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How did Shenzhen become the “City of Exhibitions” in 2023?

2024.02.02

According to the Commerce Bureau of Shenzhen Municipality, a total of 195 exhibitions of various types were held in Shenzhen’s three major professional exhibition halls in 2023, with an average of one exhibition every two days. The exhibition area totaled 10.32 million square meters, a year-on-year increase of 237%, exceeding 10 million square meters for the first time.

The 2023 China Industry Cooperation Conference for Meetings, Incentives, Conferences & Exhibitions (MICE) Cities and Press Conference on the MICE City Competitiveness Index was held on 26 October. During the event, it was announced that Shenzhen was second only to Guangzhou and Beijing in terms of MICE competitiveness in 2022 across mainland China.

The reason the MICE industry favors Shenzhen lies in the city’s geographic advantages, potential for industrial development, as well as its surging market vitality. The combination of these factors made the city’s MICE momentum inevitable.

★Superior location: leader of the top ten foreign trade cities★

Center of the Greater Bay Area and link to Southeast Asia

Shenzhen, located at the center of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, a world-class seaport and airport cluster, enjoys various geographic advantages and an efficient logistics system. It has strong links with ASEAN and RCEP members, thus penetrating the Southeast Asian market and connecting cities around the world.

According to statistics from Shenzhen Customs, in the first 11 months of 2023, the city’s imports and exports totaled RMB 3.51 trillion, ranking second in mainland China, with an increase of 6.3%, ranking it first among the top ten foreign trade cities nationally. Imports from and exports to countries along the Belt and Road Initiative added up to RMB 1.18 trillion, an increase of 9.6%. Imports from and exports to other RCEP members amounted to RMB 934.94 billion, an increase of 3.3%. Meanwhile, imports from and exports to ASEAN countries, Shenzhen’s second-largest trading partner, reached RMB 553.3 billion.

As one of the first cities in China to respond to the Belt and Road Initiative, Shenzhen connects China to the Southeast Asian market. The city remains committed to developing overseas trade and plays a major role in global purchases and sales. The RCEP, an initiative that took effect in all 15 member countries in 2023, is facilitating the development of foreign trade in East Asia and Southeast Asia. With its favorable geographical location and strong import and export throughput, Shenzhen has become the top choice for hosting high-end exhibitions and developing overseas markets for various industries.

★Perfectly timed International MICE City★

Hub of brand exhibitions and promoter of high-quality development

The MICE industry is known as the “bread of a city” and an “economic barometer”. As a popular saying in the industry goes, holding an exhibition in a city is like dropping dollars from a plane over it. The MICE industry is developing rapidly in Shenzhen by leveraging the city’s favorable geographical location. The MICE industry has also benefited the city with a strong adsorption effect. In recent years, Shenzhen has also focused on the development of the industry and promulgated favorable policies. In doing so, the city has secured its position as International MICE City at the perfect time.

As an important node in the global industrial chain and supply chain and an economic center, Shenzhen issued the Various Measures on Building an International MICE City in 2022, proposing to build a world-class development space for MICE and an internationally renowned MICE center. In May 2023, the city released the Implementation Rules (Revised) of the Commerce Bureau of Shenzhen Municipality for the Various Measures on Building an International MICE City. These rules specify support and rewards in six aspects, namely, introducing well-known domestic and foreign brand exhibitions, developing professional exhibitions, supporting local exhibitions, encouraging exhibitions to participate in accreditation and certification, and hosting international conferences, all of which further promote the high-quality development of the MICE industry in Shenzhen.

With support from the city government in terms of policy and creating an overall good business environment, a large number of international brand exhibitions have taken place in Shenzhen, including the SIAL Shenzhen 2023 held in late August.

The SIAL Shenzhen 2023 brought together more than 1,200 exhibitors from 33 countries and regions. It covered the entire food and beverage industry chain with nine hot spots that were of good quality, boutique, cutting-edge, technology-driven, innovative, and characteristic of the region. The city’s abundant customer resources and precise marketing strategies have successfully assisted a large number of F&B companies with on-site transactions, positively impacting the F&B market in the Greater Bay Area and Southeast Asia.

The Hubei Pavilion won orders amounting to RMB 10 million in three days; the Jilin Pavilion signed orders for agricultural products worth RMB 6 million in three days. The meat companies of the Inner Mongolia Pavilion signed orders for USD 1 million in a single day; the Guangdong Pavilion’s pre-made food companies signed orders for USD 1.5 million in three days, and apples from Shaanxi companies have already been fully preordered for 2024.

Numerous professional visitors, including supermarkets, chain stores, and online stores, including Walmart, HotMaxx, Surprise, One Plus One, and Fuyouzhao, all expressed their satisfaction with SIAL’s on-site services. The leader of Fuyou Mall, a subsidiary of China Merchants Group, said that the exhibition led to transactions exceeding RMB 5 million, the exhibitors were of impeccably high quality, and the buyer-seller matchmaking was exceptional.

As an international platform, SIAL Shenzhen 2023 facilitated the positive interplay between domestic and foreign trade. It kicked off cooperation between SIAL and Shenzhen, the International MICE City, and leveraged its strengths as a strong platform for international collaboration to promote the food and beverage market and industrial upgrading in Shenzhen. When visiting the headquarters of the French Comexposium Group in September, Deputy Director of the Commerce Bureau of Shenzhen Municipality Zhou Mingwu commented, “The successful launch of SIAL Shenzhen is a model example for building Shenzhen into an International MICE City.”

2023 was just the beginning of the SIAL Shenzhen journey. An upgraded SIAL Shenzhen will be held in 2024 at the Shenzhen Convention and Exhibition Center from the 2nd to the 4th of September. The 60,000 square meter exhibition area is expected to attract over 1,500 exhibitors from 43 countries and regions and 67,000 professional visitors. It has been confirmed that government departments and business associations in Yunnan, Guangxi, Zhejiang, and so on will join the event through various Pavilions. Our prime booths are waiting for you! SIAL looks forward to working with you!

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Asia's Largest Food and Beverage Trade Fair

5,000+ Exhibitors From   70+ Countries & Regions
350,000 Exhibits   10 Forums   9 Events & Competitions

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