Shanghai on the path to become a "global exhibition capital" by 2020

City aims to hold annual exhibitions and conventions covering 20 million square meters by 2020 (the end of the 13th Five-Year period).

Shanghai is on track to build itself into a "global exhibition capital" by 2020 as notable improvements have been achieved in various aspects over the past few years, according to government officials.

In 2017, the city held around 1,020 exhibitions and conventions which took up 17.7 million square meters, up 19.9 percent and 17 percent, respectively, from 2015 (the end of the 12th Five-Year period), said Shang Yuying, director of the Shanghai Commerce Commission.

During the whole of last year there were 36 large-scale exhibitions and conventions occupying over 100,000 square meters each, accounting for 32 percent of the country's total. Six of them were mega-size events taking up 300,000 square meters and above.

"Shanghai has in recent years been accelerating the development of its exhibition industry, one of the key growth engines to boost the city's economy," Shang told a municipal press conference today. "By both number and scale of exhibitions and conventions, Shanghai is No. 1 in the country and one of the leading players in the world."

Direct income from exhibitions and conventions exceeded 120 billion yuan (US$19 billion) in Shanghai last year, government data showed.

Space used by international exhibitions and conventions reached 13.29 million square meters last year, up 12.9 percent from 2016. They accounted for 75.1 percent of the city's total, up 2.2 percentage points from five years ago.

Under an earlier released master plan, Shanghai aims to hold annual exhibitions and conventions covering 20 million square meters by 2020 (the end of the 13th Five-Year period), and the number of large-scale fairs occupying above 100,000 square meters each should reach 50 by then.

Government officials also released details of two major fairs to be held in the city this year.

The three-day China (Shanghai) International Technology Fair, to run from April 19 at the Shanghai World Expo Exhibition & Convention Center, is expected to attract 50,000 visitors. This is the sixth year that the fair, covering 35,000 square meters, will be held and exhibitors from 14 countries and regions are set to display their state-of-art technologies.

The 2018 China International Import Expo, the first of its kind held in the country, has more than 1,600 companies from over 120 countries and regions registered. It will held from November 5-10.

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