Qingdao, China: A sharp increase in exhibit space by overseas companies looking to cash in on China’s rapidly growing appetite for imported seafood helped China Fisheries & Seafood Expo set a new record for exhibit space for the 15th consecutive year.
The 21st annual edition of the show will be held at the Qingdao International Expo Center from November 2-4. The total exhibit space will be almost 35,000 square meters, an increase of about 16 percent over last year. That makes Asia’s largest seafood show similar in size to the Brussels seafood show, the world’s largest. An estimated 25,000 visitors from 100 countries are expected to attend.
“Most of the growth in this year’s show is due to a healthy increase in the amount of exhibit space in the overseas halls,” says Peter Redmayne, president of Seattle-based Sea Fare Expositions, Inc., the co-founder and overseas organizer of the show. “We’ve seen another surge in the number of national pavilions,” he says. “This year, for example, we have a very large pavilion from the Russian Federation, as well as new pavilions from Taiwan, Indonesia, Malaysia and Spain. In addition we’re seeing a lot more individual companies exhibiting from Asian countries such as Korea and Japan, as they look to sales in China to replace declining sales in their traditional markets.” Overseas companies, he says, now account for about a third of the show’s exhibit space. The show has 22 national pavilions this year.
“Asia is the world’s largest consumer of seafood, so it’s logical that over time China Fisheries & Seafood Expo becomes the world’s largest seafood show,” says Yang Hong, general manager of Beijing-based Sea Fare (China) Ltd. “And, of course, China is driving the growth in Asian seafood demand. As China becomes more of a consumption and consumer-driven economy, this demand for seafood will grow even faster because Chinese people really love seafood for a variety of reasons and they’re willing to pay a premium for imported seafood. They think it’s safer and the quality is better.”
“The China market is the driver behind so many seafood commodities now,” says Jennie Fu, the show’s marketing manager. “Argentine and Ecuadorian shrimp, lobster from North America, Australia and New Zealand, abalone and sea cucumber and ribbonfish from all over, Dungeness, brown and king crab – Chinese demand for these and many more seafoods increasingly dominates global markets. I don’t see this changing.”