He was speaking to more than 100 delegates from cities and horticultural trade organisations from China, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, Japan, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Thailand, Australia, UK, Netherlands, Germany and Sweden at the first International Horticultural Exhibition Forum, held by the International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH).
The event took place on 30 April, just after the opening ceremony of the 2016 Tangshan International Horticultural Exposition. The forum was organised by AIPH in association with the China Flower Association and Tangshan Municipal Government.
It introduced the benefits of hosting such exhibitions and brought together those that have run expos in the past, as well as those preparing or considering whether to host expos in the future.
Forum chairman and Secretary General of AIPH, Tim Briercliffe, told delegates, "When planned and implemented correctly then International Horticultural Exhibitions are able to bring many benefits to the host city and country and the horticultural industry.
"They are tools for city development, environmental improvement, improving quality of life, understanding cultural diversity, international communication and developing the horticulture industry."
The benefits that Chinese cities and others from around the world have gained by hostiing international horticulture expos were highlighted by speakers including Ding Xiufeng, Mayor of Tangshan, Liu Hong, secretary general of CFA and Bernard Oosterom, president of AIPH.