China’s association industry players believe the “delinking” of 70,000 industry associations and chambers of commerce from the Ministry of Commerce by end-2017 will raise professional standards and deliver opportunities.
Those TTGmice spoke to welcome the move as professional bodies will have to move more quickly in tandem with China’s changing economy, and be free to pursue agendas that will benefit their organisations without having to seek government approval.
Zhang Mei, CITS MICE Beijing
While Maggy Wang, China Marketing Association spokesman believes the delinking will give her 20-year-old association more freedom to carry out its agenda, she opined that overseas companies may be less certain about the legitimacy of new associations if they are no longer linked to the Ministry of Commerce.
“To raise professional standards, China’s Ministry of Labor and Social Security is looking into industry certification to ensure associations meet the requirements,” Wang pointed out.
Zhang Mei, director of foreign liaison division, international cooperation department, CITS MICE Beijing, is expecting “more opportunities” and foresees professional associations and chambers of commerce that do not have the experience in running events to outsource them to PCOs.
Zhang said she was interested in certification by IAPCO Education, the international association for professional conference organisers, which launched a two-day “junior level” seminar in Suzhou last year and is following up with a “senior level” programme on April 12 and 14 due to market demand.
Tan Nai Fen, vice secretary-general, statistics information department director and senior economist, China Association of the National Shipping Industry, commented: “Economic change and the need to transform our industry means that we have to move quickly.”
The shipping association, formed in 1995, has about 500 members and organises about 20 major events annually. Most of these events, attended by about 200 delegates each, are held in China.
Tan added that the association had to learn to adapt from industry leader Japan in the beginning.