The Rise of Trade Fairs in the Asia-Pacific Region
Edited by Harald Bathelt and Gang Zeng
Chapter 5: Temporary clustering in developing economies: trade fairs in South and Southeast Asia
In the past several years, a knowledge-based theory of temporary gatherings has fundamentally changed our understanding and interpretation of trade fairs (Maskell 2001; Bathelt et al. 2014). As events that can be traced back to traditional societies, trade fairs have long been regarded as market places where transactions are made (Allix 1922; Milgrom et al. 1990). They are viewed as configurations that solved the fundamental problem of creating market arrangements for the exchange of goods in early stages of capitalism before the modern trading system had existed (Epstein 1994). In geography, traditional trade fairs were explained as underdeveloped central places in areas where there was not sufficient demand to support the development of permanent commercial centers (Berry and Parr 1988). Although such market-based understandings of trade fairs still describe some important features of current events, the transformation of trade fairs in the knowledge economy brings about new dimensions of these events that go beyond traditional explanations.
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