Preview to Chinaplas 2021: “New Era – New Potential – Innovation for Sustainability”

The 34th edition of Chinaplas has been rescheduled to 13-16 April 2021, at a new venue –– Shenzhen World Exhibition & Convention Center. The trade fair will from 2021 on alternate between Shenzhen (odd years) and Shanghai (even years). Chinaplas organiser Adsale Exhibition Services Ltd. held a press conference on 23 June to give an outlook to the event 2021. Stanley Chu, Chairman of Adsale, Ada Leung, General Manager of Adsale, and Norris Chu, Project Director of Adsale, announced updates about the trade show and discussed post-pandemic opportunities in the plastics and rubber industries.

New growth opportunities

At the Adsale press conference on 23 June Norris Chu (Project Director), Ada Leung (General Manager), and Stanley Chu (Chairman), gave latest updates on next year’s exhibition. (f.l.t.r.) (Source: Adsale)

“Shenzhen combines China’s enormous market potential and its unique geographic advantages, and the upcoming Chinaplas will help to position the plastics and rubber industries to seize new growth opportunities,” Ada Leung said. Adsale described the current situation as follows: Impacted by COVID-19 pandemic, the global economy is in a deep recession. Facing downward pressure from foreign trade, China’s State Council is redirecting the economic focus from export to a domestic-demand-driven model as the new normal. China’s 1.4-plus-billion population and 400-plus-million middle-income consumers represent the largest such grouping in the world, with an unmatched consumption potential, Adsale said. The expansion of China’s middle class has created high potential for consumption upgrading. In recent years, some labour-intensive and low-end manufacturing work has shifted to other countries. The impact of COVID-19 is reshuffling the global economy and triggering major changes in manufacturing supply chains. China is repositioning itself in the global value chain and climbing toward the higher-end with high-tech products increasingly flowing from China to overseas markets, including such items as communications equipment, high-speed rail systems, and drones. Driven by research and innovation, industries continue to reform and upgrade, in turn increasing the demand for innovation and smart manufacturing in the plastics and rubber industries. In addition, China is actively responding to plastics pollution, accelerating green and sustainable development, and creating market demand for much-needed recycling and green technologies.

Geographic advantages of the Greater Bay Area’s

The Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area is the largest bay area in the world, accounting for 0.6 % of China’s land area, 5 % of its population, and 12 % of the national Gross Domestic Product. Its GDP is expected to reach RMB 28.9 trillion (about USD 4.09 trillion) by 2030, ranking among the top 10 economies in the world. The „9+2“ cities” are accelerating their coordinated development, building a vibrant world-class city cluster, and stimulating new economic momentum. Adsale said, that the Greater Bay Area is not only an international centre of scientific and technological innovation, but also the most concentrated region for plastics processing in China. Plastic products output within the nine cities reached 11.17 million t in 2019, representing more than 13.6 % of the national total (second only to Zhejiang Province) or 83.4 % of Guangdong Province’s total output. The region’s huge market, together with its abundant resources and strong innovation, will help to further advance the plastics and rubber industries, Adsale said.

Shenzhen was made a Pilot Demonstration Area in 2019, as well as being one of the core engines of the Greater Bay Area. In 2018, the total industrial added-value of the Greater Bay Area reached RMB 2.82 trillion (about USD 399 billion), of which Shenzhen accounted for the lion’s share of 32.3 %. „Technology + Innovation“ is Shenzhen’s business profile, with more than 3 million companies located there, including Huawei, ZTE, Tencent, DJI, BYD, TCL and other industrial leaders. In 2018, Guangdong Province invested RMB 270.47 billion (USD 38.3 billion) into R+D funding – the highest in China – and Shenzhen was the leading city within Guangdong.

Cooperation of the 9+2 cities in the Greater Bay area (Source: Adsale)

Post-COVID-19 opportunities

Over the years, China’s plastics and rubber industries have laid a solid foundation and built strong resilience and continuity into the economy, Adsale said. Combined with continually emerging new trends and opportunities, all signs currently point to a positive outlook. In the first quarter, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, business shutdowns, the Chinese New Year off-season and other factors, China’s plastic products output dropped 22.9 % from the same year-ago period. Production resumed in April in an orderly way, and industries’ supply chains gradually returned to normal operations. In April, the year-on-year decline in the total output of plastic products narrowed, achieving a recovery of 8.6 % from the previous month.

In the battle against the pandemic, plastics played a key role in the production and supply of vital healthcare materials, personal protective equipment, medical supplies, and medical facility construction. The pandemic also fueled the rapid growth in demand for take-away service, fresh meal delivery, express delivery, convenience foods, household electronic product, medical supplies and fitness equipment. The post-pandemic era is seeing the acceleration of next-generation 5G wireless technology, artificial intelligence (AI), autonomous vehicles, high-end medical products, antibacterial and antimicrobial surfaces for use in everything from cars to appliances, and more. Demand is expected to remain strong for new materials and technology, including those for key medical applications, safe and protective packaging, and digital production –– as well as for recycled and recyclable materials.

5G opportunities

5G is the frontrunner when it comes to the “new infrastructure”. Adsale said that, the new rotation to Shenzhen has the advantage to help companies in the plastics and rubber industries to seize opportunities in this fast-growing infrastructure space. Shenzhen is actively building a 5G industrial cluster, and is home to a complete 5G industry chain of globally competitive enterprises such as Huawei, ZTE, and more. The resources related to this cluster are helping to accelerate 5G application development.

Ideal venue with full 5G coverage

“In addition to the favorable outlook of the Greater Bay Area, Chinaplas’ decision to move to Shenzhen also takes into account the Shenzhen World Exhibition & Convention Center, an ideal venue for a world-class trade show,” notes Norris Chu. “We’ve been doing a field assessment and multi-party evaluation since the center launched in September 2019. Its 400,000 m² of indoor exhibition space can alleviate the constraint of booth area we experienced in Guangzhou and support Chinaplas’ long-term growth. All of the 19 exhibition halls feature column-free structures and are located on the first floor, very suitable for displaying large-scale machines, and easy for visitors to navigate. The advanced hardware features and supporting services will provide exhibitors and visitors a very convenient and refreshing experience.“

The Shenzhen World Exhibition & Convention Center is situated at the heart of the Greater Bay Area. It is located in the centre of the city cluster and close to the Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport, well-connected to the Hong Kong International Airport and with the industrial cities in the Pearl River Delta closely linked. Adsale said that it is particularly worth noting that this is the world’s first exhibition centre with full 5G coverage.

The Shenzhen World Exhibition & Convention Center is situated close to the Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport. (Source: Adsale)

Online and offline show experiences

In addition to a new fairground experience, Adsale announced that Chinaplas 2021 will also leverage an “online + offline” strategy with the launch of Chinaplas+. For online experiences, Chinaplas has successfully held nine webinars on hot topics during the pandemic, building a cloud communication bridge for industry players. Adsale said that they will soon be introducing an online business matching service, and extending the value of matching demand and supply online; during the show, Adsale said they will partner with Chinese and international media to provide live streaming of the trade show and facilitate online interaction. For offline experiences, new technical seminars will be hosted.

Chinaplas 2021 is organised by Adsale Exhibition Services Ltd., Beijing Yazhan Exhibition Services Ltd., and Adsale Exhibition Services (Shanghai) Ltd. and co-organised by China National Light Industry Council – China Plastics Processing Industry Association, China Plastics Machinery Industry Association, Guangdong Plastics Industry Association, Shenzhen Polymer Industry Association and Messe Düsseldorf China Ltd.