Selling Hangzhou to China and the world
Hangzhou’s natural and cultural resources will be showcased in a major expo opening next week to promote the city’s image and boost its lucrative MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) industry.
The theme of the 20th West Lake International Expo from October 20 to November 11 is “New Times, New Expo,” and the event will focus on the city’s internationalization strategy and the development of its MICE resources.
One highlight is the Hangzhou Bay Forum in the Hangzhou Dragon Hotel on October 17, where political, economic and business leaders will discuss world economic, financial and technological trends, and the future development of Hangzhou.
Another highlight, focusing on tourism, will be the Citizens’ Leisure Festival throughout the expo comprising performances and sports competitions and looking at the local cuisine and at regional cooperation.
Venues are set up in the Xixi Wetland, Tonglu County and Xiaoshan, Fuyang and Lin’an districts. Local tourism resources and culture are integrated into attractive sightseeing routes and activities. They are about promoting Hangzhou and showing travelers what the city has to offer.
The third highlight will be five professional exhibitions involving the fashion, culture, medicine, environmental and education industries from October 20 to 22 at the Hangzhou International Expo Center, covering 50,000 square meters.
They will also serve as an incubator for potential startups in a bid to attract more investment.
The Hangzhou Mugwort Life Experience Exhibition is expected to be a showcase of traditional Chinese medicine in Hangzhou. Mugwort in a pulverized form is burned on specific acupuncture points.
It is also one of the most common herbs used in Hangzhou. Organizers are going to promote TCM therapies, offering medical services and products.
This year’s expo is mainly divided into three sections: conferences, exhibitions and festivals.
Alibaba Group’s Yunqi Conference and the China (Hangzhou) Cultural and Creative Industry Expo looked at the latest in advanced technologies and the creative industry in a precursor to the West Lake Expo.
The expo will also include Money 2020, looking at domestic and international companies across the entire payments, financial technology and services industry, from giants to startups. About 3,000 leading companies will be involved.
Other high-level forums include the New Generation Entrepreneurs Forum, the Zhejiang (Hangzhou) Talent Exchange and Program Cooperation Conference, the China (Hangzhou) International Service Outsourcing Trade Expo, the China Convention and Exhibition Industry Annual Meeting, and the 9th West Lake Public Relations Forum.
These conventions are designed to promote Hangzhou’s internationalization strategy. The Hangzhou government hopes to draw experience and knowledge from the international conferences taking place during the expo.
A series of exhibitions are aimed at attracting investment and talent to the city and have a snowball effect to draw more international events to the city.
These include the 5th Hangzhou International E-commerce Expo, the Asia Design Management Forum, the Hangzhou Crafts and Art Expo, the 19th China Hangzhou Auto Industry Expo, the China International Silk Expo and Hangzhou Fashion Week.
The three-day Hangzhou International E-commerce Expo, which will kick off on October 20 at the Hangzhou International Expo Center, includes an industrial exhibition and leaders summit, eight industrial forums, three theme activities and a couple of brand forums.
It will involve about 700 ecommerce companies from home and abroad, and is expected to attract more than 200,000 visitors.
Some big names for the expo include Zhang Yong, CEO of Alibaba, Joe Weinman, “father of cloudeconomics,” Steve Koenig, vice president of the American Consumer Technology Association, Chen Zhiyu, vice president of Walmart China, and Wu Xiaobo, a noted financial writer.
The five-day Asia Design Management Forum, which has been held in the former Hangzhou Boiler factories since 2005, kicks off on November 1 with the theme of “Make Magic.” It is expected to draw more than 100,000 visitors and 5,000 professionals from home and abroad.
The West Lake Expo is also considered an event for locals as well as people from other parts of China and around the world.
This year includes the Grand Canal China Temple Fair, the Hangzhou International Cultural Tourism Festival, the China (Hangzhou) Food Festival, the Southern Song Dynasty Cultural Festival, the International Hangzhou Trailwalk, the Fuchun River Sports Festival and the International West Lake Rose Wedding Ceremony.
The West Lake Expo, first held in Hangzhou in 1929, was long regarded as one of the biggest exhibitions the country, but closed after 1929. In 2000, the Hangzhou government revived it and it has become an annual extravaganza of leisure, tourism, culture and business.
An artist puts a final touch to an artwork during the 19th Hangzhou West Lake International Expo while children look on. — Ti Gong
Performances by artists from the world are the highlight of the annual West Lake International Expo. This year, troupes from 10 Belt and Road Initiative countries will give performance.