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The Best Show In Town(HKTDC Electronic Components & Parts, Vol 01,2007)

Hong Kong Electronics Fair (Autumn Edition)



Three-time visitor Chris Rossi knew precisely what to expect when he joined the 57,790 visitors who flocked to the Hong Kong Electronics Fair (Autumn Edition) in October 2006.

"This fair is certainly one of the best - a good place to meet new clients," enthused the Redmond Group of Companies product manager, whose firm specialises in consumer electronics, particularly televisions and flat panel displays.

"We're here to meet with existing partners to discuss our strategy for 2007, and to meet new clients," explained the Canadian buyer, who made his first visit to the corresponding event in October 2005 and returned again in April 2006 for the Spring Edition.

Rossi certainly had plenty of potential customers to meet as some 2,500 exhibitors participated in the world's second largest electronics show, taking more than 3,700 booths at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre from October 13-16, 2006.

They came from 29 countries and regions - a 17% increase over the previous year - with first-time participants from Hungary, Spain, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ireland and Denmark.

Anne Chick, senior exhibitions manager for the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (TDC), which organised the fair, noted that the fair was firmly on track to become even bigger and better.

"The current expansion of the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre that is due for completion in 2009 will provide 40% more exhibition space, offering room for an additional 1,000 booths," she explained.

"The extra space will ensure the Hong Kong Electronics Fair remains the perfect venue to exchange market intelligence and trade the latest products, including some of the technological and digital gadgets that are changing the way business is conducted."

She added that the latest fair's major highlights included the Hall of Fame, a showcase for the industry's leading premium-branded products and components that was launched in 2003. "In 2006 the Hall of Fame hosted more than 200 brand names, reflecting the ongoing trend towards the development of more upmarket products," Chick maintained.

She remarked that several international brands made their presence felt at the fair, including Haier, Midea, TCL, Hisense, GIEC, Galanz, Mobicool, OTO Bodycare, Duracell, Panda, VTech, Skyworth, Fujikon and Goodway.

"They choose the Hong Kong Electronics Fair (Autumn Edition) as a key marketing platform because they realise it is an event that consistently draws the cream of the world's buyers," Chick said.

The specialised Digital World and Home Tech zones made their debut at the fair, with the former presenting an international mix of 190 exhibitors in Expo Drive Hall.

"Home Tech drew 148 exhibitors showing intelligent home appliances, healthcare electronics and home security systems, illustrating the tremendous potential in the home technology sector," Chick added.

As if these three sections weren't attraction enough, the fair also included the Technology Exchange Zone that featured Hong Kong's universities and incubatees from the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks. "Their fascinating displays of innovations and prototypes for tomorrow's applications and products aroused tremendous interest among buyers and exhibitors alike," Chick enthused.

The success of the autumn event is also due to the proliferation of Hong Kong companies such as VTech Holdings Ltd, which appreciated the opportunity to showcase its latest offerings.

"Joining the fair enables VTech to take advantage of this premier event to promote our products to buyers at different levels," said senior corporate communications manager Grace Pang. "Moreover, it provides us with a great chance to meet our international partners since many of them attend the fair to get the latest market intelligence."

Chick added that many buyers took the opportunity to visit electronicAsia, which ran concurrently with the Hong Kong Electronics Fair (Autumn Edition) and celebrated a decade of growth as the region's leading event for sourcing electronic components and parts, and electronics production and display technologies.

Jointly organised by the TDC and MMI-Munich International Trade Fairs Pte Ltd, the event attracted 540 exhibitors from 14 countries and regions who occupied more than 800 booths.

"A must-see at electronicAsia was the World of Display Technology, while the Hong Kong Metal Parts & Components Pavilion, comprising seven exhibitors from the Hong Kong Metals Manufacturers Association, also made a highly successful debut," she added.

Ultimately, Chick said, the success of the Hong Kong Electronics Fair (Autumn Edition) and electronicAsia reflects the fact that the electronics sector is Hong Kong's biggest export earner, producing fully 48% of the territory's total exports in 2005.

"Keen global demand for electronics and products boosted Hong Kong's electronics exports to US$111.2bn in the first nine months of 2006, a 12% increase over the same period the previous year," Chick observed.

"This growth is expected to continue apace during the coming year, which should see the Hong Kong Electronics Fair 2007 (Autumn Edition) set new standards for excellence when it is held from October 13-16."


Home Tech In High Demand

Home entertainment and AV products such as LCD television sets, personal electronics and home appliances head the list of electronics buyers' hot picks for 2007.

An industry survey at the Hong Kong Electronics Fair (Autumn Edition) found that all-in-one multimedia devices like 3G telecoms products, PDAs, MP4 players, multimedia players, air-purifiers and car navigators are also expected to be big sellers.

Commissioned by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (TDC) and conducted by independent market research company Oracle, the survey interviewed 712 buyers and 423 exhibitors.

"The market outlook for electronics products was optimistic, with more than 60% of respondents saying they expected 2007 to be better or slightly better than 2006, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region," TDC senior exhibitions manager Anne Chick noted.

Their expectations build on the ongoing momentum from 2006, when 62% of interviewed buyers placed more orders and higher quantities per order than in the previous year.

Exhibitors expected major growth in the electronics retail market, not only from the US (31%) and Western Europe (22%) but also from emerging markets - particularly the Chinese mainland (27%) and Eastern Europe (24%).

"About 30% of responding buyers indicated they would source from OBM suppliers, with more than 80% willing to pay an average premium of 11% for a Hong Kong-branded product over a Hong Kong OEM item," Chick observed.

She added that increasing "green" regulations were also having an impact, with more than 80% of exhibitors surveyed ready to comply with environmental protection requirements.

"In addition, 48% of surveyed buyers intended to source more 'green' products and were willing to pay an extra 9% on average unit prices for such products," Chick said. "But more than 40% acknowledged difficulties in sourcing 'green-compliant' products."

In other findings, 60% of interviewed buyers picked Hong Kong/the southern section of the Chinese mainland as the preferred region for new suppliers, followed by the Shanghai/Yangtze River Delta.

"This is particularly heartening for the Hong Kong electronics industry, which has been consistently moving upmarket in order to maintain and enhance its acknowledged position as the world's best sourcing centre for high-quality, competitively-priced electronics products," Chick concluded.