U.S. Attorney recalls Canton Fair’s progress
U.S. Attorney recalls Canton Fair’s progress

U.S. Attorney recalls Canton Fair’s progress

By LI WENFANG in Guangzhou and ZHONG NAN in Beijing | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 23-04-2022 09:59

An employee of a bicycle manufacturer in Xingtai, Hebei Province, promotes products online at the ongoing Canton Fair.
WANG LEI / FOR CHINA DAILY

David Buxbaum, who worked for an international law firm, was one of the first participants from the United States to attend the spring session of the Chinese Export Commodities Fair, also known as the Canton Fair, held in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, in April 1972. , following the historic visit of US President Richard Nixon to China earlier this year.

“We applied for an invitation to the Canton Fair in the form of a commercial company,” Buxbaum wrote in a recent article.

When this was the first public invitation to an American company since October 1, 1949, news came all over the world, especially in the United States. “For some time after this invitation, I was invited to appear in many television programs, was regularly interviewed by journalists and was a time-honored expert on everything Chinese, including spring rolls,” he said.

Buxbaum studied Chinese history, culture, geography, language, and modern Chinese law alongside his legal studies.

The fair itself was important to China as a venue that carries a large portion of the country’s export transactions back in 1972, recalled 89-year-old Buxbaum at the Guangzhou office of the international law firm Anderson & Anderson LLP, where he works as a senior partner. , on Thursday.

Statistics showed that more than half of China’s exports were generated at the trade fair in 1972, before China adopted the reform and opening-up policy in 1978.

Buxbaum and his colleagues helped many U.S. companies in their contract negotiations with Chinese trading companies at the spring or 31st session of the Canton Fair in 1972.

After the fair, he divided his time between the United States and China and provided legal services. “Because commodities were an important part of trade between the United States and China, and China’s foreign trade with the rest of the world, our company was active in commodity law in China and the United States, including drafting and negotiating contracts, registering commodity traders and stock exchanges, and litigation and arbitration in commodity disputes. “

China’s imports and exports amounted to $ 6.3 billion in 1972, but of as much as $ 6.05 trillion in 2021.

Since its inception in 1957, the fair, which was renamed the China Import and Export Fair in 2007, has embraced the trend of digital development, and the exhibition mode has thus made progress from face to face to screen-to-screen, and then to online-offline integration.

He described the changes in China over the past five decades as miraculous and something that no one could have foreseen, as the country has become the world’s second largest economy.

The Canton Fair this year, which runs from April 15 to 24 online, shows more than 3 million exhibits, including 950,000 new items, ranging from food, medicine and health products to sports, tourism and leisure items, toys and office supplies, by Wednesday according to the event organizing committee.

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