Economy. A new Economic Impact Study released on the Hong Kong exhibition industry reveals that exhibitions are contributing more than ever before to Hong Kong’s economy. In 2012, the calendar year covered by the study, the exhibition industry was responsible for a substantial HK$40.8 billion of expenditure in Hong Kong, a rise of 14% from the figures for 2010 and a 6.7% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2010. This amount represents 2.0% of Hong Kong’s overall GDP, an exceptionally strong contribution from an industry that often slips under the radar of the city’s major performers.
The study reveals that the exhibition industry is responsible for other significant economic benefits too. Fiscal benefits amounting to around HK$1.4 billion for 2012 were identified, representing a 13% CAGR since 2010. Fiscal benefits are those taken by the government in the form of salary, profits and airport taxes on people and companies involved in the exhibition industry. Also assessed were the employment opportunities generated by the exhibition industry. For 2012, the industry was estimated to provide 69,600 Full Time Equivalent (FTE) employments— a CAGR from 2010 of 0.3%.
Commenting on the study, Chairman of the Hong Kong Exhibition and Convention Industry Association (HKECIA) Mr Daniel Cheung said, “The period from 2010 to 2012 was a difficult one economically, so it is good news to find from this independently verified study that the exhibition industry in Hong Kong has remained so robust. Besides affirming the internal health of our exhibition industry, this study shows its direct link with Hong Kong’s wider prosperity. Exhibitions bring in large amounts of business opportunities and attract hundreds of thousands of high-spending visitors. The expenditure and employment opportunities benefit not just exhibition industry players such as venue operators, exhibition organisers and stand contractors, but also hotels, retail, F&B, advertising and other sectors. More generally, they play a vital part in reinforcing Hong Kong’s image as a vibrant, business-friendly international city, and maintaining our status as a global centre for exhibition activity.”
Regarding ongoing exhibition industry growth, Mr Cheung noted, “Businesses are continuing to see Hong Kong as the logical gateway to mainland China and other Asian markets, regardless of the economic climate. This study shows that the exhibition industry in Hong Kong still holds a significant edge due to its simple, user-friendly business regime, its geographical position, and the exceptionally high standards provided by the major exhibition venues here. We must do all we can to maintain this competitive advantage over aggressive competition from the region.”
The Economic Impact Study, conducted biennially since 2004, was commissioned by the HKECIA and carried out by KPMG Transaction Advisory Services Limited, a respected independent research consultancy.