(Hong Kong, 20 March 2017) --(ASIA TODAY)-- The Hong Kong Exhibition & Convention Industry Association (HKECIA) is the authoritative organisation of the Hong Kong exhibition and convention industries since 1990. Its members comprise of major exhibition and conference organisers in Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (Management) Limited (HML), the AsiaWorld-Expo (AWE) as well as other important industry players.
With the recent debates among the Chief Executive candidates on 19 March evening, there were arguments over the proposed use of the Wan Chai Sports Ground site for exhibitions, community activities and trendy sports, the association feels that now is the right time to clarify the position of its members in relation to these matters.
The needs of the people of Hong Kong to have adequate facilities to engage in sports and leisure pursuits are paramount to health and wellbeing and the Association applauds the government on its commitment to building new state of the art facilities to accommodate this. Equally in order for Hong Kong to prosper economically the city must provide additional space for convention and exhibition activities as laid out in the paper by the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau (CEDB) of Hong Kong SAR Government, titled “Development of Convention and Exhibition Industries in Hong Kong” presented to the Legislative Council on 10 February 2015 and the executive summary of “Demand Study for New Convention and Exhibition Facilities in Hong Kong” conducted by AMRinternational.
The economic impact of trade exhibitions to the city is worth HK$52.9 Billion and provides the equivalent of 83,500 full-time jobs in the industry and supporting sectors (HKECIA Economic Impact Study 2014 conducted by KPMG Advisory (Hong Kong) Limited). We also know that Hong Kong is forced to turn away leading conferences and exhibitions, 56 international event applications were turned down in 2013, due to shortage of space. Without a commitment to provide additional space for these meetings and exhibitions they are forced to look to move to other cities that can accommodate them thus leading to Hong Kong’s decline as a major city of trade and commerce. Our neighboring city Shenzhen will open an additional 300,000 sqm of indoor exhibition space in 2018, while the combined total of AWE and Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre together is only 136,000sqm, highlighting the problem the industry faces.
The Association and its members are keen to see expansion at both of the existing venues (AWE and HKCEC) but do not favour the option of a third venue in the city as this will not solve the problem of trade organisers seeking to hold a large-scale meetings and exhibitions under one roof. Over the past three decades Hong Kong has successfully positioned itself as the trade fair capital of Asia and brought enormous benefits to Hong Kong’s reputation and economy, the HKECIA is resolute not to let this position slip as Hong Kong’s key advantages over other cities in the region remain strong.
The HKECIA welcomes the work being undertaken to conduct a feasibility study on the use of the land adjacent to the HKCEC known as the Wan Chai Sports Ground. Part of this work will be to ensure that the interests of the sports community are upheld until the Kai Tak Sports Park reaches completion, we look forward to seeing the findings of this study.
Much is often made of the problem of traffic congestion in Wan Chai area. The Central - Wan Chai Bypass and Island Eastern Corridor Link currently under construction is another important project and the strategic route along the north shore of Hong Kong Island, will serve to alleviate the traffic congestion along the existing Gloucester Road. The addition of the “Exhibition” MTR Station on the Sha Tin to Central Link will also help by providing the best way to bring passengers into the area and connect the different phases of the HKCEC, New Convention Centre and Wan Chai Sports Ground.
The HKECIA is an apolitical organisation and does not favour any particular candidate for the next Chief Executive of Hong Kong SAR, we would however urge the government to continue its work to ensure that the interests of exhibitions and conventions that bring jobs, opportunity and wealth to the city are looked after.
About the Hong Kong Exhibition and Convention Industry Association
The Hong Kong Exhibition & Convention Industry Association (HKECIA) was established in 1990 to promote Hong Kong as a world-class exhibition and conference destination and the trade fair capital of Asia Pacific. It works to represent the interests of all members involved in the exhibition and convention industries, and provides a unified voice in dealing with the government, legislative and statutory bodies, the media and public organisations, on all matters associate with the role of the exhibition and convention industry in Hong Kong’s economy. In addition, it offers training and educational programmes, and collects, analyses and distributes information and statistics relating to the industry. Currently, HKECIA has 106 members including exhibition organisers, venue managers and operators, contractors, hotels, and travel agents.
HKECIA is a member of UFI – The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, and AFECA – The Asian Federation of Exhibition and Convention Associations.
For further enquiries, please contact:
Ms Alexandra Seto
Hong Kong Exhibition & Convention Industry Association
Tel: (852) 2558 1238
Fax: (852) 2558 3074