SHANGHAI - Shanghai aims to draw the country's heavyweight exhibitions away from Beijing with the world's biggest exhibition center comprising 400,000 square meters of indoor space and 100,000 sq m of outdoor display areas.
The development in Hongqiao comes alongside the final expansion of Shanghai New International Expo Center into a 300,000 sq m exhibition space.
"Our first criteria when deciding where to host a fair is the space at an exhibition center and the quality of its infrastructure," said Xu Yingxin, executive vice-president of the Sub-Council of the Textile Industry under the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade. "I have to admit that Beijing has fallen behind Shanghai in these areas in recent years. Many exhibitions were forced to move to Shanghai from Beijing because of space concerns, to be honest."
The sub-council is in charge of dozens of textile industry-related exhibitions across China and abroad.
Xu said that he moved the venue for the China International Textile Machinery Exhibition from Beijing to Shanghai as early as 2008. "Many big exhibitions in other industries have been relocating," he added.
"For textile exhibitions, we want a location next to places such as Jiangsu and Zhejiang, which are usually regarded as relatively developed regions for the industry," he said. "Apart from attracting exhibitors, the number of visitors and potential buyers is also our concern. That makes Shanghai our preference."
In 2010, Shanghai held 42 percent of the country's total domestic exhibitions and conventions. Beijing held 33 percent.