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China’s automotive industry is expected to continue growing by double digits for at least a decade

Automotive Industries spoke to Carson Ho, general manager of Eastcon International

China’s automotive industry is expected to continue growing by double digits for at least a decade. The growth is being fueled by both local sales as well as exports. Last year China overtook Japan to become the world’s second largest auto market after the United States, with total sales of 7.2 million vehicles and output of 7.3 million. By 2010, nearly five million passenger vehicles are expected to be sold annually in China. Along with this boom, comes the growth in the auto parts and after-market industries.

Reflecting the rapid growth of the industry, a new fair called the Global Auto Parts & Accessories Show or GAPA will be held in Macao in from the 14th to the 16th of April, 2008. “Macao 2008 is a brand new and unrivaled sourcing event for the auto parts and accessories industries.

Strategically positioned in Macao in the Peoples Republic of China and scheduled in mid-April to coincide with major trade fairs in the region, the GAPA Show – Macao 2008 takes full advantage of the peak sourcing season traffic. Together with strong support from industry bodies, the GAPA Show – Macao 2008 is an essential stop for international buyers and manufacturers alike,” say the show organizers.

The exhibition’s organizers are Eastcon International Limited which is headquartered in Hong Kong. They expect 800 exhibitors and 50,000 buyers at the GAPA show. Eastcon International is a premiere industry specific trade fair organizer. Its team of industry professionals and partners has over three decades of combined experience in event organization and exhibition engineering in the region. Eastcon says that apart from the GAPA show being held in April, coinciding with major industry trade fairs in the region, other advantages for participants is that it is being hosted at the brand new, state of the art Venetian Macao Convention and Exhibition Center.

This center is opening on October 1st this year, and will have nearly 1.2 million-square feet of meeting, convention and exhibition space, more than twice the amount of the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center. It is being touted as the cornerstone of the development of the Cotai Strip™ – a replica of Las Vegas in China. The Venetian Macao Convention and Exhibition Center, is part of the Venetian Macho Resort Hotel – an integrated world-class resort that will feature 3000 luxurious suites, 100 meeting and conference rooms, entertainment theatres, retail mall space and of course, the exhibition space. The Venetian Hotel Complex is a replica of the Venice and will offer a magnificent beach wave pool. The Venetian Macao will be adjacent to Macao Ferry Terminal, Macao International Airport and the 24 hour Lotus Bridge border crossing to mainland China, giving visitors to the Cotai Strip™ easy access to the mainland which is not available at other convention destination.

Eastcon International also promises to hard-sell the GAPA show across the world. Marketing teams will be sent across the globe to promote the show; multi-media channels will enhance the show’s visibility. A generous sponsored buyers program is being conducted to attract quality buyers.

Eastcon also says it will state marketing road shows at major auto parts manufacturing facilities to attract anchor exhibitors. “The GAPA Show – Macao 2008 is particularly suited for manufacturers, distributors, importers, exporters, online and store retailers, trading companies, service suppliers, sales agents, and technicians alike,” says Eastcon.

Automotive Industries spoke to Carson Ho, general manager of Eastcon International

AI: Why did you think a new exhibition was necessary?

Today, China is the world’s 2nd largest market for automobiles. Major auto shows are held yearly in major cities such as Shanghai and Beijing. However, in southern China, it is still lacking an auto parts specific trade show with international significance. Thus we see an opportunity here.

AI: How will GAPA be different from other such exhibitions in the region?

The GAPA Show is the first of its kind auto parts specific trade show to be held in Macao. And Macao is strategically located at the southern tip of China that within a 5 hour flight, one can reach almost half the world’s population. Finally, the show venue is like no other in the region. All the facilities are located under one roof, saving participants time, money, and headaches.

AI: What kind of response have you received for GAPA 2008 so far?

Response has been tremendous. We’ve just started our marketing road show tour to major auto parts manufacturing bases in China. We’ll also be sending our own people to big trade shows all over the world, such as the Equip Auto show in Paris, the AAPEX show in Las Vegas, to promote and attract visitors to the GAPA Show. People are highly attracted to Macao due to its recent rise to fame as an international convention and resort hotspot! So we expect a great turn out, both in exhibitors and buyers, at the GAPA Show in 2008.

AI: Will the GAPA show become an annual feature in Macao? Or do you see it traveling to other parts of China?
Most definitely. In fact, we’ve already reserved the show venue for following 3 years. And yes we do have plans to take GAPA Show to other destinations in China in the medium term.

AI: From which countries has the response to the GAPA show been particularly good? And why?

Aside from China, we’re seeing very good response from Portuguese speaking countries. Mainly I think it’s because we take advantage of Macao’s past, being a Portuguese colony. There’s a lot of ties back to these countries, both culturally and business-wise. We also see great response from South East Asian countries such as Singapore and Malaysia because we do engage a network of overseas agents to help further promote the GAPA Show.

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