Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, producers in China are using the 127th Canton Fair, which is being held online from June 15-24, to consolidate business ties with their long-term partners, especially those in Southeast Asia.
Cai Bin, a sales manager at Tongling Chinese Medicine based in Chengdu was busy contacting old clients during a livestream over five days.
The manager said his company has secured a number of orders from its established clients.
"The transaction volume stayed the same as that of the previous fair," Cai said. He added that deliveries are on the way to clients in Thailand and Singapore.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations members became China's largest trading partner at the beginning of 2020.
During the first five months, China-ASEAN trade reached 1.7 trillion yuan ($240 billion), growing 4.2 percent from the same period of 2019. It accounted for 14.7 percent of China's total foreign trade volume, according to China's official statistics.
Cai said he is satisfied with maintaining and stabilizing relations with his old clients.
"Touching, smelling and seeing are necessary procedures for clients to select TCM products. In the circumstance of online communications, mutual trust between partners is the basis for transactions," Cai said.
"In this critical moment of global pandemic, the online Canton Fair offers a crucial platform for communication. We are happy to see our partners are still operating and business can keep going," the executive said.