Hong Kong Exhibition & Convention Industry Association welcomes new grant

Published on : Friday, October 8, 2021

Hong Kong

The Hong Kong Exhibition & Convention Industry Association (“HKECIA”) welcomes the latest HKSAR Government’s Policy Address recognizing that the convention and exhibition industry is crucial to Hong Kong as an international trade centre, and announcing the further extension of the Convention and Exhibition Industry Subsidy Scheme (“Scheme”) for six months to December 31, 2022, in response to demand from the convention and exhibition industry.

Part of the Scheme’s funding will also be allocated to provide a one-off immediate relief measure to private organisers of exhibitions with a clear track record of being held in Hong Kong to help them cope with the impact of the prolonged postponement or cancellation of exhibitions under the pandemic. Private organisers of exhibitions which were held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre or AsiaWorld-Expo in at least any five calendar years from 2015 to 2021 may apply for the one-off immediate relief measure from the Government via the venue operators on or before November 30, 2021. The amount of the immediate relief will be equivalent to 20% of the average annual rental of the relevant exhibitions, subject to a cap of HK$1 million (US$128,500) per event. Application guidelines and forms have been uploaded onto the website of the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau.

Mr Stuart Bailey, Chairman of the HKECIA, said, “The HKECIA welcomes government’s additional relief measures, in response to demand from our industry. The convention and exhibition industry has been in deep water since February 2020 as no international event was able to be held in Hong Kong due to travel restrictions and preventive measures. Only small-scale consumer exhibitions resumed. The further extension of the Scheme and the one-off immediate relief fund are timely relief measures for the industry, helping ease financial burdens on the convention and exhibition organisers who can therefore get ready for the industry revival.

“We continue to call on the government to provide a road map for the relaxation of quarantine measures for international business travellers so that the industry can stage large scale events again. Without a proper plan in place some trade exhibitions will leave Hong Kong and then no amount of assistance will be enough to save the industry,” Mr Bailey stressed.

The government launched the Convention and Exhibition Industry Subsidy Scheme with a total commitment of HK$1.07 billion (US$137.5 million) to render much-needed support to the convention and exhibition industry. HK$620 million (US$79.7 million) out of the HK$1,070 million (US$137.5 million) Scheme subsidises private organisers of exhibitions and international conventions held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre and AsiaWorld-Expo 100% of the venue rental. The Scheme has been extended twice since it was launched on 3 October 2020.

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