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Chengdu: China's Next Expo Capital?
It is hard to talk about China's rapid economic development without mentioning the city of Chengdu. The city has been named one of the "Next Decade's Fastest-Growing Cities Globally", "World's Best Emerging Business Cities", and the "Benchmark City for Investment Environment in Inland China" by the magazines of Forbes and Fortune and World Bank respectively. Its rapid economic lift-off has attracted many technology and software firms who are calling it the next Silicon Valley of China. Also, as statistics indicate the city has attracted 207 of the world's top 500 firms, 13 out of the top 20 leading global software companies, 40 delivery centers of multinationals, nine consulates and branches of 13 foreign banks.
To spur growth even further and supply newly incoming companies with a solid foundation for business, Chengdu is currently focusing on expanding its exhibition sector. The city hopes to become China's exhibition capital by 2015 and Asia's exhibition hub by 2030, according to a senior city official. The city expects 5 billion dollars of revenue from the sector this year and 10 billion per year by the year 2015. As of now, 450 events are planned for 2012 including three large international conferences who will come to the city this year, allowing it to maintain momentum from last year, during which the city hosted the ninth East Asia Forum, the 2011 APEC SME Summit and the 12th Western China International Fair.
A flourishing exhibition sector will allow Chengdu to maintain its rank as one of the strongest and fastest growing cities in China.