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Toys Industry is advised to diversify markets and products

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TDC and the Hong Kong Council of Social Service also join hands to launch a "Reach Out" programme to collect toys and games from exhibitors for those in need, especially local children. (From right to left) TDC Executive Director Mr. Fred Lam and Chairman of Toys Advisory Committee Mr. Jeffrey Lam present a "Reach Out Teddy Bear" to Mr. Cliff Choi, Acting Business Director (Agency Development & Partnership) of Hong Kong Council of Social Service.
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Over 2,100 companies are exhibiting at the Hong Kong Toys and Games Fair and the Hong Kong International Stationery Fair. Buyers from around the world join the opening ceremony today (Jan 11) at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.
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Accompanied by TDC Executive Director Mr. Fred Lam (right) & Chairman of Toy's Advisory Committee. Mr. Jeffrey Lam (second from the left), Chairwoman of Legco's Commerce & Industry Panel Mrs. Sophie Leung touring around the fair ground and checking out a Hong Kong-designed toy.

The local toys industry is encouraged to penetrate fast-growing emerging markets and go higher-end.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the 31st Hong Kong Toys and Games Fair today (Jan 11), Mrs. Sophie Leung Lau Yau-fun, Chairwoman of Legco's Commerce and Industry Panel said: "Our future is full of challenges. Traditional toys are facing even keener competition, decreasing birth rates worldwide and increasing popularity of computers and online games. "

"As the growth of toy exports to mature markets remains stable, it's time to diversify our exports to emerging markets such as the United Arab Emirates, South Africa, Brazil, Russia and the Chinese mainland."

Hong Kong's toys exports have been heavily relying on the US market, which accounts for over 40% of the local toys exports.

In the first 11 months of 2004, Hong Kong toys exports totalled HK$ 71.1 billion, a moderate 1% growth compared to the same period in 2003. However, toys exports to emerging markets grew significantly by 20%-40%.

"The local toys sector also needs to develop innovative toys," said Mrs. Leung. "These are the keys for Hong Kong industry to stay competitive as the world's largest toys supplier."

Mrs. Leung pointed out that the Toys and Games Fair is the preferred promotion platform for industry players, from mature and emerging markets alike.

"This event, the largest of its kind in Asia and second in the world, is a fine endorsement of Hong Kong's role as a trading hub and a production management centre in the region."

Over 2,100 companies are exhibiting at the Hong Kong Toys and Games Fair and the Hong Kong International Stationery Fair. The two shows run concurrently from today till this Friday (Jan 14) at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (TDC), the Hong Kong Toys and Games Fair has attracted a total of 1,899 exhibitors from 35 countries and regions, representing a 5.1% growth.

Apart from Hong Kong exhibitors, the fair also attracted eight group pavilions from the Chinese mainland, Germany, Italy, Korea, Pakistan, Spain, Taiwan and Thailand. It has also received first time exhibitors from Columbia, France, Switzerland, Turkey and Slovenia.

The Hong Kong International Stationery Fair is jointly organized by the TDC and Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd. The fair attracts 265 exhibitors from all over the world including group pavilion from the Chinese mainland, Korea, Taiwan and Thailand, featuring a comprehensive array of stationery and printed products.

Mr. Jeffrey Lam, Chairman of TDC Toys Advisory Committee also officiated at the event said: "The Toys and Games fair has constantly been expanding and adding new products to enrich the merchandising segments and offer buyers additional choices for stocking."

This year, the scale of "Outdoor and Sporty Goods Item" and "Hobby Goods" section has been expanded. In addition, a "Magic Section" is newly introduced to meet the market demand.

The TDC has invited over 2,700 key buyers from 40 countries to visit the two fairs. TDC offers tailored made business matching service, helping buyers to find suppliers and right partners.

Mr Lam said buyers can also seek expertise advice onsite at the "Hong Kong Services Pavilion", where design, marketing, legal, licensing and logistics services are on offer.

Along with providing a marketplace for conducting businesses, the fair also provides the exchange of market intelligence. Marking its debut, the "Hong Kong Toys Forum" will be held to explore the global trends of toys industry.

The forum is organized by the Hong Kong Toys Council and eight globally acclaimed industry experts will analyze how the Hong Kong industry players can embrace the challenges ahead by using effective corporate strategies, innovative management solutions and unique business model.

In order to help victims of the recent Tsunami, TDC also mobilises participants of the event to make donations to local charity organisations closely involved in post-disaster rescue and reconstruction.

TDC and the Hong Kong Council of Social Service also join hands to launch a "Reach Out" programme to collect toys and games from exhibitors for those in need, especially local children.

Other highlights of the fair include:

Magic Demonstration - Magicians from Thailand and Hong Kong will show the magic of the latest products.

Market Seminars - Industry experts will share their views on "CARE Process", "Product Safety in Europe - General Product Safety Directive (GPSD), "Debt Management" and "Brand Name Promotion in Chinese mainland"

Licensing Seminar - Industry experts will unveil the road to success in licensing business, give advice on legal matters and share intelligence on trends of the licensing merchandises in the US market.

Onsite survey - TDC has commissioned Oracle Market Research to conduct survey to identify the latest market and product trends. Survey findings will be announced on the last day (Jan 14) of the fair.

Further reference:

Hong Kong Toys Fair Official website: http://www.hktoyfair.com
Hong Kong International Stationery Fair Official website: http://www.hkstationeryfair.com
Tdctrade.com vertical portal on toys industry: http://toys.tdctrade.com
Industry profile: http://www.tdctrade.com/main/industries/t2_2_39.htm
Statistics on HK toys industry: http://stat.tdctrade.com/monthly/prodt_c.htm

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Content provided by Hong Kong Trade Development Council