City’s new boost for foreign trade shows

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The city’s legislature passed a law on Thursday which enables overseas companies to host trade shows in Shanghai without teaming up with local companies. Under national rules introduced in 1998, overseas companies can hold international trade shows in China only by commissioning or joining a local company to do so.

The law defines exhibitions as business events where products, technologies or services are presented and which offer road shows, B2B meetings and business exchanges. The law also has stipulations to enable fast exhibition applications, ensure public security at large-scale events, provide convenience to foreigners who attend, and to secure efficient intellectual property rights protection.

The government is to establish an online portal where companies intending to hold exhibitions can apply to all relevant administrations via the Internet, the first time government administrations have aggregated services at a “single window” for a thematic economic activity. The law also says exhibition organizers can request security and other necessary services from the government for events expected to draw more than 50,000 visitors per day. It also asks the exit-entry administration to provide exit-entry convenience to “relevant people in major bodies of the exhibition organizers who have a good credit record.”

The law will come into effect on May 1.

Shanghai led all Chinese cities with 42 exhibitions of floor space of over 100,000 square meters in 2018. Meanwhile, 12 exhibitions held in the city were listed among the top 100 exhibitions around the world, according to the Shanghai People’s Congress.