The opening ceremonies of the 15th annual Kunming Import and Export Commodities Fair began yesterday morning at nine o'clock with a thundering performance by one hundred drummers. Paper dragons, men on stilts and a marching band in military dress added to the carnival atmosphere. However, it didn't take long before people got down to business.
The Fair, which will last until Sunday, is divided into six pavilions, each focusing on different categories of commodities. The electronics and machinery pavilion, for instance, brings together laser wood drills, hot plates and ice cream machines.
The Fair offers many examples of how diversified a growing number of Chinese businesses are becoming as the average consumer's disposable income continues to grow. There are telescopes, collapsible fishing rods, toy helicopters, a portable garage, tangerine tea, and model ships.
In the International Pavillion, behind the Senegalese woodcarvings and Russian vodka, Katrina Tehan is promoting investment in her hometown of Echuca, located in Victoria, Australia.
"We've opened so many doors for business. We're meeting so many people we could hardly imagine meeting before," Tehan said. "We'll have to have more people next year and continue to profile our products."