Largest Ever Greater China Products Exhibition Opens in South Africa

China sourcing fairs are taking over Africa.

China Energize display


Ever wonder about the ways massive amount of products from China make it to Uganda, Nigeria, or South Africa? (Not counting China’s initial sourcing–or some might say ravaging–of materials from the continent). Sourcing fairs, for one. The largest ever “Greater China-products exhibition” launched today in Johannesburg, South Africa, further solidifying Africa-China business ties.

The exhibition is home to 640 booths showcasing China’s range of products relevant to Africa’s business needs, such as manufacturers of consumer electronics, gifts and premiums, home products, fashion accessories, garments and textiles, and hardware and building materials.

“Continental Africa and South Africa specifically are markets in which Greater China manufacturers are very interested. China trade with Africa expanded 39.5% to $27.92 billion in the first seven months of 2009, reflecting growing demand for China-made products,” said Tommy Wong, President of Global Sources Exhibitions, in a press release.

The exhibition also includes exhibitors from India, Taiwan, and the Philippines.

“The China Sourcing Fairs offer importers and volume buyers throughout the region a wide selection of products from the world’s most attractive sourcing markets,” said Wong.

“Attractive sourcing markets” is one way to describe the China-Africa relationship, but the other side of that relationship is the ironic fact that much of China’s raw materials come from Africa in the first place, which is helping to deplete the continent of its resources, as much of the continent is practically on sale.  


Global Sources is the main organizer behind such sourcing fairs–they specialize in facilitating trade between China and the rest of the world. With Global Sources’ focus on English language communication mediums, South Africa is a prime target within Africa to attract neighboring countries from all over the continent. Over 30,000 buyers registered for the event, one third of which are from South Africa and continental Africa.

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[Image: flickr user Steve Jurvetson]


About the author

Jenara is an overseas reporter for Fast Company and a freelance writer/producer in Asia, regularly on CNNGo, and a graduate of Harvard and UC Berkeley.