To keep pace with the vigorous development in China as well as the trade relations and amicable exchanges between China and the rest of the world, the Exhibition of Chinese Export Commodities (the precedent of Chinese Export Commodities Fair) was established in the autumn of 1956.
The first Fair was staged in the former Sino-Soviet Friendship Building in the spring of 1957. Looking back at the forty years traversed by the Trade Fair, we can well see that tremendous changes have come off in every aspect of the Fair such as the Fair's exhibition space, products for export, number of foreign visitors, business turnover, and so on.
The Fair serves as a historical witness to the development of China's foreign trade, it has faithfully recorded the pace of the country's growth.
Starting with 12, 000 kinds of commodities, the Canton Fair has gradually increased its number of commodities available for export from session to session.Now, there are over 100, 000 kinds or products from famous brands. It features new quality products, specialties and products adapting advanced technology from various parts of the country.
Many enterprises go the Fair armed with their novel products, crack items, etc. in attempts to squeeze their way into the world market via the Guangzhou Trade Fair. In the wake ofrapid developments in China's economy, especially the home based industries, the Guangzhou Trade Fair was able to obtain more and more supplies and improved its product mix to a great extent. For example, the ratio of manufactured goods has risen from 20% at the outset of the Fair in 1957 to 85.6% in 1995.
To encourage the export of more high-graded products or high value-added products, particularly machinery and electronic products. Special Exhibition Sections have been set up at the Guangzhou Trade Fair. This serves to place special emphasis on these high technology products as well as to make them more prominent.
In the early days of the Guangzhou Trade Fair, guests came from few countries and regions in Asia. As the Fair developed and as the country becomes more open, an increasing number of foreign business people from various countries and regions have secured business at the Guangzhou Trade Fair. In recent years, each session of the Fair has been visited by more than 80, 000 foreign business people. Till the end of the 83rd Session, the Fair has seen an attendance of more than 2 million businessmen.
The Fair's business records have shown that, irrespective of which historical period, the Fair remained steady in its trade and the export transactions continue to grow.Even in the " Three years of Difficulty (1959-1961)", the Fair's export trade continued to rise (4.9% over 1959, and 17.5% over 1960). In the "Ten years of national turmoil", the export business of the Fair, went up inspire of some setbacks. For example, the business concluded at the Autumn Fair' 70 was worth US $500 million and at the Autumn Fair' 72, US $ l billion.
The Trading Delegations are organized by their different provinces and municipalities; the exhibition halls itself are arranged by the Chambers of Commerce. While Trading Delegations and exhibition halls are integrated, the exhibitions will be arranged according to trades. Up till the 86th Session, the Fair had done an aggregated export business of US$ 263 billion.