Tianjin’s New Exhibition Centre

A gateway to the future

Tianjin recently opened up a new exhibition centre, with a design that hints at the city’s plans for a future look as well as economic development. Aaron Eagles attended the launch ceremony for the exhibition centre and tells us more.

Whether you have been in Tianjin for a long time, a short time, or maybe still yet to visit, the positive changes to this enchanted city by the sea are undeniable. The city has a rich history full of culture, diversity and prosperity, as well as architecture from the past and present – both modern and traditional designs, with many intermingled concepts of both eastern and western styles. Many foreigners might even feel momentarily transported back home as they walk on certain streets or areas in the different concession areas.

I have been here off and on for the past six years and have seen the city grow, spread, and flourish in many ways. Though Tianjin may miss out on some of the attention it deserves on both a global and domestic level, if you look closely, you will see the city is being fine-tuned and under constant consideration for new enormous projects. For example, an online fan database stated that officials from Comcast and its subsidiary NBCUniversal met with Tianjin authorities to discuss the project.[1] Though Tianjin did not win this bid—Beijing getting the final nod—even being in such close proximity to such a huge project is sure to bring plenty of new plans and excitement to us here in Tianjin. The park will be in Beijing’s eastern Tongzhou District, which neighbours Tianjin, and its estimated cost is United States dollars (USD) 2 billion.

Massive initiatives like this show mutual investment and cooperative longevity between the Chinese Government and foreign investors, both of which have vested interests in the project. That Tianjin made the shortlist for this project shows that it is an inevitable location for future big projects. As stated earlier, Tianjin is already home to a long list of incredible architectural builds, innovative ideas, prosperous plans, and international areas and facilities. Recently, I have had the honour of visiting a few of these new places; and hear from local leaders about their plans for the future, further expansion, and more global initiatives to come.

The National Convention and Exhibition Centre Tianjin (NCEC) is one of the city’s biggest recent builds; a place with huge visions for the future, and an area full of opportunities for more foreign business, investment, and opportunity. When invited to take part in the opening ceremony and pre-tour of this huge new location in Tianjin, it was an enormous surprise for me, as well as many of the other guests. I had not previously heard much about the idea or concept for the exhibition centre, despite its massive nature. Though I was not in the know, there were of course a few savvy insiders that were aware of this vast project, but even they were still surprised by how quickly it was completed, almost overnight.

Driving up to the NCEC is like arriving at an international airport, and you get the instant feeling that you are arriving somewhere very important, futuristic, and colossal. As the NCEC appeared over the horizon, it seemed like a rising silver sun on the skyline. The architectural structure is unique, but also seemed familiar, as it featured some of the same modern design elements in several other new Tianjin buildings; lending a very cohesive feeling to the city and the NCEC.

As well as adding to Tianjin’s infrastructure, this building and its long-term plan are designed to strengthen the backbone of Tianjin’s urban construction, and move the city’s progression forward. It is being hailed as a new gateway to the North, and an engine for an exhibition economy. The centre is situated perfectly, taking into account the needs of the surrounding areas and cities, and connecting land, sea, and air routes. This not only makes contact with neighbouring regions easier, but also contact with the entire world.

The speeches by the global chambers of commerce, businesspeople, investors and other guests at the launch almost had an United Nations feel to it, as attendees from all over the world were introduced. Alongside the European Chamber, national chambers such as the German, American, Japanese, Korean and Hong Kong were among those specifically mentioned, with each given the floor briefly to address the local and national Chinese leaders. The leaders extended a warm welcome to all and expressed their anticipation for the development of both business and collaboration through the centre. The leaders specifically expressed their wish to listen to and work together with more foreign enterprises in order to “bring a better environment to Tianjin and China”. Government representative also expressed China’s intentions to continue opening up its vast market to the whole world, learning from the success of Shanghai and Guangzhou, and added hope that “the Chambers of Commerce will serve as a partner with us.”

Attendees were informed of the China Building Science Conference and Green Intelligent Building Expo on June 24–27th 2021, in line with Tianjin’s trends towards green efforts, technology and intelligence. This new Exhibition Center is just one of the many examples of Tianjin’s bright future and new amazing builds.

[1] Universal Studios Beijing, Fandom, viewed 20th July 2020, <https://ficreation.fandom.com/wiki/Universal_Studios_Beijing>