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Problems hinder the development of the convention and exhibition industry

22 January 2014

Very soon, on February 19, Parliament hearings in the Federation Council will be held on the development of exhibition and trade fair activities in Russia. This was announced by Sergey Bednov, Chairman of the RF CCI Committee on Fair and Exhibition Activities, General Director of Expocentre during an expanded meeting of the Committee held on the first day of the 3rd Europe+Asia Event Forum.
According to him, the already developed Exhibition Activity Concept has been pending approval in the depths of the Ministry of Industry and Trade for almost a year. These Parliament hearings were organised to expedite its examination by the RF Government. Also, in the course of the hearings, it is expected to discuss the legal framework of the exhibition activities, and to declare development of a fundamental law and a chain of statutory documents in its furtherance. According to the speaker, it is necessary to divide the powers of the Federation and regions in this sector, and amend a number of existing regulations that hinder the exhibition and trade fair activities.  'For example, last year, participation of the largest suppliers of alcoholic beverages in the Prodexpo exhibition was nearly called off,'  - he explained, - 'because Russian law prohibited tasting, but it is impossible to get the effect of the exhibition for this kind of product without it. Some countries (Chile, Argentina and others) even filed notes of protest.' Another problem is importing exhibition products from abroad.  'If import tariff barriers are strong, - a speaker from Khabarovsk said, - 'then export barriers are totally impassable. Exhibitors have to either sell their exhibits, or give them to the Russian organisers.'
A serious problem will be faced by the exhibition and convention business owners next year, when the property tax will be paid from cadastral values. 'The point is, the exhibition property is valued the same way as shopping centres, although social and educational rather than commercial aspect is strong in our activities,' - Sergey Bednov said. Finally, it is important to establish a Council for coordination of exhibition and trade fair activities  to distribute exhibitions of the same type over dates and venues. Moreover, the Council should not only coordinate Russian events, but also correlate them with foreign events, Chairman of the RF CCI Committee on Fair and Exhibition Activities believes. All these issues will be discussed at the Parliamentary hearings, with all ministers and 55 governors, including George Poltavchenko, invited.