China the king of trade fairs in Asia: UFI

China, Japan, India and Korea each sold more than 1 million square metres of trade fair space in 2017, says the Trade Fair Industry in Asia annual report.

The Hisense booth at CES Shanghai 2018; Photo: AFP
The Hisense booth at CES Shanghai 2018; Photo: AFP

China took up more than half of the space sold at Asian trade fairs last year with its share of 13 million sqm (square metres) recorded in transactions, according to the Trade Fair Industry in Asia annual report released by UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry. Japan came second, albeit at 2 million sqm, more than six times less of the amount sold by China while the Japanese market expanded by 2.9% last year.

In total, 22 million sqm was sold in the region last year on an average growth of 7%. The report covers 17 markets including Greater China and the Southeast Asian markets, Japan, Korea, India, Pakistan, Australia, Cambodia and Myanmar based on data dated up to 31 December, 2017. The research was undertaken by Hong Kong-based Business Strategies Group for UFI.

Meanwhile, Cambodia was identified as the fastest growing small market with its 28% increase of net space sold. Among the bigger markets, India was the fastest growing with an 11% growth—1.18 million sqm sold last year compared to 1.07 million sqm the year before. Other large markets such as Australia and Taiwan recorded less than stellar growth at 5.1% and 4% respectively even though Korea surpassed the 1 million net sqm mark. Space-constrained markets such as Hong Kong and Japan only grew at 2.2% and 2.9% respectively.

Over in Southeast Asia, several markets surpassed the regional average including Malaysia (12.1%), Philippines (8%), Thailand (7.6%) and Singapore (7.5%). Vietnam and Indonesia matched up the regional average by growing 7% and 6.7% respectively.

The report forecast that venue capacity in Asia will reach over 9 million sqm by the end of 2018, with the number of operating venues amounting to 230. The number is expected to rise in 2019 with the opening of a new convention centre in Shenzhen that will add 400,000 sqm of gross indoor capacity to the regional total.

On the results, Mark Cochrane, UFI Asia-Pacific regional manager and BSG managing director said: “The trade fair industry in Asia strengthens year by year. Not only did the market expand by 7% in 2017, but there are also now four markets with over 1 million net sold—China, Japan, India and Korea. Hong Kong and Taiwan are poised to surpass that milestone in the next few years.”


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