Only in China can GDP growth rates approaching 10% suggest a slowdown, but after its most recent peak in 2007, when the economy expanded by a blistering 14.7%, the Chinese economy proceeded to yo-yo over the next four years, falling to 9.6% in 2008 and 9.2% in 2009, before jerking upwards to 10.4% in 2010, and subsequently dipping once more to 8.7% growth in 2011.
In that atmosphere of uncertainty, Chinaplas 2012 opened in Shanghai, seemingly oblivious to the macroeconomic retraction, notching a new record with more than 210,000 sq m (2.26 million sq ft) of booked space, up better than 10% from 2011. In fact, in the five years since the Chinese economy's most recent peak in 2007, Chinaplas has seen 106% growth in total exhibition area, 70% growth in the number of exhibitors, and 62% growth in the number of visitors, according to show organizer, Adsale.
Asked about the Chinese "slowdown", one exhibitor looked around the teeming halls of the Shanghai New International Exhibition Centre and responded with a question of his own, "What slowdown?"....