HKECIA chairman confident that industry in the Greater Bay Area will unite to ‘ride out the storm’.
Hong Kong’s exhibition industry remains steady, according to the latest survey conducted by the Hong Kong Exhibition & Convention Industry Association (HKECIA).
In 2018, a total of 138 exhibitions (more than 2,000 sqm) were held in Hong Kong, of these 68 were ‘trade’ exhibitions, 20 were ‘trade & consumer’ exhibition, and 50 were ‘consumer’ exhibitions.
While the number of events remains strong, there was a slight decrease in the number of participants. More than 69,000 exhibiting companies and more than 2.3 million visitors participated in the ‘trade’ and ‘trade & consumer’ exhibitions in Hong Kong last year, however the total number of exhibiting companies fell by 3.9 per cent.
The number of international participants, as well as those from Hong Kong and Mainland China, dropped by a single digit, but the number from regional markets rose by 11.7 per cent. Overall visitors fell by 1.7 per cent.
HKECIA believes the drop off is primarily due to the ongoing US-China trade war, where higher tariffs imposed by both countries have resulted in a drop in demand for manufactured and consumer goods.
HKECIA chairman, Stuart Bailey, says: “Hong Kong’s exhibition industry has a strong foundation. Although economic data and the survey results reflect that the challenges faced by Hong Kong have been increasing, Hong Kong remains a favoured destination for exhibiting companies and visitors alike. The drop-off is in fact less than might have been anticipated.”
Bailey also acknowledged that business out of Europe has slowed due to uncertainties caused by Brexit and escalating geopolitical tensions of various regions. Nevertheless, he remains confident that Hong Kong’s exhibition industry will unite to “ride out the storm together”.
“We are fortunate that there are also new opportunities for us to grasp. The recently released Outline Development Plan for the Greater Bay Area reaffirms Hong Kong’s leading position in the exhibition industry and gives a clear direction of consolidating and enhancing Hong Kong’s status as an international high-end convention, exhibition and sourcing centre,” he says.
“Building close ties with our counterparts from other cities in the Greater Bay Area, while exporting Hong Kong’s expertise in organising high quality exhibitions will bring benefit to all parties.”
Main image: HKECIA chairman and executive members.