Organizer encouraged by development, favorable conditions to drive sales

A visitor checks out products during the spring edition of the Intertextile Shanghai Apparel Fabrics trade fair held at the city's National Exhibition and Convention Center on March 29. (PHOTO PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY)

With numerous Chinese companies rushing to participate in various trade shows at both home and abroad in recent months, Messe Frankfurt, one of the world's largest trade fair and event organizers by sales revenue, is set to hold more than 40 business exhibitions across China in 2023, said its top executive.

Due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the German company managed to hold only 11 trade fairs in China last year.

Many opportunities come from China's optimization of its COVID-19 response, foreign trade and investment packages and support for the private sector, said Wolfgang Marzin, the group's president and CEO.

Messe Frankfurt will organize several major trade fairs and events, such as the China International Trade Fair for Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning, Sanitation and Home Comfort Systems in May in Beijing, the China (Shenzhen) Cross-Border E-commerce Fair in September in Guangdong province and the Shanghai International Trade Fair for Automotive Parts, Equipment and Service Suppliers in November.

Marzin, who attended the spring edition of the Intertextile Shanghai Apparel Fabrics fair held at the city's National Exhibition and Convention Center in late March, said China has always been and will continue to be a vital market for trade, adding that Messe Frankfurt is keen to put on more high-end industrial and trade fairs in China in the coming years.

Apart from running foreign trade, investment, the digital economy and healthcare-themed events, he said many Chinese companies from sectors like electronics, automotive, green development, chemicals and consumer goods have surging demand to participate in trade fairs in recent years.

Supported by 2,500 employees at more than 30 locations across the world, the services provided by the Frankfurt-based group include renting exhibition grounds, trade fair construction and marketing, personnel and food services.

"Even though China's convention and exhibition industry was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the sector is facing a new round of growth opportunities from supportive policies and digital tools," Marzin said, noting the industry is naturally connected to the upstream and downstream of various industries.

He added that this will not only lead the industry to more comprehensive and higher-end development, but it will also act as a bridge for global industrial and supply chains.

As the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership pact has created favorable conditions to boost two-way investment and foreign trade, Marzin predicted companies from signatory countries will have more demand to participate in various trade shows in the Asia-Pacific region in the years ahead.

Zhao Ping, vice-dean of the academy of Beijing-based China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT), said that judging from the recovery of China's convention and exhibition industry between January and April, the effects of exhibitions in various industries have generally exceeded expectations.

With the recovery of China's economy, the exhibitions focused on promoting traditional consumption, the growth of service consumption, and the advocacy of green and low-carbon consumption will achieve rapid growth, according to the CCPIT.

As of the end of March, the council received 519 applications from domestic organizers for overseas exhibitions this year. These trade fairs will be held in 47 countries, including the United States, Germany, France, Japan, Thailand and Brazil.

Faced with softening external demand and fierce competition from countries such as Vietnam and India in the area of low-end production over the past three years, Chinese manufacturers — especially those from coastal provinces such as Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Fujian and Guangdong — have been boosting their presence at domestic and international expos, as well as expanding channels in emerging markets to drive sales overseas this year.

Professional industrial exhibitions serve as a crucial connection between the supply and demand sides in industrial and supply chains, said Chen Dexing, president of Wenzhou Kanger Crystallite Utensils Co Ltd, a Zhejiang province-based glass and ceramic ware manufacturer with more than 1,500 employees.

"They play a key role in advancing the traditional manufacturing industry's transformation and upgrading by showcasing advanced technologies and facilitating the growth of new driving forces and advantages," he said, adding that the company has already booked exhibition areas at trade shows held in Guangzhou, Tokyo and Birmingham in the United Kingdom for the second half.