Chinese and local representatives welcome guests at the opening ceremony of the China Trade Fair 2017 held at the Sandton Convention Centre.
Organisers of a three-day Chinese Trade Expo says all products from the Asian country have been vetted and are not fake.
Up to 8000 people including wholesale buyers are expected to converge onto the Sandton Convention Centre in Sandton, Johannesburg for this year's China Homelife Fair which starts on August 31 and runs until September 2. Addressing the media at the opening of the Fair, Binu Pillai, chief operating officer of MEOrient International Exhibition, said the company took careful consideration as to which products and businesses to invite into the country.
"We have been in the business for the last 20 years and have conducted extensive research on individual markets. We know what qualities are required in South Africa. Therefore, we have been selective in the products we bring in," Pillai said. He added strict criteria was set out for the 550 exhibitors that would be showcasing their products.
"It was agreed that they should have experience dealing with foreign countries. We have been very careful in selecting them. Because the manufacturers are from China, language is a barrier. We have brought along 20 translators to assist." Pillai maintained this is the 4th edition of the China Homelife expo in SA.
The trade show forms part of a series of global shows that have so far taken place in Turkey, Poland, Mexico, Egypt. They are also meant to explore Africa's business partnership with Hangzhou, the capital city of China's Zhejiang province. Last year Hangzhou's import and export volumes are said to have reached US$61.6 billion US Dollars resulting in the country becoming one of the preferred destinations for foreign investments mainland China. The city's Gross Domestic Product per capita stands at US$18.400.
Pillai meanwhile pointed out that the idea behind the shows was aimed at strengthening the China-Africa relations as well as creating investment prospects for Chinese entrepreneurs. "It is an opportunity for South African businesses to cut out the middle man and deal with Chinese manufacturers directly," he said.
Jian Dang, deputy commissioner of Hangzhou's Commission of Commerce said the echoed Pillai saying the shows were held to promote the relationship between SA and China. He also said hosting such expos would grow Hangzhou's brand throughout the world.
By 11 am on the first day, up to 1000 people including those from neighbouring African countries had already walked through the doors of the convention centre with Pillai saying they expected more to arrive throughout the weekend. The Fair will be held at the Gallegher Convention Centre in 2018.