Retail politics: Shanghai’s latest expo rebrands China as an import giant

Trade fairs often have an outsized impact in China. For instance, eight years ago WiC published a special edition on the Shanghai Expo. That lavish event was deftly positioned as a celebration of China’s arrival on the global stage.
But in terms of economic influence, the long-running Canton Fair has been much more important, heralding China’s emergence as an export giant. The biannual gathering in Guangzhou is monitored around the world: if orders grow it’s a sign that the outlook for trade is robust.