The Kaohsiung Exhibition and Convention Center, set to open next year, is expected to create up to 30,000 jobs a year after 10 years in operation, the center’s operator said yesterday.
After seven years of planning and two years under construction, the center is scheduled to open in April for the annual Taiwan International Fastener Show, Kaohsiung Exhibition Center Corp president Michael Tu (涂建國) told a press conference.
Other shows scheduled for next year are the Taiwan International Boat Show in May and the Kaohsiung Food Show in October, Tu added.
Established to provide a venue for expo organizers in the south, the center will be able to host more than 30 exhibitions a year and create about 1,000 jobs for each event, Tu said.
“The center is also helpful to the nation’s meetings, incentives, conferencing and exhibitions [MICE] industry,” he said.
“We expect to enhance Greater Kaohsiung’s competitiveness [with the opening of the center] and reinvigorate Kaohsiung Harbor,” he added.
Kaohsiung Exhibition Center Corp will be managing the center’s daily operation for 12-and-a-half-years starting next year, according to a contract the company signed with the Ministry of Economic Affairs yesterday.
Tu said the company plans to invest NT$250 million (US$8.34 million) to upgrade the center in the coming years and aims to generate up to NT$3.4 billion in return on investment by the end of 2026.
The center also hopes to differentiate itself from the Taipei World Trade Center by offering better management with lower carbon emissions, he said.
Meanwhile, Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) chairman Wang Chih-kang (王志剛) said he expected the Kaohsiung center to help develop Greater Kaohsiung into an internationally renowned city featuring its local MICE industry.
“I’ve been worried about Taiwan’s MICE industry, having seen how China and Hong Kong have added more expo centers to exhibit China-made products,” Wang said.
He said the center is also crucial to balance economic development in the north and south and should be beneficial to Greater Kaohsiung’s yacht-building industry and tourism.
The economics ministry initiated the center project in 2006, which costs up to NT$3 billion. The center has a total floor area of 67,000m2, which can accommodate 1,424 exhibition booths and different meeting room sizes suitable for up to 4,000 people, the company said.