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4 Sep, 2014

Palestinian buyer braves it through Gaza tunnels to China’s Canton Fair

GUANGZHO, China, Sept. 1, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — China has long maintained that the dispute between Palestine and Israel should be resolved through negotiations and communication, not violence. In that spirit, Canton Fair, China’s biggest trade event, has always welcomed both Palestinian and Israeli businessmen.

For Palestinian businessmen, especially those in Gaza strip, a visit to Canton Fair might be quite eventful, sometimes through the tunnels. Artiya, a Gazan buyer, visited Canton Fair this April, was an example of those buyers crossing tunnels to visit the Fair. He came to Canton Fair to buy construction materials and household fittings, came out of Gaza through tunnels dug at the Egyptian border, before finally boarding a plane to China.

After ordering all goods in Canton Fair, Artiya had the payment and shipment made through his intermediaries in the Middle East . His trading partners on both sides of the Gaza borders would ultimately transport the goods inside the enclave through the tunnels, many equipped with lights and trolley lines.

Canton Fair is an important source of products for Middle Eastern buyers, who regard quality and variety of products as the paramount reason to attend China’s most prestigious trade fair. Another Palestinian businessman, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, stated that he had come to Canton Fair with three other businessmen working in different industries.

Whilst they stayed together to save on costs, they each visited different exhibition areas and came away very satisfied with the quality and prices. He said that the Chinese Consul regularly visited Hebron in the Palestine administered area allowing them to obtain visas smoothly. Despite the many obstacles to trade in Palestine and Gaza , these buyers were still upbeat about attending the next session of the Canton Fair.

Mr Mahendra Bhatia, owner of Evergrow International from the Kingdom of Bahrain, has been attending Canton Fair for the past 15 years said, “Canton Fair is very important, China is the biggest supplier of the world, if I don’t come for a year or two, I will lose out to my competitors.”

The 116th China Import and Export Fair will kick off on 15 October 2014 and is looking forward to meeting many old friends again and making new ones from around the world.

For further information please visit: http://www.cantonfair.org.cn/en/index.asp