Canton Trade Fair in China

The 110th Canton Trade Fair takes place between October 15 and November 4 2011, in Guangzhou (formerly called Canton) near Hong Kong, with 400,000 overseas buyers and 22,000 exhibitors from China’s manufacturing industries. It is arranged in three one-week phases for the benefit of both hosts and guests, with electrical goods and machinery exhibited the first week, ceramics and household goods the second week, and medical and clothing the third. These import and export fairs take place twice a year, spring and autumn, so if you have missed the deadline for this next one, the one after is between April 15 and May 5 2012.

If you think it would be useful to your business to attend the Canton Fair, there are several ways you can go about it and these are all explained in the official guide here along with the subsections of the three phases.

Basically, in order to visit the Canton Fair, you need to first get an Official Invitation. There are several ways to get an invitation, the easiest perhaps is if you already do business with a Chinese manufacturer, they can arrange it for you. If not, then the Buyer E-Service Tool (BEST) through the official website is an easy way to apply online, or ask at the Economic and Commercial department of the Chinese Embassy in London

Once you have the official invitation you can then apply for a Business Visa. You can get a visa from the travel agent you are buying your flights to China from, or from a specialist visa company, or direct from the Chinese Embassy in London  It costs from £66 for UK citizens and you will need a photo, completed application form with the invitation, and valid passport.

When you arrive in Guangzhou before the fair, you will need to register and you can usually do this at your hotel, most of the business hotels offer this service. You’ll need a photo, 5cm x 4cm as well as your invitation and passport to get an entry badge, the IC card, which gives you free access to the exhibition.

So, off you go to this huge exhibition, and you find some excellent suppliers and make some good deals – but before you go home, ask yourself, have you enjoyed visiting China? Have you seen anything of this amazing country apart from the exhibition halls, the hotel and the airport? Why not squeeze in a private day trip in Guangzhou before you leave or between meetings – there’s plenty to see in the city beyond the commercial centre to give you a flavour of old China. ReadyClickAndGo can arrange a half or full day sightseeing tour of Guangzhou and its surroundings, just for you with your own guide, car and driver, to make the most of your time and enhance your understanding of China.

Start off at the Chan clan ancestral hall to admire traditional architecture with a twist – the rooftops have ornate pottery figures all along the ridges, it’s quite unique. There’s the Temple of the Six Banyan Trees which is over a thousand years old and which has become a popular spot for couples who adopt Chinese babies to come for blessings. You could also see the mosque and the 19th century French cathedral, the underground tomb of an ancient king and the magnificent mausoleum of the founder of the republic, Dr Sun Yat-sen. Why not visit the Zhujiang Brewery for a tour and tasting of the local beer, made from spring water, Czech hops, German yeast and Canadian barley malt, or enjoy a cruise on the Pearl River, a stroll through Yuexiu Park or an energetic hike up White Cloud Mountain…Whatever your interests or schedule we can customise a private day tour in Guangzhou for you from £65, email

Private Day Tours in China

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