Hainan's growing consumer products expo open for opportunity

China’s Hainan Provincial Bureau of International Economic Development says its heavyweight consumer goods expo has been hitting record highs in the province’s capital, Haikou. The bureau reports that the China International Consumer Products Expo has been a big success in the island province known for its offshore duty-free shopping and free trade port policies, and is testament to the world’s second-largest economy’s booming consumer market.

Running 13-18 April, the expo, held under the theme: ‘Share Open Opportunities, Co-create a Better Life’, hosted over 4,000 brands from 71 countries and regions. 

In addition to the main venue at the Hainan International Convention and Exhibition Center in Haikou, the provincial capital, three smaller venues hosting complementary events focused on sailboats and yachts, duty-free shopping and international health, were used in Haikou and Boao. The total indoor exhibition area is expected to reach 128,000sqm, surpassing its previous editions. 

More than 300 themed activities and featured activities such as new product releases were carried out at the event series. 

“Over the past three years, the scale, quality and influence of the expo have been continuously improved,” said Peng Qinghua, vice-chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, who attended the show. 

He added: “The expo has become the largest consumer products exhibition in the Asia-Pacific region, a gathering place for global consumer products and a vane for the consumer market, becoming a name card for the construction of Hainan Free Trade Port.”
Feng Fei, secretary of the Hainan Provincial Committee of the Communist Party of China, said the expo will be held in Hainan in future every year on the dates 13-18 April. 

Ireland was the guest of honour at this year's expo, with a dedicated exhibition space showing the country’s scientific and technological innovation, education, investment, tourism and culture. 

“China is our largest trading partner in the Asia Pacific. Many of our companies will be represented at the Hainan consumer products expo,” Irish deputy prime minister and minister for foreign affairs Micheal Martin said in a congratulatory letter to the expo. 

Ann Derwin, Ireland’s ambassador to China, noted that, in 2022, the total bilateral trade between Ireland and China reached over €45bn, a 28% year-on-year increase. 

“Free Trade Zones, such as Hainan Free Trade Port, are an important element and driver of this system as they allow greater freedom and incentives to companies wishing to trade globally,” the ambassador added. 

Israel Alexander Assa, Estée Lauder Companies Travel Retail global president, said that Hainan has made significant progress in developing its duty-free sector in recent years, with improvements in shopping policy and retail infrastructure. 

In the first two months of this year, retail sales of consumer goods totalled approximately $1.14 trillion, an increase of 5.5 percent year on year, said China’s vice-minister of commerce Sheng Qiuping. “This fully reflects the strong resilience and vitality of China's consumer market, and also lays a foundation for stable consumption throughout the year,” the minister added.