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All About Products,Technology & Business(HKTDC Electronics, Vol 04,2002)

Vol 4, 2002

Fair Preview

All About Products,Technology & Business

All About Products,Technology & Business

22nd Hong Kong Electronics Fair
October 11-14, 2002

Total Exhibitors
2002 (Expected): 1,650
2001: 1,632

Total Visitors
2002 (Expected): 43,000
2001: 42,617

Product Mix
Audiovisual products
Electronic accessories
Home appliances
Multimedia/electronic gaming
Office automation & equipment
Personal electronics/multi-products
Related services
Security products
Telecommunications products

Group Pavilions
Chinese mainland, Korea and Taiwan

Scale
44,000 square metres

Venue
Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre

Organizer
Hong Kong Trade Development Council

Admission
HK$100 (US$12.82)
Trade visitors only

Concurrent Events

electronicAsia 2002 :

organized by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council and MMI-Munich Int'l Trade Fairs Pte Ltd


Hong Kong Int'l Lighting Fair 2002 :

organized by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council


Frontiers of Brainpower :

displays of innovations, ideas and prototypes for tomorrow's applications and production


Market Seminars : key industry experts share views on market trends, business opportunities and challenges

Enquiries

Exhibitions Department
Hong Kong Trade Development Council Unit 13, Expo Galleria
Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre,
1 Expo Drive, Wanchai, Hong Kong
Tel: (852) 2240-4353
Fax: (852) 2824-0249
E-mail: exhibitions@tdc.org.hk
Web: www.tdctradefairs.com

Show Times

Fair Dates

Opening Hours

Buyer Registration Counter
October 10   2pm - 7pm
October 11-13 9:30am - 6:30pm 9am - 6pm
October 14 9:30am - 5pm 9am - 4:30pm
Visitor Enquiries: (852) 2240-4388

Time Saver

Register in advance on the Internet on or before September 20 to avoid queues at the fair.
Visit the fair Web site: http://hkelectronicsfair.com

 

Organizers Gear For Massive Event In 2002

In addition to the main display areas for 1,600 exhibitors to meet old and new clients, special pavilions will feature products from the Chinese mainland, Korea and Taiwan.

HONG Kong is preparing to host the 22nd edition of the Hong Kong Electronics Fair. Scheduled for October 11-14 at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre (HKCEC), this annual trade event features a feast of the latest electronics-related products and services.

Among the major product categories are: Audiovisual, Electronic Accessories, Personal Electronics/Multi-Products, Home Appliances, Multimedia/Electronic Gaming, Office Automation & Equipment, Related Services, Security and Telecommunication Products.

Occupying the HKCEC's Halls 1, 2, 3, Convention Hall and Grand Hall, the upcoming fair also includes:

  • Frontiers of Brainpower - a display of innovations, ideas and prototypes for tomorrow's applications and production; and
  • Market Seminars - when industry experts share insights on market trends, business opportunities and challenges.

Delighted with the response from exhibitors, Hong Kong Trade Development Council (TDC) senior exhibitions manager Anne Chick promises a top-flight show.

"The Hong Kong Electronics Fair provides an unmatched window of opportunity for buyers to source new products and services, a meeting place for business transactions and an important forum for the exchange of ideas," she says.

Up to 43,000 visitors are expected to attend the 22nd annual Hong Kong Electronics Fair, the largest trade show of its type in Asia, at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.

For many participants, the fair is about more than trading. "While business is paramount, so are networking, learning and getting up to date on what is happening at the international level," Chick says.

The level of satisfaction is high. "Buyers say they can find the best quality, the best prices and the most flexible suppliers ready to listen and attend to their needs. Most exhibitors are thoroughly satisfied with new business and enhanced prospects, making them quick to sign up for the following year," she says.

This year, 1,600-plus exhibitors from around the world, including substantial numbers from the Asia-Pacific region, will greet up to 43,000 trade visitors - approximately half from Asia and half from elsewhere.

"In addition to the main display areas, there are plans for special pavilions from the Chinese mainland, Korea and Taiwan," adds Chick.

The Hong Kong Electronics Fair is the third-largest trade show of its type in the world and the largest in the region.

Pundits say this year's event will serve as a barometer to measure market recovery. "A TDC survey among participants last year revealed widespread optimism that the electronics industry would report improving results in the second half of 2002," Chick says.

