GUANGZHOU, Oct. 15 (Xinhua) -- The autumn session of the biannual Canton Fair opened in the southern metropolis of Guangzhou on Wednesday.
The 104th China Import and Export Fair runs from Oct. 15 to Nov. 6.
It is viewed as the barometer of Chinese exports and imports.
Events will be held for 15 days compared to previous fairs which ran for 12 days, said Mu Xinhai, the fair spokesman.
That's not the only change to the fall fair.
It is being held at the Pazhou Complex which is larger than the Liuhua Complex where the ever-expanding fair had been housed since1974, Mu said.
According to Wen Zhongliang, director of the fair's business office, there are 53,000 booths at the fair which is 10,000 more than the previous session. Booths were rented by 22,000 businesses,3,000 more than in the spring.
The first phase of the fair, Oct. 15-19, features electronic appliances, hardware and tools, machinery, vehicles and spare parts, building materials, lighting equipment and chemical products, Wen said.
The Oct. 24-28 phase features mainly consumer goods, gifts and home decorations. The last phase, which runs from Nov. 2-6, includes textiles and garments, shoes, office supplies, cases and bags, recreation products, medicines, medical devices, health products, food and native produce, he said.
First held in 1957, the Canton Fair has evolved into a leading world trade fair for exporters and customers.
It is known as the "Canton fair" because that was the old name of Guangdong.
It was originally a biannual export-promotion event until the 101st session in the spring of 2007. That's when its name was officially changed from the Chinese Export Commodities Fair to the China Import and Export Fair.
The previous session, held April 15-30 of this year, reported export deals worth 38.23 billion U.S. dollars. That was 2.1 percent more than the autumn fair last year and 5.1 percent higher than the previous spring fair. Import figures have not been released.
Based on export volumes at the 103rd session of the fair, Guangdong Province remains the No. 1 exporter in China. It was followed by the eastern provinces of Zhejiang, Jiangsu, Shandong and Shanghai Municipality in sequence.