Exhibition World Issue 5 - 2018 - Page 27

Analysis Fuelling growth Nidhi Sharma, executive director of the Indian Exhibition Industry Association (IEIA), outlines her government’s support for exhibitions in India and their importance to the economy. It is a well-known fact that India is fast outpacing other developing countries in terms of GDP growth rate and the size of its economy. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) counts India as a source of considerable growth for the global economy over the next few decades, following in the financial footsteps of China. Recently ranked third in the world for the number of billionaires in the country, India is also contributing a substantial 15% of the growth in the global economy. This clearly indicates a great underlying potential in the country as a promising exhibitions market. Looking into the state of structural reforms and the present state of the economy, India has already recovered from the effects of two major structural reforms taken by the Government of India, by way of demonetisation and GST (Goods and Services tax) implementation. In terms of ease of doing business, India has now fallen 30 places from its former ranking of 130th to 100th and is still rapidly improving, via many positive reforms implemented by the current government. India also ranks well for ease of trade imports and exports. With regards to the outlook and specific performance of India’s exhibitions industry, a recent report by UFI shows a highly w w w.exhibitionworld.co.uk “A majority of sectors earmarked by our government’s ‘Made In India’ initiative are now represented by bourgeoning exhibitions” positive outlook, with India occupying the highest position in terms of increased performance, followed by the U.S. and Germany. This shows positive growth prospects inherent in the country’s exhibitions business. India is also leading the way in the digitisation of its exhibitions businesses. Enhanced implementation and the use of digital channels are widely reported by a majority of players. The sector split of exhibitions further reflects their relevancy to the Indian government’s ‘Made in India’ initiative. The majority of sectors earmarked by the campaign are now represented by bourgeoning exhibitions. With continued support, the Indian exhibitions sector is poised to register double digit growth in the coming few years. Increased spend on infrastructure and expansion by existing exhibition venues, plus the opening of new venues will only add to the overall growth of this sector. Exhibition Industry growth rates in India are currently above the average in Asia i.e. around eight per cent for the last three years. With continuous efforts by the IEIA (Indian Exhibition Industry Association), the government is considering the inclusion of exhibitions as part of a list of championed sectors - those that are required to fuel the overall growth of the Indian economy. The association is also working hard towards streamlining the organisation of exhibitions in various regions, again with positive support from the government. With interest for professional international level training programmess around exhibition management, like CEM (certified in exhibitions management), the need for high-quality professionals in the industry is also being met, supporting further growth and performance standards in the sector. Issue 5 2018 25