The Hong Kong Electronics Fair continues to attract record numbers of visitors. Only limitations on floor space prevent faster growth.

"We utilize every part of the 44,000 square metres made available at the site," Chick says. "Inevitably, some would-be exhibitors are disappointed at not securing a booth. We continue working with the HKCEC on ways and means to address this issue."

 

A Tale And Time Of Many Trade Activities

The sixth edition of electronicAsia is expected to draw plenty of attention from overseas and Hong Kong visitors who are searching for suppliers of components, parts, assemblies and equipment.

THERE is always plenty to do during the Hong Kong Electronics Fair. Under the same roof and at the same time, visitors will also find:

  • Hong Kong Int'l Lighting Fair 2002 - Asia's largest lighting fair, packed with fixtures and fittings (organized by TDC); and
  • electronicAsia 2002 - an industry event featuring components, parts, assemblies and equipment (organized by TDC and MMI-Munich Int'l Trade Fairs Pte Ltd).

"We expect these concurrent events to draw a lot of attention from overseas and Hong Kong visitors," says TDC senior exhibitions manager Anne Chick.

"Each year, thousands of traders who attend the main event also join their industry colleagues at the concurrent fairs."

The Hong Kong Int'l Lighting Fair focuses on consumer lighting, a high-growth sector as people the world over seek to decorate their homes with stylish fittings.

"In 1999, we launched this event as a spinoff from the Hong Kong Electronics Fair, and it developed very well. This year we expect 20,000 visitors will see the latest lighting creations and designs from more than 450 exhibitors," Chick says.

Half the exhibitors come from overseas. There are also special pavilions from the Chinese mainland and Taiwan.

Visitors to the upcoming sixth edition of electronicAsia will see how the event thrives from the expanding global trade in electronic parts and components.

"The Asia-Pacific region is forecast to enjoy strong growth in this sector for the next two years or so," says Chick.

Products will appear in clearly defined categories. "There is even a special World of Display Technology for advanced display components and assemblies that always draws a lot of attention," says Chick.

The Hong Kong Int'l Lighting Fair takes place in Hall 5 of the HKCEC while electronicAsia is in Hall 7.

For more information, please check the following Web sites:

http://hkelectronicsfair.com

http://hklightingfair.com

http://electronicasia.com

 

Prospects Appear Positive, Say Most Industry Players

After a decline in 2001, the electronics industry is hoping consumers will regain confidence and spend on electronic goods in 2002. Business at the Hong Kong Electronic Fair will be an indicator of any revival.

DISCUSSING business prospects with some of Hong Kong's leading players in the electronics industry elicits responses ranging from "cautious" to "positive".

All agree that 2001 was a most unusual year, full of strife and terrorism, perhaps not the best period for measuring progress or determining trends.

Electronics account for more than a third of Hong Kong's total exports. Yet this sector saw a 2% decline in export value in the first 11 months of 2001 versus the same period a year earlier.

Sales to the US and the EU fell by 17% and 10% respectively, while those to the Chinese mainland (consisting mainly of parts and components) surged by 19%.

For some members of the Hong Kong Electronic Industries Assn (HKEIA), 2001 was possibly the worst year since the oil crisis of the 1970s.

"Terrorists, war and remnants of the Asian economic crisis all affected consumer demand in a volatile year most manufacturers were happy to leave behind," says HKEIA executive director Charles Chapman.

"A good 2002 could be the start of a sustained positive period or simply reflect the replenishment of inventories that have trickled dry in the past two years," Chapman says.

The bottom line depends on consumer confidence. "If ordinary people, in their millions the world over, have the confidence to spend on computers, audiovisual goods, home appliances and so forth, then the market will recover. Some sectors are picking up. Business at this year's Hong Kong Electronics Fair will provide more evidence of any revival," Chapman says.

In a buoyant mood, VTech Holdings Ltd chairman Allan Wong says the signs for economic recovery are quite good, especially given widespread talk of a turnaround in the global economy.

Hong Kong is a capital of the consumer electronics world, where digital products - such as digital video and still-picture cameras, DVD players and MP3 players - remain very much in demand among trade-fair visitors.

