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China is expected to lead growth in global exhibition business in the next two years, a leading exhibition industry expert said.
Regions such as China, India, Southeast Asia and Latin America will be leading growth areas for the global exhibition business, and China's exhibition business will further prosper in the next two years despite difficulties in some industries, Chen Xianjin, president of the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, told a forum in Chongqing on Jan 17.
Chen said the exhibition business in some export-led industries, such as production of solar energy panels, could be severely affected amid the gloomy global economic environment.
But the exhibition business in some industries related to domestic consumption and investment can continue to expand.
Wang Jinzhen, vice-chairman of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, said European and US exhibition business continues to play a major role in the global industry but China can soon be a rising force.
"Exhibitions grow with trade. China is already the world's top exporter and second importer. It could be the world's top importer in the next few years,” he said.
Wang said the exhibition industry contributes to 0.64 percent of the country's GDP growth and occupies 1.4 percent of the service sector. China's exhibition industry employs 20 million people.
Kerry Gumas, chairman of the Society of Independent Show Organizers, a US-based trade association, said, “We’ve seen rapid hotel development in second-tier cities such as Chongqing and Chengdu, where more and more four-star and five-star hotels are being built. Good hotels are also instrumental to the development of the exhibition industry, in addition to exhibition facilities.”