"Asia Outdoor" in Nanjing, China Is Booming

Nanjing, China & Friedrichshafen, Germany – "Asia Outdoor" is in its second year and rapidly growing. By the last day of the show on 26 August 2007, 20 percent more trade visitors had attended the event in Nanjing than in the previous year. During the four days of the exhibition, there were a total of 8,218 trade visitors from China and other parts of Asia, including Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Indonesia, Pakistan and India. On Open House Day on Sunday, trade show organizers reported an additional 3,000 mountaineering and nature sports fans.
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Asia Outdoor, the only trade show for mountaineering and nature sports in Asia, is the result of a close cooperation between Messe Friedrichshafen and organizers in Nanjing. A total of 215 exhibitors, including leading companies from the German outdoor sector like Deuter, Edelrid, Holmenkol, Lowa, Meindl, Tatonka, VAUDE and Zeiss exhibited in Nanjing on a total area of 22,000 sq m, which is 10 percent more exhibition space than the previous year. There were 20 percent more exhibitors at this year's event than at the debut in 2006. The show was complimented by a wide range of sideline events such as presentations, climbing events, mountaineering safety courses, an outdoor fashion show and an outdoor party.

"China is a big outdoor market with enormous potential," says Knut Jaeger, a businessman who was one of the founders of the OutDoor trade show in Friedrichshafen in 1994. Jaeger has been working for years with outdoor companies in China and he is one of the initiators of the trade show in Nanjing. The German entrepreneur is convinced that sales in China in the area of mountaineering and nature sports will rapidly rise over the coming years.

Managers of companies like Meindl agree. The German shoe manufacturer has been exhibiting its famous hiking boots in Nanjing. Lars Meindl, who runs the firm with his brother Lukas, came to Nanjing personally to establish business contacts with Chinese retailers. "We've come to Asia Outdoor to ensure our presence on the fastest growing outdoor market in the world. With our high-quality hiking boots, we offer excellent alternatives to the products of Asian manufacturers."

Bernd Kullmann, Managing Director of Deuter, has come to China for similar reasons: "We see participating in the exhibition in Nanjing as an important decision for the future. As a global player in the backpack business, we want to be part of this new market. But before that can happen, we'll have to build up a retailer network. There will be plenty of developments over the next few years." Kullmann is confident that the outdoor market will continue to grow in the future.

For years, the company VAUDE sports from Tettnang, Germany has been manufacturing in China and selling its products on the Chinese market, including at prime locations like Nanjing: "We don't want to miss a thing," says Bernd Dietrich of VAUDE International Sales, "so we're exhibiting at Asia Outdoor. There's an incredible amount of interest in backpacks, footwear and clothing" says Dietrich, speaking at the trade show in Nanjing.

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