Keeping Abreast Of New Trends
Asia's biggest electronics show looks set to scale new heights with the staging of the Hong Kong Electronics Fair 2005 (Spring Edition) at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre from April 14-17, 2005.
Last year's inaugural Spring Edition attracted 38,059 trade visitors from 143 countries and regions and the organiser, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (TDC), expects this year's event to be even more successful.
The International Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Expo will again be a special highlight of the fair, further boosting its appeal by enabling information, communications and technology companies to showcase their state-of-the-art solutions, products and services in a dedicated arena.
"We already have more than 1,600 exhibitors registered for this year's Spring Edition, which represents double-digit growth compared with last year's groundbreaking event," TDC senior exhibitions manager Anne Chick observes.
"The extremely enthusiastic participation rate shows that exhibitors are keen for buyers to see their very latest electronic items as often as possible as product life cycles in this sector become shorter and shorter."
The Spring Edition has been welcomed by many buyers, who point out that this enables them to keep abreast of the newest trends in this rapidly-changing industry environment.
"The fair is important because you get to see the progression of product development," says buyer Allen Arzoumanian of AEI Inc of the US. "It used to be that products changed every year or two - now it's every six months."
His view is echoed by electrical engineer Daniel Barale of Dynacom s.r.l, Argentina, who says, "Having the fair twice a year is good for us because of the different buying seasons in our market, and we plan to come to both fairs."
Buyers attending the Hong Kong Electronics Fair 2005 (Spring Edition) will be spoilt for choice at the event, which will feature exhibitors from Hong Kong, Australia, Austria, Canada, the Chinese mainland, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Korea, New Zealand, Russia, Singapore, Turkey and the UAE.
"The Chinese mainland, Korea and Taiwan will also host their own pavilions, which will give local and overseas buyers a truly comprehensive view of the most up-to-date innovations in the electronics sector," Chick adds.
As usual, buyers will be attracted to the myriad electronics items which make the electronics industry Hong Kong's largest merchandise export earner, accounting for 42% of Hong Kong's total exports in 2003.
Overseas shipments surged 24% in the first eleven months of 2004 to top US$105bn, with Korea (up 30%), the Chinese mainland (28%), the UK (25%), Japan (22%), Singapore (21%), Germany (16%), Taiwan (14%) and the US (11%) leading the pack.
"Hong Kong's export figures reflect the attendance at last year's spring fair, when 62.1% of foreign buyers came from Asia, 18.1% from Europe and 7.6% from North America," Chick notes. "We are expecting a similar breakdown in buyer registrations this year."
Buyer enthusiasm is matched by international exhibitors such as Shaogang Song, division chief senior engineer at the Chinese mainland's Ministry of Science and Technology's Division of Computer Software, Torch High Technology Industry Development Centre.
"Hong Kong is an international window through which mainland companies can reach out to important world markets such as the US, Europe and Japan," he notes.
"Not only do we aspire to collaborate with Hong Kong enterprises on developing products and markets, we're also exploring opportunities to find new sources of funding and establishing venture capital investment mechanisms here."
Singapore Infocomm Technology Federation executive director Teo Thiam Chye is equally optimistic.
"Hong Kong is a natural gateway to the Pearl River Delta and other parts of the mainland and companies wishing to make inroads can definitely benefit from this fair," he says.
"I was impressed by the size of the China Torch Program pavilion at the 2004 show, and I am sure that this year's event will attract a larger Chinese presence."
Like many other visitors, they will be drawn by an enormous array of exhibit categories that includes proven winners such as:
Several special product zones and pavilions have also been specifically developed for the spring event as the TDC seeks to further expand and strengthen the appeal of the world's second-largest electronics fair.
"We have instituted digital imaging, electronic manufacturing services and healthcare electronic product zones in response to growing industry demand for these items," Chick explains.
"The metal parts and components pavilion will also return, while a newly introduced surface mount technology pavilion will spotlight the latest technological developments in the electronics industry."
Another 2004 Spring Edition feature that will make a welcome return is the Hong Kong Electronics Parts Procurement Square (HKEPPS), which is organised by the TDC, supported by the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Hong Kong, and major Japanese electronic brand merchandisers.
"Japanese buyers want to buy products such as PCBs, LCDs, semiconductors and transformers," maintains Masaki Fujihara, director of JETRO Hong Kong's information service department.
"Synergy between the Electronics Fair and HKEPPS will be created at the fair because both electronics components suppliers and Japanese buyers can easily meet and talk, which leads to increasing opportunities of business matching."
Chick believes this unique blend of the world's leading electronic products and Hong Kong's acknowledged position as a regional sourcing hub and gateway to the Chinese mainland ensures the success of the forthcoming event.
"We are confident that the exclusive combination of the Hong Kong Electronics Fair 2005 (Spring Edition) and the International ICT Expo will further cement Hong Kong's hard-earned reputation as one of the world's leading and most progressive electronics centres," she concludes.
WRITTEN BY SANDRA JENNER
Specialist Expo Strong Drawcard
The International ICT Expo, a special highlight of the Hong Kong Electronics Fair (Spring Edition), is a potent attraction for international information and communications technology professionals.
"The Expo was developed to reflect the ever-increasing convergence of information and communications technologies that makes it ever more vital to keep abreast of the latest developments," TDC senior exhibitions manager Anne Chick maintains.
"The International ICT Expo enables all elements of the industry to meet in a clearly-focused event specifically designed to meet all their needs under one roof," she says.
"No other electronics event in Asia offers such a unique opportunity for buyers to meet decision makers, industry players looking for partners, and companies looking for outsourcing services."
The Expo also provides a convenient location for overseas exhibitors to link with potential Chinese mainland partners, while allowing mainland exhibitors to build working relationships with international IT companies.
Little wonder then that more than 480 exhibitors from 16 countries and regions attracted 21,000 buyers from 130 countries and regions to the 2004 International ICT Expo, which featured group pavilions from Australia, Canada, the Chinese mainland, India, Ireland, Israel, Malaysia and the US.
"Both groups appreciate the fact that the Expo has been specially split into various theme zones that allow them to meet prospective business partners in a timely and efficient manner," Chick adds.
This year's theme zones include:
The International ICT Expo also serves as an ideal channel to collect market intelligence on new products and technologies, with a variety of highly informative conferences, seminars and events designed to keep visitors abreast of the latest market developments.
"This distinctive blend of technology and information makes the Expo a highly attractive addition to the Hong Kong Electronics Fair (Spring Edition) and further underlines Hong Kong's commitment to the development of the local, regional and international electronics, information and communications technology industries," Chick says.
WRITTEN BY SANDRA JENNER