In April, China’s powerful State Council, headed by Premier Li Keqiang, released an official directive with the aim of boosting the development of the country’s exhibition industry. According to the lengthy guidelines, a ministerial joint conference, including multiple central government departments, will be established to coordinate the formulation and implementation of new market rules. UFI has arrange for a full translation of the guidelines available on the UFI website.
The objectives in this initial document are fairly high-level and somewhat vague, but are quite ambitious. The Chinese government aims to turn the country into a centre for exhibitions “with a sound development environment and a high level of internationalisation” by 2020. The document also stated that licensing of economic and technological exhibitions will be gradually delegated to provincial-level commercial authorities.
Importantly, the State Council also underscored its goal of transforming China’s exhibition industry into a more market-driven industry which will, in part, be achieved by reducing the number of state-funded exhibitions and encouraging private organisers to take a larger role in the Chinese exhibition market.
The central government also plans to provide guidance to large-scale exhibition enterprises in forming partnerships, joint-ventures, mergers and acquisitions to order establish industry-leading Chinese multinationals. The Chinese government plans to set-up a “cooperation mechanism” to facilitate partnerships between domestic enterprises and overseas players including organisers and associations.
In addition, tax breaks and streamlined customs procedures will be implemented to support small-scale exhibition organisers and to promote the internationalisation of events. The document also touched on a wide range of other exhibition industry-related topics including: sustainability, intellectual property rights protection, and supporting industries such as transport & logistics, tourism, catering and hotels.
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