Interview with Eugen Egetenmeir, Member of the Management Board of Messe München GmbH

Topic: Prospects for the trade fairs bauma China in Shanghai and bC India in Mumbai

Question: bauma China 2010, which is taking place from 23 to 26 November at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre (SNIEC), is once again preparing for a record event: around 1,700 exhibitors from 30 countries are expected and the 220,000 square metres of exhibition space has been fully booked since spring of this year. This seems contrary to the economic trend around the world, because the global construction machinery industry has also suffered a decline in orders during the economic crisis of 2009, and is only now slowly picking up.

How can we explain the positive response to bauma China 2010?

Egetenmeir: The effects of the global economic crisis on the construction machinery industry have varied in the different continents. Many Asian markets, led by China, have continued to grow. Similar development has been experienced by the Indian subcontinent, and also Turkey, for example.

As the organiser of bauma in Munich, which has been the leading trade fair for the international construction industry for five decades, we have succeeded in transferring our concept for success into the growth markets. And, taking individual market-specific factors into consideration, we have also implemented it successfully. The first bauma China took place in 2002 in Shanghai and was very quickly established as the leading trade fair for China and Asia. Conversely, this also benefited bauma in Munich, because the name bauma, which stands for innovations in construction machinery and top-quality event service and organisation, is becoming much better known internationally. For instance, since bauma China started, an increasing number of Asian companies are showing interest in taking part in the trade fair in Munich: more Chinese companies than ever before registered for bauma 2010 in April, for example. With 286 exhibitors China is in third place behind Germany and Italy in the top ten statistics, so we can be very upbeat about the 2010 construction machinery fairs. The world’s leading trade fair in Munich was fully booked, because companies in the industry want to present their innovations in a global competitive environment. bauma China caters specifically for China and Greater Asia. International companies which are focusing increasingly on that growth market are drawn to it, but it is also of interest to Chinese exhibitors. At bauma China they can meet with their customers from China while also having access to the export markets of Asia.

Question: If the entire exhibition area was booked up as early as spring 2010, we have to wonder if the Shanghai venue for bauma China still has growth potential for the future?

Egetenmeir: Two new halls are currently been built in the SNIEC, which we will be able to use for the coming event. These new construction measures will, very roughly, accommodate the increase in demand for exhibition space in the Shanghai venue. SNIEC, which was built by Messe München together with German and Chinese partners, is a relatively new, but very functional exhibition centre, managed according to international standards. Apart from being a successful exhibition centre in China, it also has the highest capacity utilization of any exhibition centre in the world.

Messe München alone has put on seven successful events in the Chinese market since 2002. Of all the trade fairs, bauma China is of course the one that requires the most space. Four more halls will be built by 2011, completing the complex which will then have a total of 17 halls with 200,000 square metres exhibition area and an additional open-air exhibition area comprising an extra 120,000 square metres. With a total of 320,000 square metres, there is enough space available for bauma China to continue to grow.

Question: Finally a quick look at India: what expectations do you have for bC India, which is taking place in Mumbai for the first time in February 2011?

Egetenmeir: India has developed into one of the largest economies in the world. Medium-term forecasts from the economic institutes even predict that India will be the third biggest economy in the world after China and the US.

However, according to experts, the deficits in the country’s infrastructure are reducing the sharp rise in economic growth by about two percent per year. So the fact that India’s prime minister, Manmohan Singh, is allowing for over one trillion US dollars of investment in the country’s infrastructure in the 12th five-year plan for the period from 2012 to 2017 is extremely welcome.

Messe München has made strategic decisions to organise our successful trade fairs in countries where there is an appropriate demand. This has inevitably led the most successful construction machinery fair in the world to the booming economic market of India. bC India, which is taking place in Mumbai for the first time from 8 to 11 February 2011, provides the ideal platform for international exchange in everything to do with construction machinery, building material machines, mining machines, construction vehicles and construction equipment. The fair is being implemented as a joint venture with the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) from the US.

There is a huge demand for what bC India has to offer. As early as February 2010, the exhibition space had to be increased by around 60 percent to 80,000 square metres due to the rush of exhibitors – that shows us that, with India, we have opened up precisely the right market for our construction machinery trade fair.