Twenty-first Century "maritime Silk Road" and the international communication platform

CAEXPO: Beckoning Guests from the Four Corners of the World with Brand-new Appearance

2023-08-29 17:07:05   By:China-ASEAN    Hits:

Written by Tang Yi / Translated by Chen Yijia

For the conference and exhibition (C&E) industry, its essence is to display the unique advantages of products in a limited space for direct or indirect economic and social benefits. Win-win results require good neighborliness and concerted cooperation. As a crucial platform for further business and trade cooperation between China and ASEAN countries, China-ASEAN Expo (CAEXPO) has gone through 19 years with its contents being upgraded continuously to keep pace with the times and themes of pavilions being refined and enriched. Meanwhile, the CAEXPO has served as an important bridge between the C&E industries of China and ASEAN countries.

Ingenious exhibit designers

From the establishment and upgrade of the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area (FTA) to the entry into force of RCEP, the CAEXPO has played a role as a booster for the developments of China and ASEAN countries, as well as countries within and along the Belt and Road. Now, the newly expanded partnership has advanced the internationalization of the CAEXPO and enriched the contents of exhibition areas.

Looking back to the layout of the 19th CAEXPO in the Hall B2 of the Nanning International Convention and Exhibition Center (NICEC), it was a 3D model of vessel that caught the eye of people immediately at the pavilion featuring remarkable achievements that Guangxi secured in the construction of New Western Land-Sea Corridor. The overall structure of the pavilion consisted of models of gantry crane, container ship, and container freight train at the automated terminal of the Beibu Gulf International Gateway Port. Key projects, including the Beibu Gulf International Gateway Port, the Pinglu Canal, the Huangtong-Baise Railway, and the Terminal 3 of the Nanning Wuxu International Airport, were demonstrated on LED screens and lightbox displays. On the model of freight train were fresh native fruits of Guangxi, such as dragon fruits, longans, and pineapples. The embellishment of colorful fruits made the model look more realistic, attracting a large number of visitors.

Nanning International Convention and Exhibition Center in Guangxi, the permanent venue of the CAEXPO

"The design of the pavilion was mainly inspired by the automated container terminal of the Qinzhou Port, which is the first terminal adopted rail-sea intermodal transportation along the New Western Land-Sea Corridor in China. Besides, elements including container ships, container freight trains, coaches, and the Pinglu Canal were added to blend with the overall design. The whole pavilion vividly shows the seamless integration of multimodal transportation along the New Western Land-Sea Corridor, such as rail-sea and river-sea intermodal transportation," the person in charge of the design and arrangement of the pavilion told the correspondent in the interview. He also pointed out that an eye-catching design is essential. Only when the pavilion can captivate people at a single glance will they feel a surge of desire to walk into it and listen to the introduction.

Furthermore, the CAFTA & RCEP Gallery, which made its first appearance at the 19th CAEXPO, was in a main tone of blue with wave lines beaming with the dynamism and vitality of the seaward economy. "The gallery was decorated following the theme of 'China-ASEAN Community with a Shared Future.' Models of cargo ship and container were placed in the gallery. The four sleek lines at the entrance were the symbol of the Belt and Road, as well as domestic and international economic flows (dual-circulation development pattern). The 11 colored ribbons hanging on the one side above the gallery represented China and 10 ASEAN countries, while the 4 ones on the other side represented another four RCEP member countries, namely Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand," said a staff working for the gallery. The China-ASEAN Mercantile Exchange and special products from ASEAN countries were introduced and recommended to professional visitors and citizens at the gallery.

The CAFTA & RCEP Gallery made its first appearance at the 19th CAEXPO.

As an international expo, the CAEXPO has attracted more and more exhibitors and enterprises from different countries and regions. Booths with distinctive and various decorations lend the venue of CAEXPO a more colorful atmosphere.

Elaborate exhibitions build bridges for cooperation

The development of digital technologies has endowed the exhibition areas of the CAEXPO with increasing high-tech elements and a certain novelty. At the pavilion featuring Guangxi's close alignment with the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area at the 19th CAEXPO, flexible OLED and transparent displays were utilized to build an upward spiral model, which looked like an ethereal ribbon or a winding river. The utilization of glasses-free 3D provided an immersive experience for the visitors. When moving forward to the pavilion featuring electronic information, the lighting here turned bright or dim now and then. Sometimes it would be brilliant and vibrant, sometimes soft and restful. For the pavilion featuring Guangxi's cultural tourism, multimedia digital technology was applied to demonstrate the theme of "Splendors of Guangxi." In this way, a scroll of breath-taking landscapes of 14 cities in Guangxi was unfolded on the screens.

