There is a long-held Chinese maxim about being around for three decades: “At 30 one stands firm.”

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At Chinaplas 2015, show organizer Adsale launched the Design x Innovation event with sponsorship from BASF; it will be back in Shanghai at Chinaplas 2016.

In 1983 when the first Chinaplas was held in Beijing, the inaugural event covered just under 22,000-ft2 with foreign companies dominating the roughly 100 exhibitors.

This April show organizer Adsale will put on the 30th edition in Shanghai (the show wasn’t held annually at first), which will feature 100 times more exhibit space (more than 2.58 million-ft2) than 1983, and more than 150 different countries represented among the 3200 exhibitors and 140,000 expected attendees. At 30, Chinaplas is definitely standing firm.

The show’s growth mirrors that of its host country, with China adding a little more than the U.S.’s population over that time, growing from 1.023 to 1.357 billion people, while its GDP rocketed from $228.5 billion 33 years ago to a nominal GDP of $11.385 trillion in 2015—No. 2 globally behind only the U.S.

The question today is just as China and Chinaplas grew in unison, will show and host country falter in tandem as well? During the last two show cycles, Chinaplas has continued to grow, defying trends within its own economy and maintaining a remarkable run where the event has expanded every year it’s been held. Early indications from show organizer Adsale are that the growth streak will continue April 25-28 at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre, despite mounting worries about China’s economy, including contraction in a key Chinese manufacturing index for 10 straight months, as of December 2015.

Chinaplas 2016 marches onward, despite such reports, with plans for 13 international pavilions, 16 theme zones and more than 70 technical seminars, all under the theme of “Greenovation for a Smart Future.” Country pavilions include Austria, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan, and the U.S. Zones will include Automation Technology, Composite & High Performance Materials and Recycling Technology, all of which are new to Chinaplas Shanghai.

In addition, Chinaplas will again offer a concurrent program alongside the trade show including industry 4.0, Medical Plastics and Design X Innovation events. The industry 4.0 event, which is new, will be co-hosted by Adsale and Germany’s VDMA. German companies Arburg, Beckhoff Automation, KraussMaffei Technologies, Leistritz, Motan, Reifenhäuser, Wittmann Battenfeld and SAP will speak, as well as companies outside Germany including Engel, Erema and Haier.

Being held for the second time, the Medical Plastics conference will focus on medical devices, disposables and pharmaceutical packaging, discussing materials and manufacturing developments, as well as case studies. It will run from 2-5 p.m. on the first and second day of the show.        

Design x Innovation, which also premiered at Chinaplas 2015, will be back this year and will once again feature BASF as an “exclusive partner”, according to Adsale, which said the event will “present how high-performance materials enable sophisticated product designs and innovations,” using several displays, an open forum and the opportunity for show visitors to have hands-on interaction with materials, components and products.