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The 50-year-old Chinese Export Commodities Fair, which used to be the
only international showcase for Chinese products, changed its name to
the Chinese Import and Export Commodities Fair on Sunday evening.
Adding the word "import" to its name reflects an adjustment in China's
economic development mode, which has featured the expansion of exports
for more than two decades, according to experts.
"The fair will also become a major platform for imports into China to
achieve an equilibrium with exports," said Zhang Yansheng, director of
the Institute for International Economic Research of the National
Development and Reform Commission.
The export-oriented economic policy since the 1980s has resulted in huge
trade surpluses and foreign exchange reserve.
In the first nine months China has registered a trade surplus of 109.85
billion U.S. dollars, exceeding the entire trade surplus in 2005.
By the end of September foreign currency reserves stood at 987.93
billion U.S. dollars. China has surpassed Japan and become the No.1
foreign currency holder.
"It is a timely move (changing the fair's name) to reflect the policy
adjustment," said Mei Xinyu, researcher with the Chinese Academy of
International Trade and Economic Cooperation.
The fair, also known as Canton Fair, was initiated in 1957 when new
China needed foreign currency to buy industrial equipment and materials
from foreign countries.
A biannual event held in spring and autumn in Guangzhou, more than 3.8
million business people have participated in all the fairs and they have
booked a total export turnover of 538.8 billion U.S. dollars.