For thousands of years, Guangzhou has been an open and inclusive commercial hub. The city attracts businessmen who bring in their innovation and pragmatism. Located in Guangzhou, CIFF also shares the city’s characteristics, welcoming visitors from all over the world. As a global trade fair hosted by a direct subsidiary of China’s Ministry of Commerce and a comprehensive platform that covers the entire chain of the furniture industry, CIFF plays a crucial role for China’s furniture industry to open up and trade worldwide, disclosing the huge opportunities of the vast Chinese market.
The situation in the last 3 years
During the past 3 years it has not been possible for international buyers to visit their Chinese clients at fairs. Despite of that, the accumulative export value of Chinese furniture and its parts exceeded 400 billion yuan from 2020 to 2022. In 2021, the number hit a record high of 477.19 billion yuan, much higher than the amount of 373 billion in 2019. Looking back at 2022, China’s economy grew by 3%, maintaining stability in employment and prices. The total import and export value exceeded 40 trillion yuan for the first time, and reached 42.07 trillion yuan, with an increase of 7.7% year-on-year.
Just as Mr. Liu He, Deputy Prime Minister of the State Council, stated in his speech at the World Economic Forum in January, Chinese economy will see an overall improvement this year, with a high probability of reaching a normal growth rate. It can be projected that imports will increase significantly this year, enterprises will increase investment and residents’ consumption will return to normal.
The current entry policy
As of 8th January 2023, anyone arriving in China from abroad will be permitted entry without undergoing quarantine. Currently inbound passengers need only show a negative result from a molecular test done 48 hours before departure. International visitors will not be subject to any restrictions during their stay in China. Furthermore the number of international flights has been increasing steadily.
“Integration” is the key-word of the new CIFF strategy
The great changes of the last few years have pushed CIFF to develop new strategies, whose keyword is integration.
The first integration relates to import and export. Currently, China is building a new development paradigm with domestic circulation at its core, and the domestic and international dual circulation mutually promoting each other and easing the growth in economy. CIFF is the only exhibition in China that drives the domestic circulation as well as the international circulation for the furniture and interiors sector, being a bridge between China and the world.
On one hand, CIFF firmly implements the national strategy of expanding domestic demand. China is a large economy on its way to becoming the world’s largest consumer market. In recent years, CIFF has taken precise measures to target domestic sales channels, helping both domestic and foreign exhibitors penetrate the Chinese market. In 2021, the number of domestic visitors to the show exceeded 350,000, reaching a record high.
On the other hand, the new development paradigm featuring “domestic and international dual circulation” lets China to open up its doors even wider and wider.
Before 2020, every edition of CIFF Guangzhou received over 30,000 overseas buyers from more than 200 countries and regions, definitely a great gathering for all furniture professionals worldwide. Over the past three years, CIFF has also actively expanded the circle of foreign trade friends, linking up with many of the world’s top buying groups and representatives of sourcing companies stationed in China. And the international media have never stopped promoting the fair globally, thus helping to promote high quality international trade.
The second integration relates to the full industry chain. CIFF Guangzhou consists of “three major sections”: Home Furniture, Office and Commercial Space, and CIFM/interzum guangzhou, which together form a powerful one-stop sourcing platform.
The 51st CIFF Guangzhou 2023 will take place in two phases at the Canton Fair Complex in Guangzhou Pazhou, covering a total exhibition area of 700,000 square meters and hosting 4,000 companies and brands.
The first phase, between 18-21 March, dedicated to the Home Furniture section, will present an optimized layout and innovative design trends, green and health products, digital and smart technologies, and quality lifestyle. Area A will showcase home space, upholstered furniture and the “Design Spring CIFF Contemporary Design Exhibition” which will bring together the highest level of contemporary original Chinese design. Area B will focus on upholstery, dining and living room furniture; this aims to provide domestic and foreign buyers a one-stop shop for large-volume purchases and for OEM and ODM products. Area C is for home decor and home textile; it will offer domestic and foreign buyers a full range of soft furnishing products and design services. The Poly World Trade Center Expo is for outdoor leisure, covering outdoor furniture, sunshade systems, leisure camping and other outdoor categories in full, creating a comprehensive sourcing platform with a leisure-style outdoor experience.
During the second phase between 28-31 March, the Office and Commercial Space section as well as CIFM/interzum guangzhou will use the newly built hall in Area D. The overall exhibition scale will be larger than that in 2019. Let’s expect an international event of high-standard, high brand-concentration and high-technology. Office and Commercial space will host top brands from home and abroad and lead the trend of green and low carbon. CIFM/interzum guangzhou will also present top names, showcasing cutting-edge technologies from the upstream industries.
The third integration relates to online and offline, creating a highly effective trade platform for CIFF exhibitors and buyers globally. Since 2020, CIFF has created an “8+365” online and offline service to help businesses expand trade and secure orders. During the 8-day exhibition, CIFF will provide a full suite of services to VIP buyers. This covers food & beverage, accommodation, transportation and business matching. It will be also launched a special program named “Greater Bay Area Furniture Market Study” which provides customized itinerary based on visitor requirements. Foreign buyers can visit companies, factories and markets, enriching their business journey in China.
In addition, CIFF offers uninterrupted trade and business matching services throughout the year: for example, the currently ongoing online business matching meetings, and a new function on CIFF website for overseas buyers to raise their requests all year round.
The upcoming CIFF is China’s first global furniture fair this year. It will give full play to its full-supply-chain advantages and build a communication platform for greater cooperation and business opportunities.