"There is a lot of optimism for better results in the second half of 2002. Events like the recent Winter Olympics and the World Cup also may help to strengthen consumer confidence," Wong says.

The Chinese mainland's entry to the World Trade Organization (WTO) should stimulate interest and business confidence. "Opportunities exist to develop more two-way trade between Hong Kong and the mainland as the mainland rapidly opens its markets," Wong says.

"Hong Kong is also an important trading centre for electronic parts and components. In addition to products from the mainland, we re-export many items from Japan, Taiwan, the US and Korea. Many multinational parts and components suppliers have regional headquarters and/or offices in Hong Kong for sales, distribution and sourcing activities," Wong says.

Mainland liberalization in telecoms and Internet services should boost demand for related equipment. Enhancement of the trading and distribution sectors will create an environment suitable for parts and components businesses.

"Moderately optimistic" Micro Electronics Ltd managing director Bernard Zau says business in 2002 should return to "normal". He believes IT and multimedia products will regain status as star performers.

"Hong Kong is a capital of the consumer electronics world, where digital products - like digital video cameras, still-picture digital cameras, DVD video players, MD players and MP3 players and combos - remain very much in demand. Digital TV equipment will also benefit from the implementation of digital broadcasting in overseas markets," says Zau.

Yet consumer habits are changing. "We see low inventory levels in major export markets, requiring quick responses for inventory replenishment. Product life cycles are growing shorter, and changes to features and cosmetics must come more frequently," Zau says.

"Hong Kong manufacturers are adaptable and responsive, and constantly upgrade their capability in aesthetic design, but must also have logistics and infrastructure support."

They have come a long way from OEM work to building prototypes and developing their own brands.

"The key to our future is R&D and product design. We need top talent to achieve this. At the same time, Hong Kong must continue its rapid development as an international financial, marketing and logistics centre for the efficient handling of products and services," says Zau.

 

Host City Functions As A 'Business Magnet'

Hong Kong has the infrastructure, connections, logistics and telecoms channels to sustain its role as Asia's electronics hub.

GLOBALLY and regionally, Hong Kong plays a pivotal role in the electronics industry, says the chairman of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council's Electronics/Electrical Appliances Advisory Committee, Allan Wong.

"We have the infrastructure, connections, logistics and telecoms channels to sustain our role as Asia's electronics hub," he says.

Hong Kong's strategic role is no overnight sensation. "We have supplied electronics goods to the world for more than half a century and are leading exporters of everyday products like calculators, radios, telephones and accessories. The audiovisual sector is our largest category, but we are also a major force in electronic toys, timepieces, computers and peripherals, CD-related products and telecommunications."

Another positive factor is how the annual Hong Kong Electronics Fair has developed into the third largest such event in the world.

One more talking point is the Chinese mainland's accession to the World Trade Organization. "The mainland is examining ways to rapidly open its markets to foreign goods and services. In anticipation, major international players are establishing regional offices in Hong Kong. Opportunities for two-way trade between the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong have never been better," Wong says.

Hong Kong Electronic Industries Assn executive director Charles Chapman agrees: "The Hong Kong Electronics Fair is all about business. Typically, the corridors are thronged with buyers brandishing chequebooks ready to buy. They come to Hong Kong year after year for four reasons: price, delivery, reputation and quality. Hong Kong has them all."

Business is the name of the game at the Hong Kong Electronics Fair. Buyers come armed with chequebooks, ready to buy from manufacturers who can supply appropriate products at the right price, with high quality and prompt delivery.

Only lack of venue space prevents the fair from growing even faster. "In the fair's early years we had 50-60 exhibitors," says Chapman. "When we first moved to the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, that leaped to 350."

Chapman remembers early pavilions for Asian exhibitors. "When we introduced international pavilions about seven years ago, there were some 50 exhibitors in the Chinese mainland section compared to more than 500 this year. The mainland has 35,000 electronics firms. Imagine how large our fair would be if only 10% could get booths."

TechTronic Industries Ltd managing director Roy Chung calls Hong Kong a natural platform for two-way business involving the mainland.

"When doing business in the US, you can access a large portion of the market by locating one or two important buyers. On the mainland, however, the population is five-times higher, distribution is a major headache, and I doubt if any company can successfully penetrate the entire market without some assistance from Hong Kong," Chung says.

