Table of Contents

Temporary Knowledge Ecologies

Temporary Knowledge Ecologies

The Rise of Trade Fairs in the Asia-Pacific Region

Edited by Harald Bathelt and Gang Zeng

Temporary Knowledge Ecologies investigates and theorizes the nature, rise and evolution of trade fair knowledge ecologies in the Asia-Pacific region. It provides a comprehensive overview of trade fairs in this key world region applying a comparative perspective that involves highly diverse developed and developing countries. The book identifies (i) knowledge generation and transfer processes through trade fairs, (ii) interrelationships between industrial specialization and trade fair specialization, and (iii) linkages between economic development, industrial policy and trade fair development.

Chapter 1: Asia-Pacific trade fair dynamics: an introduction

Gang Zeng and Harald Bathelt

Subjects: economics and finance, international economics, geography, economic geography


When considering the importance of political and economic changes in the Asia-Pacific region and the decisive role of trade fairs in supporting and enabling such developments, it is surprising how little research exists about the rise, nature and dynamics of such events. Trade fairs provide the basis for wider trade flows and exchanges of goods between local/regional, national and international firms and thus contribute to the economic globalization of regions and national states. Given the lack of related research, the agenda behind this book is to bridge important knowledge gaps regarding the trade fair business in the Asia-Pacific region. Specifically, the goals of this book project are as follows: First, we aim to provide an overview of trade fair developments in the Asia-Pacific region and identify which factors impact these processes. Second, we aim to show how the evolution of trade fair activities differs between the countries and sub-regions of the Asia-Pacific region and in which way political and economic changes impact these varied development trajectories. Third, we synthesize these developments to conceptualize more broadly the rise of Asia-Pacific trade fairs and discuss their implications. Although a distinction could be made between ‘trade fairs’ and ‘trade shows’ (Bathelt et al. 2014), we follow many studies in the field that use both terms more or less synonymously.