Peter Redmayne sees Qingdao show returning to normal in 2023

The co-organizer of the China Fisheries and Seafood Expo is hoping for a return to normal in 2023 after years of disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 2022 version of the event, running from 26 to 28 October in Qingdao, China, will be limited to domestic buyers due to local COVID restrictions, according to Peter Redmayne, president of the US-based Sea Fare Group.

“It looks like this year’s show will be a lot like last year in that the only overseas exhibitor and visitors will be companies that have staff in China,” Redmayne told SeafoodSource.

While China’s recent move to shorten quarantine for inbound visitors to seven days is a “step in the right direction,” it’s still onerous, Redmayne said.

“But the main problem is that it is very, very difficult to get a visa. We have leverage because of the [China] Ministry of Agriculture is our partner in the show. Still, the amount of hoops you have to go through is extraordinary,” he said. “Nevertheless, even though CFSE is mainly a domestic show, it’s still a good show, as most Chinese exporters have a strong focus on the domestic market, even if it’s not growing like it was pre-pandemic. We still expect over 1,000 exhibiting companies.”

Redmayne said he hopes the 2023 show marks a return to the larger-sized presence of the show it achieved prior to the COVID pandemic.

“We’re hoping we can turn the page on COVID by the 2023 show, but we won’t know anything until after the [Communist] Party Congress this fall. Until then, we can only hope that Chinese officials will put their focus on opening up and getting the economy moving again,” he said.

The expo’s organizers put more focus on technology at the 2021 show and will do so again this year, Redmayne said.

“Video conferencing will never totally replace a show, of course. The CFSE Marketplace basically replaces a printed show directory with added bells and whistles. It’s safe to say it will take a while for the seafood industry to totally adapt it,” he said. “We’re organizing a Norway-China Seafood Matchmaking Webinar, which will be hosted on the Marketplace Platform on August 24. We’ll see how that goes.”

Photo courtesy of China Fisheries and Seafood Expo

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