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UFI Releases Asia Trade Fair Industry Report

UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, released the 15th edition of the Trade Fair Industry in Asia annual report, covering 17 locales including Greater China and Southeast Asian markets, Australia, Cambodia, Japan, Korea, India, Myanmar and Pakistan. The report provides complete data on the development of trade fairs and supporting facilities in these regions up to Dec. 31, 2018, with additional figures and commentary on likely trends for the following year.

One key finding is that net space sold at Asian trade fairs reached 23.4 million square meters, which represents an average growth rate of 4.8 percent across 17 Asian trade fair markets.

Research shows that 23.4 million square meters of space was sold by exhibition organizers to their clients in Asia in 2018—up from 22.3 million square feet in 2017. More than half of the total (59 percent) was sold in China – totaling 13.7 million square meters in net space, which is well over six times the space sold in Asia’s second-largest trade fair market, Japan (2.15 million square meters).

By the end of 2019, venue capacity in Asia will be over 9.6 million square meters, and the number of purpose-built exhibition venues operating in Asia will reach 232. The region’s total venue capacity will increase significantly following the opening of a new mega venue in Shenzhen (China), adding 400,000  square meters of gross indoor capacity to the regional total.

China, Asia’s largest market, exceeded the regional average as it grew by 5.5 percent in 2018, adding approximately 700,000  square meters of space, and totaling 13.73 million square meters. However, this was notably lower than the 8 percent recorded in 2017. Several large markets reported less significant growth last year. Net space sold in Thailand increased by 3.8 percent in 2018. Australia and Korea both expanded by 3 percent, while the market in Taiwan grew by just under 2 percent.

Cambodia was the fastest-growing trade fair market in the region in 2018 as space sold jumped by over 40 percent. Once again, India was the fastest-growing large market as net space sold jumped by 10 percent, rising from 1.18 million square meters to 1.3 million square meters.

Other Southeast Asian markets that outperformed the regional average included Malaysia (7.7 percent), Vietnam (6.4 percent) and Singapore (5.4 percent). Thailand, the Philippines and Indonesia posted growth lower than the regional average in 2018.

At the low end of the table, growth in Japan slowed to 1.2 percent in 2018, down from 2.9 percent in the previous year, while space-constrained Hong Kong recorded growth of just 1.1 percent, the lowest in the region.

“Now in its 15th edition, this annual report is tracking the rapid development of the exhibition industry in the Asia-Pacific region in an unparalleled way,” says Kai Hattendorf, managing director of UFI. “With a lot of developments in Southeast Asia and Australasia, it offers all the market information beyond the big markets as well, and shows both the challenges and opportunities for our industry in the region as a whole.

The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry UFI is the leading global association of the world’s tradeshow organizers and exhibition center operators, as well as the major national and international exhibition associations, and selected partners of the exhibition industry. UFI’s main goal is to represent, promote and support the business interests of its members and the exhibition industry. UFI directly represents around 50,000 exhibition industry employees globally, and also works closely with its 52 national and regional association members. For more info, visit www.ufi.org

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