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HKTDC Helps Hong Kong SMEs Reach Emerging Markets in Five Steps
Next Week’s HKTDC Lifestyle Expo Mumbai Largest Event of its Kind

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Speaking at today's press conference, HKTDC Assistant Executive Director Raymond Yip introduces the Council's latest initiatives in emerging markets.

20 October 2010 – Quality Hong Kong products for the Indian market will be in the spotlight at Lifestyle Expo in Mumbai (LEM) being held 28-30 October at the Grand Hyatt Exhibition Ground in Mumbai. 

The largest Hong Kong product exhibition to be held in the city is being organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) and the Department of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation from Guangdong Province (GD-DOFTEC). The event, which aims to enhance cooperation on government and business fronts, will take place as a high-level business delegation organised by the HKTDC visits the country. 

“The HKTDC is committed to helping Hong Kong small- and medium sized enterprises to expand their business into new markets,” said HKTDC Assistant Executive Director Raymond Yip. “The Council has allocated more resources to explore emerging markets for years to come after this mission.” 

Mr Yip noted that recent global financial turmoil has helped Hong Kong companies better understand that market diversification is important for steady long-term growth despite market volatility. According to an HKTDC survey of 500 Hong Kong companies conducted in the last quarter of 2009, 65 per cent said they would or probably would tap into emerging markets other than the Chinese mainland. 

Steps to Success
Hong Kong companies often face a number of issues when they tap into emerging markets, such as a lack of knowledge about their target region or an absence of local business connections. To help companies overcome these difficulties, the HKTDC has devised a five-step approach: 

Step 1    HKTDC send researchers into the field as pathfinders to obtain the latest market intelligence and to analyse business opportunities for Hong Kong. 

Step 2    Based on findings in the preliminary study, a series of market development seminars and workshops are held to enrich the knowledge of Hong Kong’s SMEs and build support for upcoming HKTDC promotional activities. In parallel, outreach roadshows are conducted in collaboration with the HKTDC’s concerned overseas offices to arouse local interest about Hong Kong and its products. 

Step 3    The HKTDC initiates sector-specific exploratory trips to encourage Hong Kong companies to venture into new markets and acquire first-hand experience. Reciprocal trips to Hong Kong, often timed to coincide with HKTDC events, are also encouraged. 

Step 4    When the time is ripe, high-level business missions are organised to pave the way for future major-scale promotions. 

Step 5    If all conditions are right, the HKTDC stages a flagship Style Hong Kong exposition to showcase the city’s lifestyle and quality products. 

European Experience
“The Lifestyle Expo held in Warsaw last month and the upcoming event in Mumbai prove that the Council’s efforts in the Polish and Indian markets are entering a new stage for action,” said Mr Yip. 

Organised by the HKTDC and GD-DOFTEC, the September Lifestyle Expo in Warsaw attracted 138 exhibitors from Hong Kong and 81 from Guangdong province. The event included product categories such as gifts and premiums, household products, consumer electronics and electrical appliances, as well as fashion and fashion accessories. The show also drew 3,600 visitors including buyers from Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, and Russia. 

A number of exhibitors said they received orders during the trade show in Poland, and one Hong Kong gifts and premiums company achieved a significant order worth about EUR100,000 (HK$1.08million).  

“Many Hong Kong exhibitors targeting markets in the United States and Europe were surprised by the result of the trade show. It not only made them realize the opportunities in Poland, but also the potential for buyers from outside Poland to help them prepare for further business expansion into Europe,” said Mr Yip. “The trade show in Poland also generated positive feedback from buyers who were pleased to find a wide selection of Hong Kong’s innovative lifestyle products close to home.” 

Mumbai Move
Similarly, the inaugural Lifestyle Expo in Mumbai will bring more than 160 Hong Kong and Guangdong exhibitors to India. The event which targets the local trade community will showcase well-designed, quality products including gifts, housewares, consumer electronics, apparel and accessories.

“Known as one of the BRIC countries along with Brazil, Russia and China, India showed its economic competitiveness in the second quarter of this year when it posted a strong 8.8 per cent GDP growth,” said Mr Yip. “With the second-largest population in the world, India and its middle-class families are becoming a consumer force that cannot be ignored. The HKTDC expects the event to further accelerate Indian trade with Hong Kong as well as support Hong Kong SMEs who are trying to expand business in the Indian market.” 

The Warsaw and Mumbai shows are two signature HKTDC events in emerging markets other than the mainland. The Council has also organised business missions for different sectors to help companies build business connections with these markets. The wide variety of activities is meant to increase expansion opportunities for Hong Kong companies. 

Mr Yip encouraged Hong Kong SMEs to participate in such events and activities if they want to expand into emerging markets. “Developing a new market does not happen overnight, but the HKTDC hopes to minimize the risk for Hong Kong SMEs by organising relevant events and providing the right kind of assistance.”

Media Enquiries
Please contact the HKTDC's Corporate Communication Department:

Joe Kainz
Tel: (852) 2584 4216
Email: joe.kainz@hktdc.org

About the HKTDC
A statutory body established in 1966, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is the international marketing arm for Hong Kong-based traders, manufacturers and service providers. With more than 40 global offices, including 11 on the Chinese mainland, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a platform for doing business with China and throughout Asia. The HKTDC also organises trade fairs and business missions to connect companies with opportunities in Hong Kong and on the mainland, while providing information via trade publications, research reports and online. For more information, please visit: www.hktdc.com 

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