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Messe Frankfurt inks agreement to explore new exhibition potential in Vietnam

31 Mar 2023

In a strengthening of its position in one of Asia’s fastest growing economies, Messe Frankfurt has this week signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency (VIETRADE). As part of the collaboration, the company will explore the potential for a comprehensive new trade fair, initially focusing on the textile and consumer goods industries in the country, by leveraging its considerable experience in this area. The move is the latest step in Messe Frankfurt’s involvement in South East Asia, as the company looks to add to its existing portfolio of trade fairs in Vietnam which includes Secutech Vietnam for the security industry, and Automechanika Ho Chi Minh City for the automotive aftermarket.

Mr Vu Ba Phu, Director General of VIETRADE (front left) and Messe Frankfurt President and Chief Executive Officer Mr Wolfgang Marzin (front right), at a signing ceremony in Hanoi on 30 March 2023

“Messe Frankfurt is always an active player in the world’s high potential markets, and Vietnam has recently proven to be a standout country in Asia where the textile, manufacturing and other industries are performing strongly,” explains Mr Wolfgang Marzin, President and Chief Executive Officer of Messe Frankfurt GmbH. “While still in the early stages, this new venture has the potential to build on our 16 years of operating experience in Vietnam and write a new chapter for textile and consumer goods trade in the country, among other opportunities. These are industries where Messe Frankfurt brings vast experience not only in Asia, but globally. While we will be revealing more details about this potential new trade fair at a later date, we are thrilled in the meantime to formalise our intentions through this first step. We look forward to working closely with VIETRADE on this new project.” 

Linking Vietnam with international business: an ongoing government policy direction

In recent years Vietnam has emerged as an attractive destination for supply chain diversification, with the government actively fostering a welcoming environment for foreign investors and manufacturers. Speaking to this trend, Mr Marzin says: “In many of the territories we operate in, including major markets such as China, we have a track record of aligning our business with this type of pro-trade policy agenda. Given the Vietnamese government’s ambitious 2030 industrial goals, we see strong potential for development in the country. Exhibitions, by nature, are not just a reflection of the strengths of local industries, they also attract innovations and new manufacturing technologies from international players. This type of open exchange supports the Vietnamese government’s ambitions to build a more open economic system. At the same time, business travelers contribute significantly to local hospitality, services, and tourism beyond the fairground. Combined, this provides additional employment opportunities and tax revenue, further stimulating the economy.”

Mr Vu Ba Phu, Director General of VIETRADE adds: “We are committed to promoting trade between Vietnamese companies and the world, and this new tie-up is a positive step towards achieving this. It also aligns with the government's goal of integrating more deeply into global supply chains. The textile industry in particular is an area where Vietnam has seen stable growth during the pandemic, and we foresee opportunities to leverage Messe Frankfurt's vast experience in developing textile trade fairs globally. Given Vietnam's robust export sector, it makes perfect sense to explore trade fair prospects that will motivate international buyers to source from Vietnam.”

Messe Frankfurt has first-hand experience of launching and growing international trade fairs in Vietnam. In 2007, Secutech Vietnam made its debut for the security, smart building and fire safety industries, and has since achieved impressive growth, attracting nearly 10,000 trade visitors from across ASEAN in 2022, even under the lingering influence of the pandemic. A decade later in 2017, Automechanika Ho Chi Minh City for the automotive supply chain was launched, developing into a highly international event, drawing 10,112 visitors from 42 countries and regions at its most recent edition.

An export-led manufacturing hub

Despite global trade uncertainties, Vietnam has emerged from the pandemic on a strong footing. In fact, the country was Asia’s fastest growing economy in 2022 with textile and garment exports up 14.7%[1]. With foreign investment continuing to flow into its export linked manufacturing industries, the country is well positioned to grow as a sourcing and trading hub with importance both regionally and globally. Membership of RCEP, the largest free trade area in the world covering nearly a third of the global population further solidifies this potential. 

“The business-friendly policies of the government including its encouragement of foreign direct investment gives us great confidence in Vietnam over the next decade and beyond,” adds Mr Marzin. “At the same time, it’s pleasing to see Vietnam’s commitment to the green transition, including its net zero by 2050 goal. Sustainability is also something that Messe Frankfurt is prioritising through our trade fairs and corporate strategy.”

Messe Frankfurt: a global trade fair organiser at home in Asia’s textile industry

With a history in Asia that began in 1987 upon the launch of Interstoff Asia for the textile business, Messe Frankfurt brings substantial expertise in growing new trade fairs in the region. In 1994, the company’s Hong Kong Headquarters was founded from where it now oversees more than 40 events in Asia, including 11 focused on the textile business. As part of this portfolio, Intertextile Shanghai Apparel Fabrics, first held in 1995, has grown into one of the largest trade fairs in the world, providing year round sourcing opportunities for global buyers at spring and autumn editions.

Globally, Messe Frankfurt’s texpertise network features some 50 events held across fashion capitals such as Frankfurt, Paris, Shanghai and New York. This includes coverage across apparel fabrics & fashion, interior & contract textiles, technical textiles & processing and textile care. In the consumer goods industry, Messe Frankfurt organises Ambiente, the largest trade fair of its kind in the world, as well as 16 consumer goods events held in Asia across China, India and Japan.


Background information on Messe Frankfurt

The Messe Frankfurt Group is one of the world’s leading trade fair, congress and event organisers with their own exhibition grounds. With a workforce of some 2,200* people at its headquarters in Frankfurt am Main and in 28 subsidiaries, it organises events around the world. Group sales in financial year 2022 were around €450 million*. We serve our customers’ business interests efficiently within the framework of our Fairs & Events, Locations and Services business fields. One of Messe Frankfurt’s key strengths is its powerful and closely knit global sales network, which covers around 180 countries in all regions of the world. Our comprehensive range of services – both onsite and online – ensures that customers worldwide enjoy consistently high quality and flexibility when planning, organising and running their events. We are using our digital expertise to develop new business models. The wide range of services includes renting exhibition grounds, trade fair construction and marketing, personnel and food services. Sustainability is a central pillar of our corporate strategy. Here, we strike a healthy balance between ecological and economic interests, social responsibility and diversity.
For more information, please visit our website at: With its headquarters in Frankfurt am Main, the company is owned by the City of Frankfurt (60 percent) and the State of Hesse (40 percent). For more information, please visit our website at:
* Preliminary figures for 2022


[1] ‘Vietnam's textile & garment exports grow 14.7% to $37.5 bn in 2022’. Fibre2Fashion. Published 15 March 2023.