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Hong Kong bounces back with twin trade show

Super movie hero Ultraman Cosmos joined Executive Council member Mr. Jasper Tsang (second from right), Trade Development Council's Fair Organising Committee Chairman Mr. Jeffrey Lam (first from right), and TDC Executive Director Mr. Michael Sze (first from left) to promote Hong Kong's products at the merged trade fair which open today (July 23, 2003).
Visitors to the combined Hong Kong Houseware and Hong Kong Gifts and Premium fairs which open today at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre will not only bring orders to Hong Kong suppliers, but also hundreds of millions of revenue to the tourism sector.
International buyers are back to Hong Kong to source from a merged version of the Hong Kong Houseware Fair and the Hong Kong Gifts and Premium Fair, which opened today (July 23).

The combined fair is the largest trade event to be held in the wake of the disruptive Sars outbreak. More than 3,800 exhibitors from 31 countries and regions are taking part in the four-day event. Thirteen group pavilions have been set up by Australia, the Chinese mainland, Germany, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, South Korea, Vietnam, Taiwan, Thailand, the UK and the US.

Chairman of the combine fair's organising committee Jeffrey Lam said: "Current conditions bode well for Hong Kong. Overseas inventories are low, and shops across the world need to replenish supplies and stock up urgently for their Christmas sales.

"Buyers are looking for value-for-money products with exquisite designs to fill the shop shelves. With 3,800 exhibitors, the twin fair is a premier sourcing opportunity not to be missed by serious buyers," Mr. Lam added.

Hong Kong is among 46 exhibitors, including Germany, Spain and Switzerland also showcasing their exquisite items in the Hall of Fine Designs and the Hall of Elegence at the twin fair.

Expecting a satisfactory turnout at the combined fair, Mr. Lam said: "With US Center for Disease Control's (CDC) lifting of its travel advisory on June 5 and the WHO's removal of Hong Kong from the Sars-affected list on June 23, the key obstacles that have kept buyers at bay are now cleared."

It was because of Sars that the TDC was organising this supplementary twin-show. The original version involving some 480 exhibitors was held in April and was visited by 13,000 buyers. The turnout this time is expected to be much larger.

The TDC has pulled out all the stops to make the current fair a rewarding one for both buyers and exhibitors.

TDC had stepped up its effort to promote the twin fair to attract overseas buyers. Major initiatives include:
  • Organising buyer delegations. At last count, more than 60 groups have signed up to come to the fair;

  • Inviting buyers' organisations. The World Advertising Gift Exchange and the British Promotional Merchandise Association have also confirmed their attendance;

  • Inviting key buyers. These buyers include officials from the marketing department of the Beijing Olympics Organising Committee for the coming Olympic Games, representatives of BALS Corporation of Japan, leading Japanese chain store Don Quijote, largest DIY (Do-It-Yourself) store in Osaka, Kohnan Shoji, Wal-Mart (China), US houseware chain Sur La Table, and South America's leading accessories chain, C&C;

  • The TDC also joined hands with local businesses to offer attractive air travel, accommodation, dining and shopping discounts for buyers attending the fairs. The tour packages, which include three nights of hotel accommodation, cost as little as HK$1,100 for buyers flying from Asia, or HK$4,000 for buyers from Europe;

  • Privilege cards offering dining and shopping discounts at over 40 restaurants and 17 retail outlets will be distributed to overseas buyers upon registration; and

  • To encourage overseas buyers to bring their families, special sightseeing tours have been arranged for them.

Although Sars has been contained, stringent health measures will continue to be implemented at the fairground, Mr. Lam said. These include infrared thermal detection devices to check body temperature and provision of cleansing supplies to all participants.

Mr. Lam said: "The past months have been tough for everyone, but the business community is determined to move ahead. Hong Kong has raised the bar with its performance during the Sars outbreak. We have, once again, for the 7th consecutive year, been ranked by the Cato Institute of US as the world's freest economy. Hong Kong is the ideal place to do business. "

To help industry players keep abreast of latest trends and opportunities, TDC has made arrangements for seminars to be held during the fair, dealing with important subjects such as "Interdisciplinary Lifestyle Trend 2004", "How to handle arbitration in China" and "DIY market development in China".

The Hong Kong Licensing Show & Conference is running alongside the event, bringing together 30 exhibitors of licensing products and services. The Regional Licensing Conference 2003 is supplemented by a Licensing Workshop and a Trade Matching Forum.

Hong Kong's exports of house ware and gift/premium products increased by 11% and 6% respectively in the first five months this year.

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For press enquries, please contact TDC's Corporate Communication and Marketing Department at 2584 4333.

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Content provided by Hong Kong Trade Development Council