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2015 Business Review XIX: Effectively Standardize Government-run Exhibitions and Promote the Optimization and Upgrade of the Exhibition Industry

Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, the Party Central Committee and the State Council issued successively such documents as the Several Opinions of the State Council on Further Promoting the Reform and Development of the Exhibition Industry, in order to strengthen the industrial management, define the development goal and reform direction of the exhibition industry, standardize administrative provisions on exhibitions held by the Party and government organizations, thus continuing to maintain a good development momentum in the exhibition industry.

I. Remarkable Achievements Had Been Obtained in Standardizing Government-run Exhibitions

(I) The quantity of government-run new exhibitions had been effectively controlled. Since the Party Central Committee sorted out and regulated exhibitions held by the Party and government organizations, the number of exhibitions held by the national Party and government organizations at or above the provincial level will reduce from 559 to 200 a year within five years, with reduction ratio reaching 64.2%. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Commerce strictly examined and verified new exhibition applications of the Party and government organizations from such aspects as the reason for holding an exhibition, exhibition theme, overall scheme and application procedures, avoiding holding exhibition activities with repeated theme or empty content or without regional characteristic and industrial basis, and exercising strict control over the number of new exhibitions.

(II) Thrift and practicability had become the new normal of exhibitions. It had become a common practice that exhibition activities followed the provisions of the central authorities on improving working styles, maintaining close relations with the masses, practicing strict economy and combatting waste. The proportion of inviting domestic and foreign high-ranking government officials and honored guests decreased sharply. General ritual activities dramatically reduced and reception work and procedures greatly simplified. No luxury opening and closing ceremony activities or large-scale theatrical performances were held. Exhibitions aimed to serve enterprises and were dedicated to promoting economic and trade exchanges and communications. Exhibition activities focused on the central task and served the overall interests, so as to drive the economic and social development, and win widespread praise from all walks of life.

(III) Marketization and specialization had become the new normal of exhibitions. The exhibitions held by governments emphasized the cultivation of marketization, specialization and international function of exhibition activities. Firstly, we subdivided segments of exhibition activities, gradually introduced professional undertakers and implemented specialized operations. For example, the China-Eurasia Expo in Xinjiang and the High-Tech & Science Expo in Mianyang, Sichuan Province were intervened by renowned professional exhibition organizations. Secondly, all activities of exhibitions, from planning to implementation, were put under market-oriented operations. For example, at the China International Equipment Manufacturing Exposition in Shenyang, and the China International Industry Fair in Shanghai, financial funds were saved and fresh vitality was injected for the exhibitions' long-term sustainable development.

II. Industry Development Momentum Continued to Improve

(I) Economic benefits reached a new high. According to the survey and statistics of the China Convention / Exhibition / Event Society, China's annual exhibitions whose exhibition area was more than 5,000 square meters reached 8,009, with total exhibition area of 102.76 million square meters, breaking through 100 million square meters for the first time, and showing more than 9% growth on year-on-year basis. Economic benefits continued to improve, covering multiple industries and more than 70 industry segments. It's estimated that the national exhibition industry may produce the direct economic output value of RMB418.35 billion, and drive the national employment of 29.05 million person-time, further showing its social benefits.

(II) Exhibition organizers were becoming more and more diverse. From exhibition subjects, exhibitions held by all kinds of enterprises accounted for about 45%; exhibitions held by industry associations accounted for about 29%; and exhibitions held by Party and government organizations at all levels and people's organizations accounted for about 26%, down 15% before the national sorting and regulation. From exhibition attributes, comprehensive exhibitions were 2,284, accounting for 42%; professional exhibitions were 3,080, accounting for about 57%; and the rest was public welfare exhibitions. From exhibition classification, investment exhibitions were 190, accounting for 3.5%; technology exhibitions were 754, accounting for 14%; culture exhibitions were 737, accounting for 14%; agriculture, forestry and fishing exhibitions were 120, accounting for 2%; industry exhibitions were 1,878, accounting for 35%; service exhibitions were 1,529, accounting for 28%; other exhibitions were 182, accounting for 3%.

(III) International certification programs increased. According to statistics, by the end of 2014, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry (UFI) had Chinese members with a total of 86, 2 more than that in 2013, including 27 from Beijing, 22 from Shanghai, 11 from Shenzhen, and 8 from Guangzhou (total members of the four cities account for 79% of the total national members); China's exhibitions certified by the UFI were 75, 9 more than that in 2013, including 24 from Shanghai (4 of which were held by Chinese enterprises overseas), 17 from Beijing, 11 from Shenzhen, and 8 from Guangzhou (total exhibitions of the four cities account for 80% of the total national exhibitions certified).

III. Transformation and Upgrade of the Exhibition Industry Speeded up

(I) China was transformed from a big exhibition country to a great exhibition power. According to the statistics of the UFI, the exhibition net area of China's international trade fairs, and the indoor exhibition area of professional exhibition halls were among the largest in the world. In 2014, there were 17 venues in total in the world with indoor exhibition area reaching 200,000 square meters, including four in China.

(II) The exhibition market structure presented a new round of adjustment. The completion of the project of National Exhibition and Convention Center (Shanghai) made Shanghai rank first among cities in the world in terms of exhibition area, which changed domestic regional competition situation as well as had a significant influence on the adjustment of global exhibition layout.

(III) Internationalization level of the industry was significantly raised. The exhibition industry was fully opened to foreign capital. Reed Exhibitions and UBM from the United Kingdom, Hanover and Frankfurt from Germany and other internationally famous exhibition organizations had entered the Chinese market, and three companies of them, namely Hanover, Munich and Dusseldorf from Germany, also participated in investment in and operation of the Shanghai New International Expo Center.

Translated by Wang Baihua
Proofread by Eddiea

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