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GUANGZHOU, May 4, 2018 (reporter Zhang Chaohua, Lu Jian). From the age of 27 to 79, 52 years, he participated in the 103 consecutive China Import and Export Fair (Canton Fair), what is the charm of the buyer from Sweden to Canton Fair so "love it"? Recently, Sweden Company Inter Agenturer AB founder Peppino G. Cozza told reporters.

Falling in love with China at the Canton Fair for the first time

Swedish buyer Peppino G. Cocozza in an interview. Xinhua News Photo

"I read Marco Polo in my early years and was fascinated by the cultural and business opportunities of China, an ancient and mysterious country in the East. Later, I learned in Swedish newspapers that China was going to hold import and export trade fairs, and I was determined to come to China while I was young," said Cocozza.

In 1966, taking a train from Hong Kong to Shenzhen and another train to Guangzhou, Cocozza lugged a heavy suitcase and spent the whole day at the Canton Fair. "I was a 27-year-old boy when I came to the 20th Canton Fair. There was no car on the street in Guangzhou then, only a five-star hotel - Dongfang Hotel Guangzhou. On the street, the pretty Guangzhou lady had short hair, but I had a hunch that there would be new business opportunities in the near future in a city that has been known as the city of commerce for thousands of years.

As the founder of an international trading company engaged in the import of gifts, toys, spectacles and tiles, Peppino G. Cocozzawanted to buy cheaply made in China back in Sweden, packaged as gifts and sold well all over the world. At that time the choice of Chinese goods was relatively simple and low-tech. I bought pencils in Tianjin, China, glassware in Liaoning, porcelain in Yangzhou and toys in Shandong for the first time. I remember very clearly that the first Canton Fair I only brought thousands of dollars of goods, and Chinese goods in my business accounted for only 5%, but now, Chinese products in my list have more than 90%."Cocozza said.

In 1978, when the clarion call for reform and opening to the outside world brought a springlike glow to the long-dormant land of China, the Canton Fair was the first to feel the spring breeze as a window on China's foreign trade.

" I was impressed by the Chinese people's commitment to reform and opening up. Since the reform and opening up, China has been free to open companies to make money, boldly invest in R&D and technological innovation, which have made Chinese-made products increasingly competitive in the market. Then every year I attended the Canton Fair, I could feel new changes, startups were emerging, new technology products such as LED lights, TVs, refrigerators, air conditioners, etc. And other new technology products continue to appear, I have more choice of Chinese products."Cocozza said.

In 2009, Cocozza was awarded the 13th Honorary Citizen of Guangzhou City, for which he was very proud: "I am proud to be an honorary citizen of Guangzhou, with its towering tower, its colorful appearance in four seasons, and the constant display of new changes, making Guangzhou more and more international."

I'm the "number one fan" of the Canton Fair

Cocozza was honored at the 90th, 100th and 110th Canton Fairs as the representative of the "old Canton Fairs". "This is a great honor for me." He said that participating in the Canton Fairs was not just about making money, otherwise, I could not have insisted for more than half a century. One-third of my time in China is traveling. Canton Fairs is a window for me to know and know China. And really let my heart yearning is the Chinese culture, I love China, if not to China, I will have great regret in my life." Said Cocoa.

Peppino G. Cocozza is introducing his book. Photographed by Huang Lulu, Xinhua News Agency

To that end, he wrote a book called "My Travel Career" (MITT LIVS RESA), which contains nearly a third of the space devoted to China, with photographs of his travels and business in various parts of the country. "I also mentioned the Canton Fair in the book, wrote about my participation in the first Canton fair scene, as well as the subsequent annual changes and the goods I bought."Cocozza introduced.

He fell in love with China, fell in love with Guangzhou. Guangzhou, adjacent to Hong Kong, China, is the forefront of China's reform and opening up, at that time, it has a mainland city does not have the atmosphere of openness and multi-cultural integration and development of the humanities, in today, it is still China's opening up to the outside world. From a young man who was 27 when he first came to China to a white-haired man who is now nearly 80 years old, Kokaza not only feels Guangzhou, feels the changes in China, but also fully integrates with the city: "After all these years at the Canton Fair, I have my favorite food in Guangzhou, which is fried rice in Guangzhou, so I can say unabasheartily that I am the number one of Canton Fair and China's biggest fan."

Report by Xinhua News, http://www.xinhuanet.com/fortune/2018-05/04/c_129864629.htm