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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 8: Trade, knowledge circulation and diverse trade fair ecologies in China

Harald Bathelt and Gang Zeng

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


According to many indicators, China is among the largest and fastest growing economies in the world and leader of the development processes in Asia. Related to this growth, the country has witnessed fast growth of trade fair activity in recent years (see Golfetto and Rinallo, this volume). At present, however, our knowledge about the structure and trends of the developing trade fair business in China is limited and has been under-researched in academic work. The development of trade fairs and the construction boom surrounding their infrastructure has been unique over the past 20 years (AUMA 2008; UFI 2011; Guo 2011; 2012). By 2009, there were a total of 31 large convention centers (with an indoor exhibition space of at least 50,000 square meters) in Chinese cities, offering a total indoor exhibition space of almost 2.5 million square meters. Within just two years, this infrastructure was extended by almost another 1 million to a total of 3.4 million square meters (+ 38 percent).

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