Pudong Hongqiao Important Notices
Commercial airport, retail summit staged in Shanghai

The 11th China Airport Commercial & Retail Summit was staged in East China's Shanghai city on Oct 20-21 – in an event helping to pave the way for the dynamic development of the national airport sector in the post COVID-19 epidemic era.

The event was said to be the largest and most influential of its kind in China's civil aviation industry – launching an invaluable in-depth discussion on the development and transformation of the airport sector. Nearly 500 participants from airports, airlines and retail brands across the country attended the summit.

Since last year, due to the impact of the novel coronavirus epidemic, commercial reform of China's airports has been on the agenda. It is widely viewed in civil aviation that only by carrying out deeper integration and innovation can the national airport sector seize opportunities better and engage in proactive and productive development.

Lai Xiaoyi, the second inspector of the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Commerce, said that Shanghai's faster evolution into becoming an international consumption center was a major strategic decision made by the CPC Central Committee and the State Council – based on the new development stage, implementing the new development concept and building a new development pattern.

She added that it was important for transforming the path to economic growth and meeting the needs of  people for a better life.

With the approval of the State Council, five cities in the country including Shanghai have taken the lead in developing as international consumption centers.

In 2020, Shanghai's total retail sales reached 1.59 trillion yuan ($248.52 billion), ranking it first among all the cities in the country – with the imports of goods to the metropolis accounting for one-third of the national total. Meanwhile, the concentration of international brands there ranked second in the world.

Lai said that Shanghai would support the promotion of airport commercial reforms. It would also optimize its airport business environment, improve the quality of airport business services and play a greater role in developing the city as an international consumer hub.

Kong Fuan, the deputy director of Shanghai Hongqiao International Central Business District (Hongqiao CBD) Management Committee, gave a talk in which he said Hongqiao CBD was the location of Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport and the permanent venue of the China International Import Expo. With the support of multiple national strategies, Hongqiao CBD was being built into a powerful conduit for Shanghai's economic development.

Moreover, Kong said Hongqiao CBD was aiming to create a new landmark for international shopping, helped by using innovative marketing campaigns.

He said Hongqiao CBD would focus on the concept of "first store, first brand, first show and first launch" and it would center on the daily consumer products to create a new type of consumer cycle, creating a first-launch economy for industrial products around high-end equipment manufacturing.

It would also explore new links with major business districts and jointly promote the Hongqiao Food Festival and other themed activities. Meanwhile, a series of policies had been issued to attract more high-end enterprises, brands and activities to move to Hongqiao. It was deemed that these would help create a global consumer goods distribution center, Kong added.

On behalf of the organizers, Shen Shujun, CFO of Shanghai Airport Authority, told the summit that this year was particularly important in that it marked the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China, the 100th anniversary of the establishment of Shanghai airport – and was a crucial year for the development of the airport sector which was in urgent need of breakthroughs.

Shen said that Shanghai Airport Authority's non-aeronautical revenue had consistently exceeded half the company's overall revenue. The development of its commercial catering and tax-free ventures, he said, was exemplary, exploring a path for the development of the non-aeronautical sector with Shanghai characteristics.

He pointed out that due to the challenges in the prevention and control of the COVID-19 pandemic, the entire industry continued to face common management and epidemic prevention pressures. To get out of the development predicament caused by the outbreak, the entire sector needed to work together to overcome the challenges. The summit had created an invaluable platform for in-depth exchanges and cooperation, Shen added.

During the two-day summit, participants focused on the core idea of "how the airport businesses face challenges, seize opportunities and take advantage of the situation to create new breakthroughs". They gave keynote speeches or participated in forum discussions on the future development of domestic airport retail businesses.

The event was widely seen to have demonstrated the resolve of China's civil aviation workforce to endeavor to face the changes and challenges and had expressed a determination to win through, with an optimistic vision of the future.

Moreover, it was felt that faced with the new situations and changes, this positive leitmotif would provide a solid cornerstone for the strong emergence of China's airport commerce.