The 124th session of Canton Fair gathers worldwide buyers. In the 1.18 million square-meter exhibition, buyers choose their partners by carefully comparing different products. “Canton Fair is an excellent arena where industry peers give their best performance. Even though internet and mobile technology is widely used today, the fair is still indispensible for exchange and cooperation,” said Peng Yuanpu, Vice President of SUMEC.
To many of those who work for foreign trade companies, Canton Fair is where they grow and learn. Here they meet clients, expand business and sell products. Peng began to work in SUMEC in 1999. In the same year, he started to attend Canton Fair.
Peng said, “When I first came to the fair, what impressed me most was that it was super crowded. All our competitors were under the same roof. That was a bit stressful. My master told me that I should learn from our competitors and senior sales managers how to find clients and make deals so as to improve myself.”
Peng pointed out that before an international sales system was fully established, most of their clients were directly or indirectly found in Canton Fair. “Canton Fair offers a very good platform. All the buyers that come to us have purchase demand and business potential. Yet whether or not you can reach a deal depends on your own ability. Canton Fair is like a ‘sharpening stone’ for companies to develop.”
With the booming of internet and mobile technology, Chinese and foreign businessmen now have more ways to get connected. However, to Peng, Canton Fair is still irreplaceable.
“What used to feed trade business? It was information asymmetry. Now there is much more transparency and we have become a transnational. But we still pay close attention to Canton Fair because buyers and industry peers all concentrate here. It is a stage for showcase, which matters a lot to transaction,” said Peng. “Canton Fair helps us find clients and strengthen partnership. It is vital to import and export.”
Established in 1978, SUMEC has grown from a traditional state-owned trade company into a large group of modern manufacturing and service. “The reason for our transformation is very simple. Information asymmetry is not enough anymore. You must have your own products. Every time after Canton Fair, we hold discussions. To some extent, Canton Fair helped us transform towards industry business.”
In 2000, SUMEC started to develop industry business. Since 2010, it began to go global by establishing overseas branches. Peng pointed out that in recent years, overall their focus shifted from cross border trade to transnational operation.
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