Solar Wide Industrial Ltd managing director Hughes Sanoner says Hong Kong is the right place for research and development, logistics and marketing functions.

"Hong Kong and the mainland can work hand-in-hand, rather than as competitors. Hong Kong can certainly function as the financial and services hub to bring in new business while the mainland concentrates on manufacturing," says Sanoner.

Champion Technology Holdings Ltd chairman Paul Kan believes the public has misconceptions. "Some people think of Hong Kong as an assembly point for overseas brands. In fact, major international companies and brands often come to us with ideas and ask if we can develop or realize them. Most often, we can and do. Design and development are probably Hong Kong's most under-rated capabilities.

"The Chinese mainland is a huge country, and each province has its own industries. You can only visit some major cities, but here in Hong Kong you frequently meet all the major players in one location."

Each October, that location is the Hong Kong Electronics Fair.

"Hong Kong is not only a natural bridge to the mainland provinces, but also a magnet for those wishing to conduct business there," concludes Kan.

 

Preparing For The Fair

The Hong Kong Electronics Fair has truly international appeal, providing exhibitors with exposure in areas they would not normally explore, while enabling them to renew contacts with overseas clients.

THIS year the Hong Kong Electronics Fair celebrates its 22nd anniversary. The exhibitors, while agreeing that participating requires a lot of preparatory work, insist that subsequent gains far outweigh all costs. They savour the fair's global flavour.

Vtech Holdings Ltd chairman Allan Wong says his company grew in tandem with the fair. "We established VTech in October 1976 with a small, 2,000-square-foot office and only 40 staff. The fair started in 1981 as a very humble event with only about 60 exhibitors. Year after year, it went from strength to strength, becoming the substantial international event it is today," he says.

In 1978, VTech introduced its first product, a portable electronic game based on a single-chip microprocessor. "From that, we expanded into a full range of in-house designed electronic games. In 1981, we launched our first electronic learning product - the Lesson One," recalls Wong.

Three years later, VTech produced its first self-designed satellite receiver. In 1991 came the 900MHZ cordless phone, a new generation of high frequency cordless telephones using microwave technology.

"Now we are the market leader in electronic learning products with a dominant share in major markets like the US, the UK and other European countries. We also have an impressive presence in the cordless-phone sector. At the upcoming fair, we will display a full range of all our latest products," Wong promises.

Solar Wide Industrial Ltd has participated in the fair since 1992. "It is a major event with truly international appeal that gives us exposure in areas we would not normally explore, while allowing us to meet existing clients from major markets like the US and Europe," says managing director Hughes Sanoner.

With product lives getting shorter, always displaying new models is essential for business survival. At the upcoming electronics fair, expect to see "smart" domestic appliances and some giant strides in mobile telephony, say manufacturers.

Solar Wide will display specialized products like electronic hand tools, laser levelling systems and electronic solar-powered garden lights. The company's business has never been better.

"True, there was a dip in late 2001, but that was more of a reaction than a trend. The first two months of 2002 saw a strong pickup and signs are very good," Sanoner says.

"Product lives are getting shorter. No manufacturer can afford to display the same models year after year. It is very important to stay modern, novel and innovative while anticipating trends," he adds.

Solar Wide's Asian markets are gradually expanding. "In Japan, we have specialized demand for our solar-powered garden lights. The Chinese mainland is a potentially huge market still to develop. When it does, we expect strong demand for our electronic hand tools and laser levelling devices," he says.

Champion Technology Holdings Ltd chairman Paul Kan sees no threat to fairs from the Internet. "Just the opposite," he argues. "The Internet facilitates better and more efficient trade events because buyers, when actually meeting their suppliers, have already visited Web sites and learned about new products. With all the preparatory work done, they can get down to business."

At the upcoming fair, Kan anticipates seeing "smart domestic appliances" and "giant strides in mobile telephony".

The final comment goes to Hong Kong Electronic Industries Assn executive director Charles Chapman: "Hong Kong is at the core of the huge consumer electronics sector. Our members attend the Hong Kong Electronics Fair year after year for a simple reason - to do business. Buyers come to Hong Kong because of the vast array of products, quality of the goods and the competitive prices. It is all very exciting and worthwhile for exhibitors and buyers alike."

WRITTEN BY ANTHONY MOORE

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