Exhibition market to see strong Hong Kong growth

Sector expected to grow up to 11 per centa year until 2015, but parts of it will slow

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 21 March, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 21 March, 2013, 5:20am

The market for exhibitions in Hong Kong and on the mainland can expect robust growth over the next three years, but exhibitions in certain sectors in the city will suffer from the global economic conditions this year, analysts said.

On average, Hong Kong's exhibition market will grow by 10 or 11 per cent a year until 2015, said Waiman Cheung, a professor of decision sciences and managerial economics at Chinese University.

The gross area leased for exhibitions in the city has been growing at an average annual rate of 11 per cent, doubling from one million square metres in 2004 to two million square metres in 2011, while the global exhibition market shrank at an annual rate of 0.1 per cent, a study found.

The study, by the university and consultancy BMT Asia Pacific, was commissioned by Global Sources, a Nasdaq-listed exhibition organiser and trade information provider based in the city.

The gross area of mainland exhibitions rose from 11.6 million square metres in 2008 to 13 million square metres in 2010, the study found.

"The world exhibition market shrank, while Asia's exhibition market grew," Cheung said.

However, in Hong Kong, exhibitions of energy products, household products and gifts will not do well this year, said Tommy Wong, president of Global Sources Exhibitions.

Slow home sales in the US and Europe will reduce demand for household products, Wong said.

"The energy products exhibitions in Hong Kong will do badly this year because of anti-dumping actions in the US and Europe against Chinese solar energy products," he said.

However, he said, the exhibition market for electronics, fashion, garments and textiles in Hong Kong will grow this year.

For its 12th five-year plan, covering 2011 to 2015, the central government earmarked the exhibition industry as a key national project. The mainland exhibition market will enjoy robust growth until 2015, Cheung said, without providing specific figures.

The mainland exhibition market, with the possible exception of Shanghai, should not pose a threat to Hong Kong, he said.

"The mainland exhibition market is much bigger than Hong Kong's, but it focuses on the domestic market," Cheung said.