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Robust plans for convention and expo industry

Updated: 2015-03-06 15:16
By Fu Chao (China Daily)

Guided by the nation's "new normal" in economic growth, the convention and exhibition industry in Chengdu is ridding itself of formalities and paying more attention to industrial restructuring, said Mu Tao, director of the city's bureau of expositions.

One major message in the transformation is a shift from speed-centered to quality growth, which allows the bureau to focus on more highquality projects and develop its own brand for Chengdu's convention and exhibition industry, Mu said.

As an increasingly significant city in western China, Chengdu plays a crucial role in the region's opening-up and development, he noted.

At the intersection of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the Yangtze River Economic Zone, two of China's key national strategies, the city will receive a range of national support and open up to more opportunities. The Tianfu New Area stretching across neighboring cities, but most of it in Chengdu, will also ofer new opportunities to the city after it was approved by the State Council last year as the country's 11th national-level development area.

Mu noted that since China joined the WTO in 2001, firsttier cities like Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou have been saturated with international and domestic convention and exhibition companies. It is now a time of "reshufling" for the industry, with the focus on the country's central and western region.

According to the bureau, Chengdu is working on making itself the top choice for inter national companies among all cities in the region.

As the aviation hub in and gateway to the central-western region and with abundant tourist resources and an appealing business environment, the city has attracted multinational event companies from Britain and Germany. Joint-venture companies like renowned Reed Exhibitions also present regular events in the city.

Expo zone

Mu said Chengdu is now stepping up eforts to develop an international expo zone.

The project scheduled for completion by 2016 will make Chengdu the largest exhibition city in the central-western region in terms of total exhibition area and bring sustainable development for the industry in the city. It features an exhibition area covering 300,000 square meters.

Mu said his bureau's major efforts also include brand building, talent development, research, industry regulation and improving the environment.

Its objective is to develop Chengdu into a national expo city with international impact. Before the Spring Festival, the exposition bureau sent delegations to cities around the country to promote the expo industry in Chengdu.

On Feb 10, the delegation gave a detailed introduction in Shanghai and the next stop will be Shenzhen.

More than 20 event-organizing companies in Shanghai showed interest in setting up expos in the city.

Revenue from the conventions and exhibitions industry this year is expected to reach 7.5 billion yuan ($1.2 billion), said Mu.

He added the bureau is also striving to improve current expos and events to make them more international, professional, market-oriented, well-regulated and technology-intensive.

It will also use expos as venues to attract more investment and seal more trade deals to further develop the city's industries.

The city is also improving its facilities and services to attract more convention and exhibition companies from around the world.

The exposition bureau is trying to tap into new media by setting up oficial accounts on WeChat, Sina and Tencent Weibo to provide the latest news from the industry as well as registration procedures and tips exhibitors.

530 major events

In 2014, Chengdu hosted 530 major events including 113 international conferences and 214 expos49 of them internationalas well as 203 festivals. Major events included the Chengdu Motor Show, the Western China International Fair, the Michelin Challenge Bibendum and the Chengdu Creativity Design Week.

Total exhibition area in the year reached 3.25 million sq m, up 8 percent compared with 2013.

The display area for the 49 international expos totaled 1.74 million sq m, up 16 percent on an annual basis.

Direct revenue from the industry reached 6.95 billion yuan, up 14.9 percent compared with 2013. Direct revenue from each event rose to 13 million yuan on average, up 9 percent.

Robust plans for convention and expo industry

The 15th Western China International Fair held in Chengdu in October 2014 attracts more than 60,000 business representatives from 98 countries and regions.Provided To China Daily

Robust plans for convention and expo industry

Major players in the auto industry gather at the 12th Michelin Challenge Bibendum in Chengdu to share their insights on sustainable mobility. Provided To China Daily

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