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Overseas Buyers Flock to Hong Kong's October Fairs
International Attendance at Eight TDC Trade Fairs Jumps

October 31, 2007 - Buyers from around the world flocked to Hong Kong's trade fairs in October. Attendance at the eight trade fairs organised in October by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (TDC) rose by an average of 10 per cent among overseas buyers.

The Hong Kong International Electronics Fair (Autumn Edition), electronicAsia, Hong Kong International Lighting Fair and Hong Kong International Hardware and Home Improvement Fair were held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC). AsiaWorld-Expo was the venue for the TDC's other four October fairs: the Hong Kong International Furniture Fair, Hong Kong International Building Materials and Construction Equipment Fair, Eco Expo Asia and the inaugural Sports Source Asia.

The increased interest among overseas buyers was attributed to several factors:

Optimism in the European Union, Asian and emerging markets: The strong Euro helped boost the economy of EU countries, despite the gloomy economic situation in the US caused by the prime mortgage rate problem. Asian and other emerging markets are performing well. These and other factors triggered strong demand for such household goods as furniture, lighting and hardware products.

While Hong Kong's exports to the US recorded minimal growth in the first nine months of 2007, its exports to other markets rose across the board: Euro zone, up 6.4 per cent; ASEAN, up 13.7 per cent; the Chinese mainland, up 14 per cent; Russia and Central and Eastern European countries, up 29 per cent; the Middle East, up 19.7 per cent.

Timing: This year's lighting fair could not have been better timed, coinciding with the termination of a similar fair, held biannually in Germany. This further boosted attendance at the Hong Kong fair.

Hong Kong's lighting and electronics fairs are already the largest of their kind in Asia, making them must-visit events. Mega buyers, including B&Q, Kmart, Wal-Mart, Home Depot, IKEA, Ace Hardware, Circuit City, Cantire, Tesco, Carrefour, MGB Metro, Karstadt Quelle and Don Quijote, sent their merchandisers to visit the October fairs.

New Sourcing Opportunities: TDC Assistant Executive Director Raymond Yip pointed out that four of the eight fairs held in October were new. The Furniture Fair, Building Materials Fair and Eco-Expo Asia made their debut only last year, while Sports Source Asia was launched this year. The enthusiastic response from international buyers at these fairs underlines Hong Kong's role as an international trade fair and sourcing hub.

The TDC organises most of these new fairs with local and international groups to further support Hong Kong's exhibition sector. "Hong Kong's industry and trade sectors are diversifying their products and markets, and trade fairs are helping to speed up this process," said Mr Yip.

Seven of TDC's mega trade shows at the HKCEC have the potential of growing much larger, occupying more than 100,000 square metres of floor space, if such space becomes available in the future, Mr Yip added. According to a TDC study, overseas buyers visit trade fairs in Hong Kong for a number of reasons:

1. Hong Kong fairs provide a wider choice of goods and exhibitors, especially where products of quality design and brand names are concerned.
2. Hong Kong fairs offer a wider choice of specialty products than their regional counterparts, even though some of the regional fairs may be larger. Hong Kong's electronics, gift, lighting and garment fairs are still the biggest in Asia.
3. Hong Kong fairs provide dependable intellectual property rights protection.

Hong Kong has reasonably good hotel accommodation. While room shortage is a concern, the situation continues to improve: 18 new hotels were built in the past two years, and an additional 15,000 rooms will come on stream over the next four years, bringing the room total to 59,000.

5. Hong Kong is a convenient and accessible business centre, with excellent air transport connectivity, security, English language fluency and an attractive, tariff-free system.

The TDC, said Mr Yip, will continue to expand its trade fair portfolio, enlisting the support of the community to enlarge Hong Kong's downtown exhibition facilities.

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

Lawrence Yau
Tel: (852) 2584 4510
E-mail: lawrence.yau@tdc.org.hk

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, visit www.tdctrade.com

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