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Expo industry boosts city development

By Wang Xiaodong | China Daily | Updated: 2015-09-24 08:01

The 18th Chengdu Motor Show that opened on Sept 5 attracted 106 car brands from home and abroad to showcase their vehicles in the 150,000-square-meter exhibition area. Global motor giants gathered at the show and 71 new cars made their debut, according to the organizer.

Seventeen years after the first Chengdu Motor Show, the event has become the fourth-largest motor show in China and a leading example of Chengdu's internationalized exhibition industry.

Growing expo industry

With China's national strategy to develop its western region, major exhibition and conference organizers from home and abroad have shifted their attention to the area. Chengdu boasts distinctive advantages among other cities in western China, including its market reach, aviation transport, exhibition environment and tourism resources, so has become the first choice destination for major international exhibitions in central and western China.

This year, the trade and exhibition promotion authorities in Chengdu made more effort to promote the city's exhibition industry through upgrading and streamlining. As a result, exhibitions in Chengdu are becoming larger in scale, more professional, more internationally oriented, more regulated and orderly and greener.

According to data from the Chengdu government, the city's exhibition industry maintained steady development in the first half of the year and exhibitions held have improved in quality, professionalism and influence.

During the first six months of this year, 278 exhibitions and festivals were held in Chengdu, including 55 international conferences and 103 exhibitions.

Of the exhibitions, 24 were international. The exhibitions resulted in direct revenue of 4.03 billion yuan ($633 million) and overall revenue of 35 billion yuan, while contributing to a trade volume of more than 98 billion yuan.

International cooperation

In recent years, exhibition enterprises in Chengdu have focused on improving their strength, professionalism and international influence.

"We are the witness, participant and beneficiary of the internationalization of Chengdu's exhibition industry," said Jiang Dan, CEO of Chengdu New East Exhibition Co.

Many major exhibition activities organized by Chengdu New East have produced solid results due to intensified cooperation between the company and its international partners, Jiang said.

For this year's Chengdu Furniture Exhibition, which was held in partnership with the Council of Asia Pacific Furniture Association, attendees included furniture industry heads from Thailand, Singapore, South Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Italy and Sweden.

During the exhibition, furniture dealers from Japan signed intention orders worth $10 million with furniture enterprises in Chengdu. Japan's furniture trade and industry association also pledged to organize Japanese dealers to buy in groups in Chengdu, according to Jiang.

Organizers of the second phase of Chengdu Furniture Exhibition, which is also known as Chengdu Furniture Equipment and Material Exhibition, have applied to the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, or UFI, for certification.

"The UFI is the world's largest and most influential organization for the exhibition industry, and UFI certification is the best acknowledgement of an exhibition," Jiang said.

"UFI certification can not only effectively help the furniture exhibition to invite overseas businesspeople and professional clients, and improve the international influence of the exhibition, it will also help the Chengdu Furniture Equipment and Material Exhibition become the largest, most professional and international trade show in Chengdu."

Zhu Jianglong, general manager of Chengdu Tianyi Exhibition Co, said the company focused more on learning from international peers to improve its corporate thinking and management in recent years.

The company, which is involved in a number of projects, including Chengdu Jewelry Show and the West Medical Exhibition, is cooperating with UBM, the second-largest exhibition company in the world, in the health exhibition sector.

"We hope through cooperation with world-class companies such as UBM we can develop exhibition projects with more international flavor, and improve our service capacity in design, organizing and implementation, so we could match international competitors," he said.

City development

The exhibition industry has many important functions including boosting consumption, promoting related industrial development, promoting opening-up, providing jobs, contributing to cultural communication and serving as advertisement for a city.

Exhibitions help cities to integrate resources on a global level, and promote international cooperation in industries, knowledge and capital. They also help cities to become an important hub in the vast global network. Therefore, the exhibition economy is regarded as of great significance to promote Chengdu to become an area for economic growth in western China and develop into an international metropolis.

Following the auto show, a number of other important exhibitions are due to be held in Chengdu. These include the China-EU Fair on Investment, Trade and Technological Cooperation, the fifth China Shale Gas Development Forum, Chengdu International Expo on Petrol-Chemical Technology and Equipment and the sixth Asia-Pacific Natural Gas Vehicles Association International Conference and Exhibition.

The ANGVA conference and exhibition is the largest and most influential international summit forum and exhibition on natural gas vehicles in the world. This will be the second time that the conference is held in China. The first time it was held in China was in Beijing in October 2011.

 Expo industry boosts city development

The 2015 Chengdu Furniture Exhibition attracts visitors and international furniture makers. Provided to China Daily

(China Daily 09/24/2015 page10)

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