Skip to content

The 18th ICIF opens in Shenzhen to seek global cultural cooperation


The 18th China (Shenzhen) International Cultural Industries Fair (ICIF) kicked off on December 28, 2022. This year’s ICIF is held mainly offline, complemented by synchronized online exhibitions. It is estimated that over 2,500 governmental delegations, cultural institutions and businesses will attend the fair on site, while 800 institutes and enterprises will set up online booths.

The ICIF is the first cultural fair in China recognized by the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry (UFI). Since its inception in Shenzhen in 2004, the fair has seen a continuous increase in exhibition scale, audience, and level of internationalization. It has now grown into a key engine for China’s cultural industrial growth, as well as an important platform and window to spread Chinese culture to the world, according to Shenzhen Municipal People’s Government.

According to statistics, every year, the ICIF gathers over 100,000 exhibits from cultural and creative industries at home and abroad, and more than 4,000 cultural investment and financing projects are displayed and traded at the fair. By participating in the event, numerous excellent overseas businesses and institutions have successfully expanded their market and found new opportunities for cooperation and development.

Notably, an International Exhibition Hall has been set up on this year’s Cloud ICIF. A total of 300 overseas cultural institutions and businesses from 30 countries and regions across the globe have been invited to the online fair. Domestic and foreign cultural products and projects are being displayed on the online platform, with a strong emphasis on promoting cultural exchange and trade between China and other countries along the Belt and Road, and expanding the international network for cultural trade.

Miao Song, founder and director of the Canada China Art-Tech (CCAT), brought along its Canadian partners Telefilm Canada, Concordia University, and The 7 Fingers. She said, “This is the 4th time we have participated in the ICIF. This year we see more participating countries and more diverse exhibits. Particularly, the technology culture products have never failed to impress me.”

In response to a question on why the CCAT takes part in the fair, Director Song believes that the CCAT shares many core values with the ICIF in supporting the growth of China’s cultural industry and assisting Chinese cultural products in reaching a global audience. She added: “The CCAT exhibits are diversified, embracing science and technology, arts, academia and humanities, and other sectors, so it fits well with the ICIF’s high-quality, diverse and comprehensive display mode.”

Additionally, this fair has opened up new avenues for attracting foreign investment and exhibitors, so as to engage more domestic and international cultural institutions and businesses, and help exhibitors accelerate their integration into China’s “dual circulation” development pattern and develop new markets. It will build itself into a significant cultural platform for international procurement, investment promotion, people-to-people exchange, and open cooperation. A total of 10,931 buyers from 108 countries and regions, like France, Germany, and Pakistan, have registered for the online fair.

Ambassador JUDYTH NSABABERA from Consulate General of the Republic of Uganda in Guangzhou said: “This year, we are honored to participate in the 18th ICIF online and offline. We hope that through this exchange, we can show our African culture, products and projects on such an excellent platform as the ICIF, and we also hope that through this ICIF we can help the development of cultural industries in China and Uganda reach a higher level.”

As a state-level, international and comprehensive fair for cultural industries, the ICIF has celebrated 17 sessions so far. It has promoted the development of cultural industry across the country as well as that of Shenzhen City. The fair has become a signature event to showcase Shenzhen’s achievements in economic, social and cultural development and an important window into this growing metropolis. Currently, the added value of Shenzhen’s cultural industries has exceeded 25 million yuan, accounting for over 8% of the city’s GDP.

Director Song Miao said, “Shenzhen is an international city with high inclusiveness and a front-runner in opening up. Boasting a large number of high-tech enterprises and a huge market, it has maintained a robust growth momentum in foreign investment and continuously witnessed an increase in the number and scale of businesses going global. The CCAT wants to further cooperate with Shenzhen businesses and institutions in film-making, film-related activities, technology development, and project venture capital investment to achieve win-win results. In addition, we would like to express our sincere thanks to and our full confidence in the ICIF’s positive role in boosting the cooperation.”

Source: Shenzhen Municipal People’s Government