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Strong turnout at Licensing Show TDC to organise YRD Mission in 2004

The 2nd Hong Kong Licensing Show and Conference which finished last Friday (July 25) attracted 7,674 trade visitors.

The visitor attendance of the three-day event was stronger than anticipated, according to exhibitors. "Although buyers tended to be more cautious than last year, we still received several hundred enquiries," said Miss Matilda Chow, Assistant Manager of Go Licensing (Int'l) Co. The company represents more than 30 licensed properties including cartoon characters from Japan, South Korea and the US.

Another exhibitor, Skida International Company, is a licensing agent for Japanese cartoon characters in Southeast Asia. Its Deputy General Manager Miss Jessica Chu: "We joined the fair for the first time to find out how buyers like our designs. We received more than 100 enquiries for "THE DOG" series, of which one-third showed interest to become our licensee while the rest were sales leads. The result was encouraging."

French buyer Denise Chavatte visited the show for the second time this year and finally found "THE DOG" which she had been looking for since last year. She negotiated with the agent and manufacturer on-site for distribution rights in the French market.

Robert Macolino representing an Australian gifts promotion organisation was among the many first-time buyers at the show this year. Mr. Macolino said: "It is a good opportunity to browse through popular cartoon characters in Asia under one roof." He was particularly interested in Hello Kitty and wanted to explore the possibility of launching this product line in the Australian market.

Miss Rachel Chan, TDC's Director of Services Promotion, said the show was a platform for licensing parties to explore business opportunities, expand their licensing network and add value to their properties, and Hong Kong is becoming a premier licensing platform in Asia.

"Although Japan had an earlier start than Hong Kong in the licensing business, many international licensors choose to operate using Hong Kong as their base in the Asia-Pacific region due to the huge potential of the China market. When CEPA (the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement) comes into force next year, Hong Kong goods will enjoy even wider access to the mainland market. This will benefit the licensing business as Hong Kong companies are set to further expand their distribution services in the mainland," Miss Chan added.

A recent TDC research report "Licensing in China - The Hong Kong Bridge" points out that thanks to a robust economy and rising consumption power, China has become the second largest licensing market in Asia with retail sales of licensed products totalling US$ 600 million in 2001 -- roughly the same as such sales in all East Asian economies combined.

From the experience of licensing markets across Asian economies, it is estimated that every 1% increase in per capita GDP can bring about more than 1.4% growth in per capita sales of licensed products. That implies, by 2010, that China's licensing market could be worth over US$1.5 billion a year. In high-income cities such as Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Beijing and other major localities in the Pearl River Delta and Yangtze River Delta (YRD), retail sales of licensed products could rise to over US$5 per person per year.

To assist Hong Kong companies in exploring distribution channels and licensing opportunities in the YRD, the TDC is organising a mission to the region in March 2004. Participants can network with licensing parties in the region and explore cooperation.

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

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Content provided by Hong Kong Trade Development Council