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Seven HKTDC fairs in April attract 236,000-plus buyers

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Seven HKTDC fairs in April attract 236,000-plus buyers

Overseas participants generate HK$1.3b in income for Hong Kong; industry optimistic about outlook and Greater Bay Area opportunities

 

7 May 2019 – More than 12,300 exhibitors gathered in Hong Kong for the seven trade fairs organized by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) in April, with over 9,500 coming from Mainland China and overseas. The fairs attracted more than 236,000 buyers from 181 countries and regions, up 2% year-on-year. The number of buyers from the mainland and overseas was 140,000-plus, an increase of 4.5% compared to the previous year and representing around 60% of the overall turnout.

In addition to participating in the fairs, overseas buyers and exhibitors also generated business opportunities for the hotel, catering and tourism industries of Hong Kong. According to the Hong Kong Tourism Board, the per capita spending of overnight meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) visitors was HK$8,218. Based on this figure, it is estimated that overseas participants generated income of more than HK$1.3 billion for Hong Kong’s tourism and related industries.

The seven fairs were: the HKTDC Hong Kong International Lighting Fair (Spring Edition), HKTDC Hong Kong Electronics Fair (Spring Edition), HKTDC International ICT Expo, HKTDC Hong Kong Houseware Fair, HKTDC Hong Kong International Home Textiles and Furnishings Fair, HKTDC Hong Kong Gifts & Premium Fair, and the Hong Kong International Printing & Packaging Fair. The latter was jointly organized by the HKTDC and CIEC Exhibition Company (HK) Ltd.

Benjamin Chau, HKTDC Deputy Executive Director, said: “The development of innovative technologies and smart products has become a major global trend. The seven April fairs offered an international trading platform for industry players to showcase their latest designs and innovations to global buyers and to test market response at first-hand. In addition, the HKTDC incorporated more innovation and technology (I&T) elements into the fairs to create additional opportunities for industry players and to bolster Hong Kong’s standing as the business hub of Asia and an international trade fair capital.”

 

Surge in smart city development

During the Spring Lighting Fair, Spring Electronics Fair, Houseware Fair and Gifts & Premium Fair, the HKTDC commissioned an independent research agency to conduct on-site surveys, interviewing 2,729 exhibitors and buyers to gauge their views on market prospects and product trends. With I&T being a key factor in the development of smart cities, and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government currently striving to develop Hong Kong into a world-class smart city, the surveys found more than 90% of respondents to be either optimistic or neutral about smart city development in Hong Kong.

More I&T elements were included in this year’s April fairs. The ICT Expo adopted the theme of Smart City • Smart Living and showcased an array of visionary smart city projects and applications. These included the I&T initiatives featured at the Smart Government Pavilion presented by the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer of the HKSAR Government; the City Brain platform presented by the Hangzhou Government; and the innovative and forward-looking applications and solutions displayed at the “So French So Innovative” pavilion.

Smart homes are an integral part of smart city development. At the Spring Lighting Fair, 89% of respondents said they consider the outlook for smart lighting in the coming two years to be promising (80%) or very promising (9%). To facilitate the sourcing of smart home products, the Spring Lighting Fair launched the Innobuild zone, which showcased innovative building technologies and practical building tools, in addition to the Smart Lighting & Solutions zone.

The Spring Electronics Fair adopted similar initiatives. The Tech Hall displayed the latest innovative electronics products organised into five themes, including AR, VR & MR (covering augmented reality, virtual reality and mixed reality); Connected Home; e-Health & Wearables; Robotics & Unmanned Tech; and the new AI & Voice Recognition solutions. Similarly, the Houseware Fair showcased a range of smart homewares and hosted a seminar to examine smart home and eco home product trends. At the Gifts & Premium Fair, a Tech Gifts zone was set up to spotlight innovative gift ideas.

 

Industry remains optimistic about sales outlook, Greater Bay Area opportunities

The surveys also sought the views of respondents on business prospects in 2019. More than 90% of respondents said they expect overall sales to rise (46%) or remain steady (45%), highlighting the general optimism among businesses in different fields.

The Outline Development Plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, released in February, has grabbed the attention of players across different industries. Accordingly, the April fairs incorporated more Greater Bay Area elements to update participants on the latest opportunities, including hosting a Greater Bay Area-related seminar and inviting mainland cities from the Greater Bay Area, including Foshan, Zhongshan, Zhuhai, Jiangmen and Dongguan, to set up group pavilions. More than 80% of survey respondents hold positive or neutral views on the impact of the Greater Bay Area on their export performance in the coming six months.

