Be aware of China

Everybody who expected VIV China 2009 to be a local event, which would not favour international exhibitors, was wrong.

The discussion on how many shows should be organised when and where will remain for some time an important issue in the international poultry business. With increasing importance of the internet, the question even comes up whether exhibitions should actually be events of the past.

When one year ago the Chinese partners of VNU exhibitions decided to opt for an annual show, instead of organising it every two years, everybody in the international business questioned: Why? There was a call for fewer shows, so why add another one to a list which already is far too long?

What nobody realised, however, was that the 2009 edition of VIV China had to replace another show, which also was supported by the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture. VNU Exhibition’s hesitation to have one more show in China on their agenda could be understood.

The success of the event held mid-October proved that their Chinese partners were right. Although the number of international exhibitors was less than one year ago, as one could expect, the number of international visitors was surprisingly better than anticipated. It was not a national event as many expected, but an event where many Asian and Middle East business people witnessed the rapid developments in the Chinese agro-industry.

China has also suffered from the economic crisis, but the agro-food industry enjoys an increasing demand and thus an ongoing expansion in production capacity. The demand for high quality production systems and inputs is there, and that was what most of the present international exhibitors experienced. Several mentioned good business deals and positive talks in tightening the relationship with existing and potential customers.

It was very interesting to see that nearly all Chinese exhibitors presented themselves much more professionally than they did several years ago. This is not just in terms of having a nice presentation, or having somebody present who can speak English. A rapidly increasing number of Chinese companies can meet the international standards for product quality and safety. This is recognised by many international traders, of which many were present chasing for interesting business deals. In this respect, VIV China was a place where visitors could see how fast the Chinese agro-industry is developing and trying to be a serious competitor on the international market for top quality products. The country has huge potential for expanding its domestic agro-food industry as well as the production of all systems needed by this industry.

This raises the question whether today a serious player in the international poultry industry can afford to stay away from a leading show in the Chinese market.

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