In the first half of 2004 China exported $5.36 billion worth of eyewear, up 28.05 percent year on year. Its eyewear imports grew by 98.27 percent, to $3.25 billion. These interesting figures, which indicate a strong development for that big potential market, were made public at the China International Optics Fair held in Beijing last Sept. 22-24. The show featured 714 exhibitors, or 36 percent more than one year ago, and 15 percent of them indicated that they were there also to find new agents or distributors, and 57 percent to establish new business relations. The number of foreign brands represented at the fair grew by 20 percent to 218. Organizers reported 45,000 visits, 11 percent of which were from abroad. They had been reported at "more than 40,000" one year ago. More than 80 percent of the exhibitors said they intend to participate in next year's shows in Shanghai or in Beijing. The next China International Optics Fair will be held in Shanghai on Feb. 24-26, 2005.