 

Rising costs continue to be the greatest business challenge

Costs are always a significant factor in the decisions made by businesses. Survey respondents generally expect that increases in operating costs (46%) and price fluctuations in raw materials (37%) will continue to be the greatest business challenges this year, while 40% expressed concerns about global economic fluctuations. Fifty-two percent of respondents anticipate that production costs or sourcing costs will increase, yet only 38% expect to raise free-on-board selling prices or retail prices, suggesting that industry professionals will not transfer additional costs to clients or consumers.

In terms of market prospects, respondents are generally positive about the outlook in traditional markets. Seventy-three percent of respondents foresee Korea to be promising or very promising, followed by Taiwan (71%) and Hong Kong (69%). For emerging markets, 77% of respondents view Mainland China as promising or very promising this year, followed by ASEAN (72%) and South Africa (71%).

Regarding product trends, the lighting industry is most optimistic about commercial lighting, smart lighting and solutions, and residential lighting. The electronics industry finds electrical and electronic accessories to be the most promising product category, followed by digital imaging, audio-visual products and home appliances. As for the houseware industry, eco-friendly products, kitchenware and gadgets, and furniture are considered to have the strongest growth potential this year; while the gifts industry sees advertising gifts and premiums, tech gifts, figurines and decorations, and toys and sporting goods to have the best outlook.

 

Summary of survey results:

Exhibitors and buyers surveyed: 2,729

Views on smart city development in Hong Kong

Very promising

5%

Promising

41%

Neutral

47%

Unpromising

6%

Very unpromising

1%

 

Views on the impact of the Greater Bay Area on export performance over the next six months

Very positive

4%

Slightly positive

27%

Neutral

57%

Slightly negative

11%

Very negative

1%

 

Overall sales expectations for the year

Production/sourcing cost expectations for the year

2019 Survey

2018 Survey

2019 Survey

2018 Survey

Increase

46%

49%

Increase

52%

55%

Unchanged

45%

45%

Unchanged

43%

41%

Decrease

7%

5%

Decrease

3%

2%

 

Major business challenges for the year*

Increase in operating costs

46%

Fluctuations in the global economy

40%

Price fluctuations of raw materials

37%

Keen competition within the industry

30%

Fluctuating exchange rates

27%

* Multiple selections allowed

 

Top traditional markets with promising growth

Top emerging markets with promising growth

Promising and very promising

Neutral

Promising and very promising

Neutral

Korea

73%

26%

Mainland China

77%

21%

Taiwan

71%

27%

ASEAN

72%

25%

Hong Kong

69%

29%

South Africa

71%

25%

 

Industry Product categories considered the most promising
Lighting Commercial lighting; smart lighting & solutions; residential lighting
Electronics Electrical and electronic accessories; digital imaging products; audio-visual products; home appliances
Houseware Eco-friendly products; kitchenware & gadgets; furniture
Gifts Advertising gifts & premiums; tech gifts; figurines & decorations; toys and sporting goods

Please download more photos from  here

 

 
More than 236,000 buyers took in the seven fairs organised by the HKTDC in April
Hong Kong Tourism Board figures show that the per capita spending of overnight MICE visitors was HK$8,218. Based on this figure, it is estimated that the seven fairs generated more than HK$1.3 billion in income for Hong Kong’s tourism and related industries
Technological innovation and smart cities are leading trends across different industries. The HKTDC enhanced the I&T elements at its April fairs to meet industry needs
Startup zones were set up at the Spring Electronics Fair, ICT Expo, Houseware Fair and Gifts & Premium Fair, which featured more than 200 start-ups. A series of activities were held at the zones, including pitching and “Startup . Smart Launch” sessions
An array of conferences and thematic seminars were held during the fairs to update industry professionals on the latest technology trends

 

Media Enquiries

Please contact the HKTDC’s Communications and Public Affairs Department:

Sunny Ng                   Tel: (852) 2584 4357              Email: [email protected]

 

 

About the HKTDC

The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is a statutory body established in 1966 to promote, assist and develop Hong Kong’s trade. With 50 offices globally, including 13 in Mainland China, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a two-way global investment and business hub. The HKTDC organises international exhibitions, conferences and business missions to create business opportunities for companies, particularly SMEs, in the mainland and international markets. The HKTDC also provides up-to-date market insights and product information via trade publicationsresearch reports and digital news channels. For more information, please visit: www.hktdc.com/aboutus. Follow us on Twitter @hktdc and LinkedIn

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