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Twin fairs to help SMEs strengthen competitiveness and find world markets

Mr. Charlie Chow, Managing Director of Nano-Fabric Co. Ltd, makes use of nano-technology to produce solar films which are then applied in the production of casual wear. The results are smart garments which can recharge cell phones. The products will be on display at the “Innovation & Design Expo” (IDE) to be held from 21 to 23 November at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre.
Mr. K.K. Chan, Director of Faeco International Ltd, invented highly-efficient energy saving fluorescent tubes. These can save electricity by up to 50%. The products have already been exported to Australia and Korea.

The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (TDC) is organising two large exhibitions this month at the Convention and Exhibition Centre to help small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) strengthen their competitiveness and to find world markets.

Although Hong Kong exports are forecast to grow strongly this year, Hong Kong companies will face a host of challenges in the middle of the year, says TDC's Head of Customer Service, Lai Ching-Hung. The hurdles will come in the form of trade protectionism, high US interest rates, high oil prices, a slow-down in overseas market demand, and over-production of goods across the globe.

"Profit margins are getting increasingly slim for Hong Kong SMEs engaged in manufacturing and in exporting," says Mr Lai.

He advises Hong Kong companies to look for opportunities in emerging markets; to increase the technology content of their products and to improve their designs. They should also find new ways to tackle problems.

The two expos -- World SME Expo and the Innovation and Design Expo (IDE) - that will take place between the 21st and the 23rd will held under six themes, designed to help Hong Kong companies strengthen their competitiveness and to tap world markets more effectively.

(1) Enterprise support -World SME Expo will have 10 pavilions, each run under a different theme: Global Business Connections, China Opportunity, Industries Meet, IT and E-Business, Management & Information, SME Financing, Legal & Accounting, Trade Services, Public Services, as well as World Market Access. These pavilions will offer a wide range of services, tailored for SMEs.

(2) Global opportunity - Directors of TDC offices around the world will be at the expo to offer advice about the markets in their respective countries. These front-line branch directors will join market experts to give a series of talks on market conditions in the different countries.

(3) International exchange - More than 150 delegations representing 5,000 mainland enterprises will attend World SME Expo not as exhibitors, but as companies looking for business partners. Seventy of these mainland enterprises will be selected to give presentations on their business strength to find partners. The All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce, Chinese General Chamber of Commerce and TDC will hold a forum on the development of private enterprises on the mainland and how mainland companies plan to venture into world markets through Hong Kong.

A French delegation representing 120 companies, and a Japanese delegation representing over 100 companies will also be at the expo looking for Hong Kong partners with whom to enter the mainland market.

(4) Design and business - IDE will set up a pavilion to showcase the services of Hong Kong design companies and their overseas counterparts. A "Scandinavian Design Day" will be held on the first day of the IDE. Designers from Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark will give talks on how Scandinavian companies use design to build brand names and add value to their products. A design and creative industry delegation from the UK will also attend the expo to establish contacts with Hong Kong companies.

(5) Opportunity in environmental protection: The HSBC will be sponsoring a "HSBC Living Business ECO DAY", which will feature a series of seminars on subjects such as opportunities on the mainland for companies involved in environmental protection. Talks will also be given on corporate social responsibility, green manufacturing, and water resources management. Environmental protection technologies and products and services provided by Hong Kong and overseas companies will be on display in a special pavilion set up for displaying environmental technologies.

(6) Innovative technology: Companies specialising in environmental protection technology, material science, electronics technology and biotechnology will be exhibiting their products under one roof.

Two other events will take place concurrently at the expo:

Hong Kong Forum - An annual conference organised by the Federation of Hong Kong Business Associations Worldwide, a grouping of Hong Kong business associations from 23 countries.

Business of Design Week - This large-scale conference is organised by the Hong Kong Design Centre in conjunction with the TDC. World-renowned designers and brand image consultants will share their insights and success stories with the audience.

More details are available at http://www.worldsmeexpo.com and http://www.innodesignexpo.com.

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For press enquiries, please contact the following members of the TDC Corporate Communication Department:

Lawrence Yau: 2584 4510 email: Lawrence.yau@tdc.org.hk
Vivien Chan: 2584 4395, email: vivien.pk.chan@tdc.org.hk
Katherine Chan: 2584 4537, email: Katherine.cm.chan@tdc.org.hk
Beatrice Lam: 2584 4049, email: Beatrice.hy.lam@tdc.org.hk

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