The Russian Federation of Industry and Trade in Moscow has hosted a meeting of the Interdepartmental Commission on Exhibition and Trade Fair Activities. Representatives of federal executive bodies and organisations, including the Russian Federation Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Russian Union of Exhibitions and Fairs, the Roscongress Foundation, and Convention Bureau Russia, were among those who took part.
Participants discussed questions connected with the passage of a federal law on trade fairs and conventions, evaluated the development of this sector in Russia, and discussed the key conventions and trade fairs that will take place in Russia and abroad in 2019.
Director of Convention Bureau Russia Alexey Kalachev stressed that the concepts of the federal law on trade fairs and conventions proposed to date lack sufficient focus on conventions as an activity and proposed that this is corrected in the final version of the law. «This market segment is not considered as independent, just as an appendage to exhibitions, which is not entirely appropriate. We also think that it is important to establish a legal basis for criteria that define the quality of services and qualifications of the participants in those who compete to host events, as this will help ensure the most professional companies participate in the procurement process. Another initiative we have identified involves measures to simplify the visa process for international participants in business events that take place within Russia, as this would help increase the export volume for event services,» Alexey Kalachev said.
Member of the Praesidium of the Russian Union of Exhibitions and Fairs, CEO of ExpoForum International, Sergei Voronkov, stressed the vital need for a legal framework for this area of economic activity, defined as convention and exhibition activity, and to add this to the Russian Classification of Economic Activities. Sergei Voronkov also proposed to expand the sectoral law with a description of the role of all the agencies that are most active in managing this sector, the federal and regional agencies that have oversight in this area, the Russian Federation Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Russian Union of Exhibitions and Fairs, sectoral associations, which across the world play a key role as co-organisers of major events, national convention bureau, and congress bureau in the constituent entities of the Russian Federation.
As Deputy CEO for Organisational Development at the Roscongress Foundation, Dmitry Mikhaylov, noted, the effective development of Russias convention and exhibition sector requires, in many regions, the development of the necessary infrastructure.
«The convention capacity of Moscow and St. Petersburg is markedly different from that of other regions. In order to develop this convention and exhibition infrastructure state support is vital, as are enhanced tools for public-private partnership where the attraction of private capital is involved, since a return on investment in this kind of infrastructure is more complex than investments in commercial or residential property. The passage of a law that not only defined convention and exhibition activity, but which also put in place the corresponding measures in state support, would help facilitate this,» said Dmitry Mikhaylov.
In conclusion, the Deputy Minister for Industry and Trade Georgy Kalamanov, who chaired the meeting of the interdepartmental commission, gave instructions for further work to finalise the draft federal law on exhibition and convention activities to take place as soon as possible within the framework of existing expert groups.