Sichuan capital seeks to lead expo industry
Updated: 2013-09-25 07:57
By Peng Chao and Li Yu (China Daily)
As it becomes "a famous convention and exhibition city with international influence", Chengdu is consolidating its reputation by hosting the ongoing 12th World Chinese Entrepreneurs Convention, said local officials.
City planners have set a target of holding more than 500 high-level events annually by 2015 and create more than 10 world-class expo brands.
Revenue from the city's convention and exhibition industry is expected to reach 10 billion yuan ($1.6 billion) by 2015 and generate indirect income of 80 billion yuan.
The city will increase its indoor exhibition area to 300,000 square meters and introduce three to five well-known convention and exhibition enterprises from home and abroad.
To realize the goals, the Chengdu Municipal Bureau of Expositions has formulated a "five-point strategy" focused on marketing, quality, internationalization, branding and standardization, said Mu Tao, director of the bureau.
Mu said Chengdu will change its development model from "government dominant to government guided and foster the growth of leading enterprises".
"Gathering strength from the 2013 Fortune Global Forum in June, the city will strive to host more major events with international influence," said Mu.
"While bringing in global events, Chengdu will strive to nurture its own brands such as the Western China International Fair, the Chengdu International Furniture Fair and the Chengdu Motor Show."
The city has improved its infrastructure to meet the increasing demand.
One example is the Chengdu Century City New International Convention & Exhibition Center built in 2005, which covers an exhibition area of 110, 000 square meters, and a convention area of 30, 000 square meters.
Another is the New Century Global Center, a large multiplex that officially opened earlier this month.
It has a 12,000-square-meter art center, a convention center covering 8, 000 square meters and two five-star hotels with over 1, 000 rooms.
The largest in central and western China, the Western China International Expo Center will cover an exhibition area of 500,000 square meters and have a 200,000-square-meter convention space when completed.
It will be the host venue of the Western China International Fair and the Western China International Cooperation Forum.
Apart from improving infrastructure, the city also creates its unique service mode, which highlights "one-stop, professional and people-oriented services", and has won highly praise from a large number of organizers, according to local officials.
Last year, Chengdu attracted a total of 84 million visitors and had 456 conventions, exhibitions and festivals.
The industry contributed 5 billion yuan to the city's economy in 2012, some 5 percent of its GDP, Mu said.
According to the bureau, the city held 247 conventions, exhibitions and festivals from January to July this year, including 41 international meetings and 21 international exhibitions.
"The local government views this year as the breakthrough for Chengdu's exhibition and convention industry, which is of vital importance to building the city into the nation's famous place to host events," said Mu.
The Chengdu Municipal Bureau of Expositions has set a goal of holding 500 conventions, exhibitions and festivals this year, including 80 major programs.
The city's total exhibition space is expected to total 2.8 million square meters, with indirect income from the industry reaching 6 billion yuan.
The rapid development of its convention and exhibition industry has enabled Chengdu to attract more major events and win the favor of organizations from home and abroad.
Last year, the National Sugar & Wine Trade Fair announced it will locate in Chengdu permanently.
The 13th Western China International Fair attracted 78,000 visitors from 105 countries and regions around the world.
The 21st International Conference on nuclear engineering, which is honored as "the Olympics in Nuclear Engineering", was hosted by Chengdu in July. In September, the 35th IAHR (International Association for Hydro-Environment Engineering and Research) World Congress was also held in Chengdu, making it the second city (after Beijing) in the Chinese mainland to host one of the most important events in the field of hydraulic engineering and research.
On May 27, the International Congress and Convention Association agreed to accept the Chengdu Municipal Bureau of Exposition as a member, making the bureau the first governmental organization in central and western China to join the internationally renowned organization.
Since 2008, Chengdu has been given awards as among China's top 10 cities for conventions, exhibitions, charming conference destinations, green conferences and festivals.
It is the only city in central and western China named "China's Famous Convention and Exhibition City", according to officials.
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Visitors at the 68th China International Medical Equipment Fair last year in Chengdu. Photos by Zhang Zheng / for China Daily
The opening ceremony of the 21st UNIMA Congress and World Puppetry Festival in Chengdu.
(China Daily USA 09/25/2013 page7)