here are some tips to become more effective at the Canton Fair:
- Set clear goals: Before attending the fair, set clear goals for what you want to achieve. This can include meeting specific suppliers, finding new products, or networking with industry professionals.
- Research in advance: Do some research on the exhibitors and products before attending the fair. This will help you identify the companies and products that align with your goals.
- Create a schedule: Create a schedule for your time at the fair, including which booths you want to visit and which events you want to attend. This will help you stay organized and make the most of your time.
- Bring the right tools: Bring a notebook, pen, and camera to take notes, document product information, and capture contact information.
- Dress professionally: Dress professionally to make a good impression on potential suppliers and partners. This will also help you feel confident and focused during the fair.
- Be open-minded: Be open to new ideas and opportunities that may arise during the fair. Don’t be afraid to explore new products or suppliers that may not have been on your radar before.
- Engage in conversations: Engage in conversations with exhibitors and other attendees to build relationships and gain insights into the industry.
- Follow up: After the fair, follow up with the contacts you made and the information you gathered. This will help you continue to build relationships and make the most of your time at the fair.
By following these tips, you can become more effective at the Canton Fair and achieve your business goals.
FAQ About Canton Fair
Q: What is the Canton Fair?
A: The Canton Fair, also known as the China Import and Export Fair, is a bi-annual trade fair held in Guangzhou, China. It is the largest trade fair in China and one of the largest in the world, featuring thousands of exhibitors from various industries.
Q: When is the Canton Fair held?
A: The Canton Fair is held twice a year in the spring and fall. The spring session is typically held in April and the fall session is usually held in October.
Q: Who can attend the Canton Fair?
A: The Canton Fair is open to both domestic and international business visitors. Buyers, traders, and other industry professionals can attend the fair to source new products, meet suppliers, and network with other professionals.
Q: How do I register for the Canton Fair?
A: Registration for the Canton Fair can be done online through the fair’s website or through authorized agents. You will need to provide information about your business and the purpose of your visit.
Q: What industries are represented at the Canton Fair?
A: The Canton Fair covers a wide range of industries, including electronics, textiles, machinery, household appliances, furniture, and more.
Q: Can I negotiate prices with exhibitors at the Canton Fair?
A: Yes, many exhibitors at the Canton Fair are willing to negotiate prices. It is common practice to negotiate prices and terms during the fair.
Q: Are translators available at the Canton Fair?
A: Yes, translators and interpreters are available at the fair. Many exhibitors also speak English or other languages, but having a translator can help facilitate communication and avoid misunderstandings.
Q: Can I order samples or place orders at the Canton Fair?
A: Yes, many exhibitors at the Canton Fair offer samples and accept orders during the fair. However, it is important to do your due diligence and verify the quality and reliability of the supplier before placing orders.
Is It Scary To Go To The Canton Fair If You Don’t Speak English?
It may be a bit intimidating to attend the Canton Fair if you don’t speak English, but it is not necessarily scary. It is a major international trade fair, and many exhibitors and attendees come from all over the world, so it is likely that you will be able to find people who speak your language.
However, it can be helpful to bring a translator or interpreter with you to facilitate communication with exhibitors and other attendees. You can also hire a translator or interpreter through the fair’s official website or authorized agents.
Additionally, many exhibitors at the fair speak English, and the fair provides resources and services to help non-English speaking attendees, such as business centers, interpreters, and language assistance.
Overall, attending the Canton Fair without speaking English may be challenging, but it is not scary, and there are resources available to help you navigate the fair and make the most of your visit.
At the Show: Pricing, MOQs, Samples, and Communication
Here is some information about pricing, MOQs, samples, and communication at the Canton Fair:
- Pricing: Many exhibitors at the Canton Fair are willing to negotiate prices, especially if you are placing a large order. It’s important to do your research and compare prices among different suppliers before negotiating to get the best deal. Keep in mind that the final price will also depend on factors such as the quantity of the order, delivery time, and payment terms.
- MOQs (Minimum Order Quantities): MOQs are the minimum amount of a product that a supplier is willing to sell. At the Canton Fair, MOQs can vary depending on the product and supplier. Some suppliers may have high MOQs, while others may be willing to sell smaller quantities to accommodate buyers. It’s important to clarify MOQs with suppliers before placing an order.
- Samples: Many exhibitors at the Canton Fair offer samples of their products for buyers to inspect and test. Samples can be a good way to evaluate the quality of the product and to compare different suppliers. However, it’s important to be aware that some suppliers may charge for samples or may not offer them at all. You should also be aware of any import regulations or restrictions related to the products you are interested in.
- Communication: Communication can be a challenge at the Canton Fair, especially if you don’t speak the same language as the supplier. It’s important to establish clear communication with the supplier and to be specific about your requirements and expectations. Bringing a translator or interpreter can be helpful, as can using visual aids such as product photos and diagrams. You should also be aware of cultural differences and customs that may affect communication.
By being aware of these factors and doing your due diligence, you can make the most of your visit to the Canton Fair and find the right suppliers and products for your business.