Meanwhile, the integration of digitalization and high-tech elements has offered a range of exciting possibilities for the C&E industry. On the platform of "Online CAEXPO," China Pavilion of Commodity, ASEAN Pavilions, BRI International Pavilion, and other virtual pavilions could be found on the homepage. The audience were able to experience cultures and exhibits of different countries at a close distance by virtue of the 3D virtual pavilions. In 2020, the CAEXPO, for the first time, adopted the mode of "physical exhibition + online exhibition" amid the sweeping COVID-19 outbreak. The new mode is unbound by geographic restrictions and can be regarded as a beneficial exploration with enormous opportunities for the sustainable development of the C&E industry.

The CAEXPO has followed the trend of the times and contributed to the growth of China’s C&E industry. For ASEAN countries, Singapore, Thailand, and Malaysia have a certain foundation in developing the industry, while others are making efforts to seek for breakthroughs. As an ancient Chinese saying goes, "All good principles should adapt to changing times to remain relevant." The 2021 China-ASEAN Conference & Exhibition Industry Cooperation & Development Forum was held in Nanning, Guangxi, which is the first forum about the C&E industry under the framework of the CAEXPO.

At the 2021 Forum, the 2021 Catalog of Conference & Exhibition Industry Cooperation & Development in Guangxi (1st Batch) was published, which has laid the groundwork for the establishment of a new mechanism for the cooperation on the C&E industry in the China-ASEAN region and a new platform for economic and trade cooperation and contributed to the high standard opening-up of China's C&E industry.

Later in 2022, the Forum further expedited the recovery of the C&E industry in the post-COVID period. The Development Map of Guangxi's "Conference & Exhibition + Industry" was published, and the Presentation Ceremony of Letter of Appointment for Senior Consultant on the Development of Guangxi's Conference & Exhibition Economy was held, which has promoted professionalization, branding, internationalization, and digitalization of Guangxi's C&E industry, reinforced collaboration and interaction among China's provinces and cities, accelerated high-quality development of Guangxi's C&E economy, and contributed the share of C&E industry to the construction of China-ASEAN FTA 3.0.

Dress up for the 20th anniversary

With continuous development and in novation of the C&E industry, China's quality exhibition projects have expanded overseas presence to ASEAN countries at a faster pace. As one of the important platforms for China-ASEAN exchanges in multiple areas and at various levels, the CAEXPO has held 2 to 3 overseas exhibitions in ASEAN countries every year since 2015. It has successfully held overseas exhibitions in six countries including Thailand, Indonesia, Brunei, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Myanmar.

The overseas exhibition of the 20th CAEXPO and Guangxi Export Fair kicked off in Singapore on April 4, 2023. Taking Singapore as the first station, the CAEXPO restarted its overseas exhibitions in the post-epidemic period. The second exhibition soon took place in Vientiane from April 24 to 26, which attracted many merchants and professional visitors to participate in, purchase, and negotiate for cooperation, with the intended transaction volume hitting over 1.6 billion yuan. On July 12, the third exhibition focusing on the food industry was held in Malaysia, with an exhibition area of 4,000 square meters on a large scale. Meanwhile, the exhibition was first co-located with the 2023 Malaysian International Food & Beverage Trade Fair (MIFB), a renowned event among the locals. In this context, the two events were able to share resources and opportunities.

The overseas exhibition has been a significant measure for the CAEXPO to serve the high-quality Belt and Road cooperation. The overseas exhibitions, along with a series of activities on economic and trade exchanges, have facilitated exchanges and cooperation in key areas between China and ASEAN countries and served as professional, convenient, and effective platforms for enterprises to expand international markets and further seize overseas opportunities.

Back to the unforgettable year 2013 in which the 10th anniversary of the CAEXPO fell, the NICEC, the permanent venue of the event, had "dressed up" in advance for the exciting moment. The venue was surrounded by brilliant f lowers and decorated with elements indicating the "10th anniversary," creating a convivial and ceremonious atmosphere. At the entrance of the No. 3 Gate, there was a huge arch in the shape of "10," which looked magnificent together with the floral design of a "phoenix coronet" on the large lawn.

The year 2023 marks the 20th anniversary of the CAEXPO. Nowadays, the scale of the event is larger and larger, and the quality higher and higher; the exhibitors are in high spirits, and the designers in inventive minds. As the new media prevails, exhibitors are able to leverage the effect brought by internet celebrities or adopt live streaming to introduce and showcase their booths, expanding the brand effect of their own companies. Besides, the design of the exhibition areas is still one of the biggest draws of the CAEXPO. It remains to be seen what surprises the 20th CAEXPO will bring to us.

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