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MICE business

COEX to run Vietnam’s No.2 convention center as MICE industry takes off

By Mar 09, 2021 (Gmt+09:00)

World Trade Center Binh Duong New City Expo in Vietnam
World Trade Center Binh Duong New City Expo in Vietnam

The Korea International Trade Association (KITA) and its exhibition operating unit, the Convention & Exhibition Center (COEX), will run Vietnam’s second-largest convention center for three years until 2024.

The South Korean trade promotion agency said on Mar. 8 that KITA and COEX have signed a contract with BECAMEX, Vietnam’s investment & development corporation, to operate the World Trade Center Binh Duong New City Expo, located in Binh Duong, north of Ho Chi Minh City, from April of this year.

The construction of the new convention center in Binh Duong, one of Vietnam’s key industrial regions, was completed in February. The center sits on 19,614 square meters of land, including the outside exhibition area.

COEX, the operator of the newly built WTC expo center, advised BECAMEX on the design of the facility in 2019.

“We were able to obtain the operating rights for the exhibition center as a result of our localization efforts there in the past 10 years,” said a COEX official.

World Trade Center Binh Duong New City Expo in Vietnam
World Trade Center Binh Duong New City Expo in Vietnam

MICE INDUSTRY

The deal marks the second time a Korean expo operator has won the rights to run a convention and exhibition center in a foreign country. In 2018, KINTEX Inc., the operator of Korea’s largest exhibition venue in Goyang, Gyeonggi Province, secured the rights to run the India International Convention & Expo Center (IICC) for 20 years.

The Korean government has been promoting the industry of meetings, incentives, conferences and events, known as MICE, as one of its key growth engines.

In recent decades, many countries and regions across the world have invested significantly in the MICE industry, hoping to drive tourism and economic development.

The MICE industry in the Asia-Pacific is generating revenue of hundreds of billions of dollars a year. The region is one of the world’s fastest-growing markets, fueled by a high penetration of technology, the luring of investors by emerging countries and strongly influenced by government policies.

COEX, which entered Vietnam’s MICE market in 2009, is hosting about seven conventions and exhibitions a year in the logistics, education, food, machinery and energy sectors in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi.

COEX hosts an exhibition at its venue in southern Seoul
COEX hosts an exhibition at its venue in southern Seoul

BINH DUONG, NEW INDUSTRIAL HUB

The Vietnamese government aims to develop Binh Duong, a small province in the southern part of the country, as one of its major industrial regions, building several business complexes including hotels, shopping malls, performance venues and exhibition centers.

About 3,200 enterprises mostly from Asia, including Singapore, Taiwan and Japan, have business operations in 29 industrial complexes in the Binh Duong province. Among the companies are some 800 Korean firms, including CJ, Kolon, Kumho Tire Co., Ottogi Co. and Orion Corp.

“We hope to help more Korean companies, big and small, advance into the growing Vietnamese market by hosting various exhibitions and through other business activities at the WTC expo center,” said Kang Ho-yeon, a senior executive at COEX.

Write to Seon-Woo Lee at Seonwoo.lee@hankyung.com

In-Soo Nam edited this article.

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