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Premier Performance(HKTDC Electronics, Vol 05,2005)

Vol 5, 2005


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Fair Review

Premier Performance
Hong Kong Electronics Fair 2005 (Autumn Edition)

Premier Performance

Hong Kong Electronics Fair 2005 (Autumn Edition)

Photo
An overwhelming majority of buyers and visitors to the Hong Kong Electronics Fair 2005 (Autumn Edition) expect the electronics market to grow or at least remain stable, auguring well for the industry worldwide in 2006.

Their enthusiasm was fired by the extensive range of products, services and seminars during the October 13-16 fair at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, and further confirmed by an Oracle Market Research survey (see sidebar).

Buyers and exhibitors from around the world were entranced by a fair universally recognised as one of the international industry's premier electronics events, attracting some 53,980 visitors from 146 countries and regions and 2,120 exhibitors from 27 countries and regions.

"The 25th edition of the Hong Kong Electronics Fair yet again exceeded all expectations, registering another successful season," enthused Anne Chick, senior exhibitions manager for the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (TDC), the event's organiser.

She noted that the number of visitors from outside Hong Kong rose 3% over the 2004 event, with the 8,568 attendees from the Chinese mainland comprising the largest number of visitors. "Equally encouraging was the 4.5% increase in exhibitors, making this Asia's largest event of its kind," Chick added.

A myriad of interesting products were on show at the fair, ranging from audio and visual systems, electronic accessories and home appliances to multimedia and personal electronics, office automation and equipment, security and telecommunications products and trade services.

"The highly popular Hall of Fame again reinforced the fair's reputation as a venue for branded products and technology," Chick said. "Launched in 2003 to focus on outstanding innovations and creative designs from around the world, this year the Hall saw more than 170 world-class electronics brand names conveniently displayed unde?r one roof."

Returning by popular demand was the Frontiers of Brainpower, which brought together Hong Kong's top research institutes and incubator companies to display their latest ideas, technologies and prototypes. These included such creative projects as the "ZigBee Wireless Automation System" from the City University of Hong Kong's Department of Electronic Engineering, and the "World's Smallest Bluetooth Module" from the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

In addition, electronicAsia ran concurrently with the fair, adding electronic components, assemblies, electronics production and display technologies to create one major, integrated industry platform.

Dr Allan Wong, chairman of the TDC Electronics/Electrical Appliances Industry Advisory Committee, noted the significant milestone of the fair's 25th year anniversary at a time of robust performance in the Hong Kong electronics industry.

"Hong Kong's overall electronics exports grew an impressive 17% in the first eight months of 2005, led by a hefty 21% increase in sales to the Chinese mainland," noted Dr Wong. "Exports to many other major markets also registered double-digit growth, with sales to Japan and the EU growing 18% and 22% respectively."

Whether regular visitors or newcomers to the event, there were products to please every discerning buyer. "I use this fair to meet with my regular suppliers rather than seek new ones," explained Jan-Arve Pettersen, director, sales and marketing of Norwegian importer and distributor Telefonselskapet AS. "It is very convenient to see them all in one place."

Newcomer Michael Najm, managing director of Australian company Statewide Development and Investment Group, came to source security systems, closed circuit TVs, video intercoms and alarm systems.

"I have seen a couple of interesting companies already that manufacture such pr?oducts, including a firm from Britain," he explained. "This is my first time at the Hong Kong Electronics Fair - and I'm happy that I made the trip."

Exhibitors were equally enthusiastic. "The fair is one of the best ways to get initial contacts and new customers," explained Grace Pang, senior corporate communications manager at VTech Holdings Ltd, a Hong Kong-based producer of cordless phones and electronic learning products.

Fair participants also took advantage of the opportunity to keep abreast of market trends at a wide range of seminars, including discussions on simplifying Chinese mainland certification procedures and "Green Awareness" that stressed the importance of complying with new European Union directives.

The 25th Hong Kong Electronics Fair proved an event to remember and the 2006 fair looks destined to go from strength to strength in line with overwhelmingly positive sentiments for the future of the international electronics industry.

Future Perfect

Electronics exhibitors and buyers were unanimous in anticipating more positive prospects for the electronics market next year, according to an on-site survey conducted by Oracle Market Research at the Hong Kong Electronics Fair 2005 (Autumn Edition).

Around 90% of the 419 exhibitors interviewed and 92% of the 706 buyers surveyed expected the electronics market to "stay the same" or "be even better" than in 2005.

Encouragingly, around 75% of the buyers polled anticipated an increase in the number of orders next year and over 60% said they were likely to increase the quantity per order in the coming year.

More than 80% of the survey participants claimed there was growing popularity of the "Green Concept" of environmental awareness and environmentally-friendly production, which marked a significant 20% increase compared to a similar survey'?s findings in 2004.

For exhibitors, the use of lead-free and halogen-free materials and technologies were major means of achieving a "green" contribution, while buyers considered energy efficiency as more important.

The growing popularity of "green" products was further supported by statistics that showed some 68% of exhibitors interviewed were currently manufacturing more environmentally-friendly products.

Equally important, around 65% of buyers were currently selling more environmentally friendly products, with Western Europe the core market.

The survey also found 56% of the exhibitors regarded price as a perceived consideration when sourcing electronics products; while 46% of buyers believed functionality was their prime consideration.

Exhibitors and buyers alike are aware that electronics items are facing a shorter and shorter shelf life, so innovation is key and speedy delivery of the very latest products essential.

Excellent reasons for participating in the Hong Kong Electronics Fair 2006 (Spring Edition), which makes its third appearance from April 14-17, and the next Autumn Edition on October 13-16, 2006 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.

WRITTEN BY SANDRA JENNER