Dubai, UAE: Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry recently organised an online trade mission to the China Import and Export Fair, also known as the Canton Fair, where 58 delegates, mostly businessmen representing UAE trading companies, explored new purchasing opportunities.
Held on June 14 – 25, the trade mission facilitated Dubai Chamber member companies’ participation in the Canton Fair, which was hosted virtually for the first time in its history. Dubai Chamber’s representative offices in China organised an orientation webinar in cooperation with the China Foreign Trade Centre, the organiser of Canton Fair. The event familiarised UAE delegates with sector-focused events and exhibitors, while members arranged business-to-business meetings with Chinese exhibitors through the online platform.
Electronics & Household Electrical Appliances, Office Supplies, Medical Devices and Health Products, Textiles & Garments and Lighting Equipment were identified by the participating delegates as high-potential categories for sourcing products from China to Dubai.
Nearly a third of all business delegates said they made at least one purchase at the Canton Fair, while 88% noted that preparing their businesses for a post-Covid-19 recovery was a main objective of their participation. Around 59% of the businessmen surveyed said they found it efficient to source products online compared to offline.
In addition, 82% of delegates predicted an increase in Dubai-China trade within the next two to three months, 12% expect this to happen in three to six months, followed by 6% who see this trend emerging in less than one month.
Omar Khan, Director of International Offices at Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry, explained that the mission falls in line with Dubai Chamber’s strategy of reaching out to promising markets, and providing its 245,000 members with access to new business opportunities.
“We believe some aspects of the global economy are moving online permanently. Dubai and its businesses must adapt to new opportunities and technologies that present themselves. As online exhibitions become the norm in China, we are encouraging our members to benefit from such platforms and explore new trade opportunities,” said Khan.
For her part, Mai Cui Yan, Director - International VIP Service
China Foreign Trade Centre, noted that despite the impact on UAE-China trade caused by the Covid-19 outbreak, both countries have taken decisive measures to deal with the situation and promote business exchange.
“Canton Fair Online could be one of the steps taken by both countries as mutual strategic commitment and towards economic recovery. Although the travel restrictions have disrupted the tourism and education industry, trade with China, especially primary industry and e-commerce has been bouncing back. I am optimistic that as both countries better organize, trends will reverse and will be back to a period of increase again,” she said.
China’s Canton Fair is the largest trade exhibition in the world and a premier platform for sourcing made in China goods from large machinery and industrial equipment to consumer electronics and home appliances.