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Optical Fair No Illusion: More than 540 Companies Taking Part
Hong Kong Eyewear Exports up Nearly 30 Per Cent this Year

Winners of the 9th Hong Kong Eyewear Design Competition were announced today (November 6), with Yeung Ka Sing (right) named the Open Group Champion for his "Butterface" design. "It's like a butterfly resting on your face when you wear them," said Mr Yeung

Officiating guest Didier Papaz, President, Group Gadol Optic 2000, France (left), tries on a pair of sunglasses at the fair's Visionaries of Style - Enjoy Your Vision in Life section. With its Beijing Olympics 2008 theme, the designer brand section features sports eyewear in a setting inspired by Beijing's Olympic Games National Stadium

Hui Leung Wah, President of HKOMA (right), presents prizes to the competition's three Corporate Group winners: OKIA Optical Co Ltd, Arts Optical Co Ltd, and Wing Fung Optical Manufactory Ltd

November 6, 2007 - One of the largest shows of its kind in the world, the Hong Kong Optical Fair, opened today with more than 540 companies specialising in optical design, manufacturing, retail and related services taking part.

"Hong Kong is now the world's second-largest exporter of spectacles, lenses and frames," said Hui Leung Wah, President of the Hong Kong Optical Manufacturers Association (HKOMA), at today's opening ceremony. In the first nine months of 2007, Hong Kong exports of spectacles amounted to US$1.29 billion (HK$10 billion), an increase of about 29 per cent over the same period last year. "Most of our major markets recorded significant growth," added Mr Hui. "Exports to Italy jumped 49 per cent, while exports to the United States, Germany and France rose 36 per cent, 17 per cent and 12 per cent respectively. From a regional perspective, exports to the European Union increased 31 per cent, ASEAN climbed 10 per cent and the Middle East jumped a remarkable 62 per cent."

"The increasing importance of optical goods in everyday fashion is one of the main reasons behind the impressive export showing," said Raymond Yip, Assistant Executive Director of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (TDC). "And with the euro climbing from one record high to the next, Hong Kong exports of spectacles to major EU markets are especially encouraging."

Exhibitors to this year's fair, the 15th edition, come from 22 countries and regions: Australia, Austria, Canada, the Chinese mainland, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, Switzerland, Taiwan, the United Arab Emirates, the US, the United Kingdom and first-time participants Israel and Luxembourg. The Chinese mainland, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, Singapore and Taiwan have organised group pavilions. Exhibits range from safety and sports eyewear to sunglasses, lenses, frames, contact lenses, parts and accessories and spectacles' cases and holders, along with state-of-the-art optometric instruments, equipment and machinery.

The TDC has arranged for 60 buying missions to visit the fair, including such well-known names as Bausch & Lomb, Fielmann AG, HOYA Vision Care, Johnson & Johnson, Multiopticals, the Polinelli Group and Tokai Optical Co. The fair last year attracted more than 10,000 buyers.

Highlighting this year's fair is Visionaries of Style - Enjoy Your Vision in Life, a section presenting 16 international brands, including Austria's Robert La Roche, the United Kingdom's Jai Kudo, France's mikli, JF Rey, HARRY LARY'S and Beausoleil, Germany's iTrix and Markus T, Japan's LESS THAN HUMAN, Solid Blue, Yellows Plus, Masunaga, Glass Factory, Katherine Hamnett London and Maxis, and Switzerland's gotti.

The fair's Retail and Shop Design, Equipment and Technology Section counts 38 exhibitors featuring a variety of point-of-sale equipment and technology, furniture and fixtures, lighting technology and packaging services, providing shop owners with new products and ideas to improve their retail establishments. The third major section, Optometric Instruments, Equipment and Machinery, includes seven Hong Kong companies showcasing high-end optometric instruments, equipment and machinery.

The 9th Hong Kong Eyewear Design Competition is another big fair feature. Its theme, "Your Style, Your Character," emphasises eyewear's fashion face. All winning and finalists pieces are on display at the fair.

At the fair's 5th Hong Kong Optometric Conference, experts from Australia, the Chinese mainland, Denmark, Hong Kong and Malaysia are invited to share their insights on such ophthalmic issues as high myopia, cataracts, LASIK, macular degeneration, ametropia and contact lens fitting. The conference takes place November 7.

A series of seminars and forums has also been arranged to keep exhibitors and buyers up to date on the latest trends and market information. Today's seminar is Asian Optical Market Trends and Future. Tomorrow's seminars are New Wave Payment Systems for Retailers: NFC and Impulses for Summer 2009 - Atmosphere, Colours, Materials and Shape for the Coming Season. Also on tomorrow is the Retail and Shop Design, Equipment and Technology section's popular Open Forum.

Key industry players from around the world officiated at today's opening ceremony: Didier Papaz, President, Group Gadol Optic 2000, France; Robert Pfister, Managing Director, Abele Optik, Germany; Yasuka Miyakawa, Senior General Manager, Asia Headquarters, HOYA Corp Vision Care Co, Japan; and Jan Nowak, President of the Board and General Director, JZO, Poland. Accompanying them were Mr Hui, HKOMA Vice Presidents Tony Chow and Grace Tai, and TDC Executive Director Fred Lam.

Jointly organised by the TDC and the HKOMA, the fair continues through November 8 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Fair Websites
http://www.hkopticalfair.com (fair site)
http://www.hkopticalfair.com/evt_schdt/event.htm (event schedule)
http://www.tdctrade.com/profile/spectacles.htm (industry profile)

The 9th Hong Kong Eyewear Design Competition
http://www.hkopticalfair.com/9thdesign_comp/cg.htm (corporate group)
http://www.hkopticalfair.com/9thdesign_comp/og.htm (open group)
http://www.hkopticalfair.com/9thdesign_comp/sg.htm (student group)

The 5th Hong Kong Optometric Conference

Media Enquiries
Please contact the TDC's Media and Public Affairs Department:

Lyann Li
Tel: (852) 2584 4525
Email: lyann.my.li@tdc.org.hk

Corporate Group Champion & The Greatest Creativity Award


OKIA Optical Co Ltd
Inspired by the measuring tape, this eyewear allows you complete control on its shape and style. Its temples can be extended or contracted. The lenses and end pieces can also be changed to match various occasions.


Open Group Champion

Yeung Ka Sing
Inspired by a dancing butterfly, this design imitates the shape of a butterfly and is decorated with precious stones on its lenses and temples.


Student Group Champion

Tang Wai Neng
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
"Appreciate" incorporates the function of eyewear and its cases. It's easily folded not only to protect the lenses, but also to transform the spectacles into a fashionable necklace.

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

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Content provided by Hong Kong Trade Development Council