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Time To Tune Into Top Trends(HKTDC Electronics, Vol 04,2007)

Hong Kong Electronics Fair 2008 (Spring Edition)

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Nowhere beats the Hong Kong Electronics Fair (Spring Edition) when it comes to finding a huge selection of the very latest products at the most attractive prices.

Buyers from around the world flock to this trend-setting event, to be held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre from April 14-17, 2008.

Take, for example, RadioVictoria Fueguina S.A. Industrial Director Gustavo Routaboul of Argentina, whose firm buys about 60,000 audio products a year and around 1,000 micro audio systems monthly.

"We've been sourcing from the Chinese mainland since 2004," he revealed at the 2007 fair. "I like this event because I can see so many suppliers together, and they can meet almost all our needs."

It is precisely this sound business reasoning that leads Hong Kong Trade Development Council (TDC) Senior Exhibitions Manager Anne Chick to expect a good turnout of buyers at the Hong Kong Electronics Fair 2008 (Spring Edition).

"While it's still early days yet, we are extremely confident that important buyers from around the world will come, given the healthy state of the global economy overall and the continuing demand in major markets such as the US and Europe," she observes.

"The Spring Fair really is Asia's key industry event for sourcing the widest array of the latest electronics products, as previous fair statistics clearly indicate."

In 2007, the Hong Kong Electronics Fair (Spring Edition) and the International ICT Expo held concurrently attracted a record total of nearly 3,000 exhibitors.

The 2,406 Electronics Fair exhibitors represented an almost 7% rise from the previous year, and included first-time participants from Belgium, the Czech Republic, Finland, India, Ireland and the UK.

"In addition, a total of 576 exhibitors took part in the International ICT Expo, up nearly 9% over the previous edition," Ms Chick adds, noting that Denmark, Germany, Italy and Japan participated for the first time.

"Altogether, the Hong Kong Electronics Fair 2007 (Spring Edition) attracted more than 51,000 buyers, with leading visitors mainly from the Chinese mainland, the US, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, Australia, Germany, India, the UK and Singapore," Ms Chick says, noting that the number of buyers from outside Hong Kong increased by 4%.

This was thanks to the TDC's efforts in organising 137 buying missions, which invited 3,000 companies and 5,500 buyers to the fair.

"These included leading distributors and VIPs from such well-known chain stores as Breville, Big W and Cellnet from Australia, Canada's RGC Redmond Group and Sharper Image and Monster Cable from the US," Ms Chick notes.

Other major names included Karstadt Quelle GmbH and MGB Metro from Germany, Decathlon, Carrefour, Brico Depot and SEB of France, and Ohm Electric Inc and Autobacs from Japan.

Doubtless most of these buyers will be back again for the Hong Kong Electronics Fair 2008 (Spring Edition) to source the latest electronics products and services.

These will include:

  • audio and visual
  • digital imaging
  • electronic accessories
  • electronic manufacturing services (EMS)
  • electronic parts, components and production technology
  • healthcare electronics
  • home appliances
  • home tech
  • lighting products
  • office automation and equipment
  • personal electronics
  • security products
  • telecommunication products
  • trade services
  • vision and sound

Ms Chick notes that several highlights will return, including the well- established and much-respected Hall of Fame that showcases globally-recognised, brand-name collections.

"The equally popular Lighting Section will let buyers meet exhibitors of new and exciting products and provide an unparallelled opportunity to refresh inventory in this fast-changing field," she explains.

Other well-attended display areas established last year to meet the increased demand for digital electronics and home automation products are expected to return in 2008.

"Home Tech offered a wide range of intelligent home appliances, while Vision & Sound featured home theatre and entertainment systems," Ms Chick says.

"Both were extremely well received by buyers, who appreciated the opportunity to source similar items in one convenient location."

Other dedicated sections will include Digital Imaging, Healthcare Electronics, Electronic Manufacturing Services, the Hong Kong Electronics Parts Procurement Square (supported by the Japan External Trade Organization [JETRO]) and the Metal Parts and Components Pavilion.

"Buyers should also ensure they leave plenty of time to visit the International ICT Expo, which enables information, communications and technology companies to showcase their state-of-the-art solutions and services," Ms Chick advises.

"In addition, there will be an outstanding seminar programme, which is always an important attraction at the Spring Edition, with international experts sharing their expertise on the latest trends and key issues facing the industry."

Fuel for Growth

Smart buyers know that the Hong Kong Electronics Fair (Spring Edition) is one of the best in the world for identifying the hottest products and latest trends for the coming year.

Last year, for example, an independent survey of exhibitors and visitors, conducted at the fair by Oracle Added Value found that industry growth worldwide was expected to reach 12% with retail growth in emerging markets pegged at 16%.

This sales boom was expected to be fuelled by demand for popular items including AV products, home appliances, IT, multimedia, digital imaging and telecom products.

Traders pointed to Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and Digital Multimedia Broadcasting (DMB) as the hottest new areas in personal electronics.

Networks and mobility was seen as the information and communication technology industry's most promising category by the 200-plus exhibitors and 400 buyers interviewed for the survey.

These predictions have been borne out by the latest figures released by the TDC, which show that IT and multimedia products continue to be star performers in the market.

Wireless applications like wireless LAN or WiFi have also become popular choices, while digital products like digital camcorders, digital cameras, DVD players/recorders and digital TV apparatus are in demand among global consumers.

Indeed, Hong Kong's total exports of electronics to major markets such as the Chinese mainland, the EU, the US, ASEAN and Japan reached HK$757,235m for January-August 2007.

Total exports of telecommunications equipment and parts leapt 134%, while sales of electronic toys and games grew 63% and AV equipment and parts increased 14% in the same period.

Reinforcing its worldwide status, Hong Kong was the world's second-largest exporter in value terms in 2005 of:

  • calculators
  • radios
  • telephone sets
  • sound recording apparatus
  • computer parts/accessories
  • video recording/reproducing apparatus (including DVD/VCD recorders/players)

As a result, the electronics industry is Hong Kong's largest merchandise export earner, accounting for nearly 50% of the territory's total exports in 2006.

TEXT BY SANDRA JENNER