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Golden Opportunities(HKTDC Electronics, Vol 03,2005)

Vol 3, 2005

Fair Review

Golden Opportunities
Hong Kong Electronics Fair 2005 (Spring Edition)

Golden Opportunities

Hong Kong Electronics Fair 2005 (Spring Edition)

Photo
New functions and creative designs joined forces at the Spring Edition of the Hong Kong Electronics Fair 2005 in April. A record number of exhibitors and visitors crowded the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre to view the latest trends from Hong Kong's burgeoning electronics industry and its overseas counterparts.

More than 1,900 international exhibitors - an increase of 30% over the inaugural 2004 event - displayed new ideas, top technology and stylish designs ranging from funky ball-shaped portable televisions to a quirky Nail Artist station.

More than 47,000 visitors turned out for the four-day event, an increase of 24% over last year. Of these, more than half were from overseas, a growth of 30% from 2004.

Some 60 buying missions from 38 countries and regions, representing 1,818 companies, were welcomed at the spring fair, as well as numerous independent buyers.

The UK and Germany entered the top 10 visitor country list and the Chinese mainland, the US, Taiwan and Korea - all renowned centres for electronics - were the top four countries/regions for visitor numbers respectively. Moreover, all top 10 visiting countries/regions posted strong gains over last year's event.

"The second Spring Edition has quickly caught up with the scope and scale of the long-established Autumn Edition," noted Dr Allan Wong, SBS, JP, and chairman of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (TDC) Electronics/ Electrical Appliances Industry Advisory Committee.

TDC senior exhibitions manager Anne Chick said the Spring Edition reflected the continuing strong growth of the Hong Kong electronics sector, whose total exports exceeded US$116bn in 2004, a 24% increase compared with 2003.

"Exports to the US increased 11% and those to the EU and Japan climbed 28% and 23% respectively, further underlining Hong Kong's unique ability to spearhead market trends while simultaneously catering to the demands of every sector of the consumer market worldwide," Chick claimed.

Buyers' comments echoed these sentiments. "The Hong Kong Electronics Fair is a hub for grasping the latest market and product trends and I'll be coming twice a year from now on for the event," enthused Jurgen Schuster, managing director of PEROS Electronics GmbH, a German importer of consumer electronics to retailers all over Europe.

Takahashi Yasuo, president of Plando Co Inc of Japan, said, "I have just designed a new range of plush toys, which will incorporate electronic components or IC modules. On the very first day of the fair I was able to negotiate with a components supplier."

Australian Paul Kelly, managing director of computer installation and industrial automation company P & C Holdings Pty Ltd, concurred. "This is our second year at the fair and it is important for us because we place 50% of our yearly orders here."

Buyers delighted in visiting new sections of the fair, including Digital Imaging, Healthcare Electronics and Electronic Manufacturing Services (EMS), as well as appreciating the strong display of audio and visual products, electronic accessories, personal electronics and home appliances.

Another value-packed highlight of the Spring Edition was the International ICT Expo, which featured more than 500 information and communications technology companies offering a broad range of applications and solutions for business development.

Visitors and exhibitors alike also took the opportunity to attend the strong line-up of seminars and conferences at the Spring Edition, such as tripartite partnership among Hong Kong, Chinese mainland and overseas companies, green production, Japan's business opportunities, wireless business development and retail technology.

The Retail and Supply Chain Technology Symposium 2005 held at the fair drew a packed house to listen to speakers such as IBM Asia Pacific Business Area executive, Digital Media & Wireless, Small & Medium Business, Christine Ng.

Her presentation highlighted important innovative applications of the latest technology, such as dynamic digital merchandising/advertising, real-time inventory management, digital surveillance systems, CRM loyalty cards and information kiosks.

Showing yet again that with something for everyone, the Spring Edition has now become an established, must-attend show for all serious companies in the electronics field.

WRITTEN BY SANDRA JENNER

GOING GREEN

The outlook for the electronics industry appears very positive, although the latest research indicates that competitive pricing and an increased trend for green products provide challenges for manufacturers.

The Hong Kong Trade Development Council commissioned Oracle Market Research to conduct a survey during the Spring Edition of the Hong Kong Electronics Fair 2005.

Among the 1,128 exhibitors and buyers interviewed, more than 70% predict good prospects for the electronics market and about 80% for the ICT sector in 2005.

About 70% of electronics exhibitors anticipate the highest growth to come from emerging markets (51%) - mainly the Chinese mainland (35%) - followed by Western Europe (46%) and the US (36%).

As for products, ICT exhibitors expect 3G applications to display the greatest growth potential (32%) in the coming year, while ICT visitors expect wireless Internet (39%) and 3G (32%) to enjoy the highest growth.

Some visitors interviewed anticipate an increased number of orders with additional quantity per order in 2005 compared with 2004. However, exhibitors interviewed believe that their fiercest challenge would be a rise in production costs.

More than 70% of interviewees also expressed interest in the trend towards a "green" market, with 42% believing the biggest obstacle in keeping up with this trend would be the rise in production costs.

Green areas identified as the most important were environmentally friendly packaging; use of lead-free and halogen-free materials and technology; material recycling, refurbishment and reuse; energy efficiency; longer product life span; and education and training.