6 Oct 2005
Sensational Opportunities(HKTDC Gifts, Premium & Stationery, Vol 04,2005)
January 10-13, 2006 (Tuesday - Friday)
Grand Hall & Foyer, Mezzanine 2
Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre
1 Expo Drive, Wanchai, Hong Kong
(Harbour Road entrance)
Trade only. Visitors under 18 will not be admitted.
5,758 square metres
Children's stationery & school supplies
Paper & paper products
Hong Kong Trade Development Council
Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd
Visit the website at http://www.hkstationeryfair.com
Celebrating its sixth year, Asia's premier sourcing event for stationery and office products again appears at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre - from January 10-13, 2006 - in conjunction with the internationally famous Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair. The event is jointly organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (TDC) and Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd.
Buyers can look forward to seeing new and innovative items and a host of old favourites, all placed on display by local and overseas exhibitors.
Last year, more than 260 exhibitors from 15 countries and regions participated in the fair, while some 50% of the 15,856 visitors also came from outside Hong Kong. The top 10 visiting countries/regions included the Chinese mainland, Japan, the US, Taiwan, South Korea, the UK, Thailand, Australia, Germany and Singapore.
"The stationery sector is changing and is no longer the traditional back-to-school business that once dominated," notes TDC senior exhibitions manager Anne Chick. "The market also continues to expand, and the Hong Kong International Stationery Fair embraces all these changes. The fair truly reflects the global nature of the stationery industry, and is a must-see event for everyone in the business."
According to TDC figures, the stationery industry has made great strides, with burgeoning demand and an exciting product range. For example, total exports of Hong Kong's stationery items jumped 8.9% in 2004 to HK$11.2bn compared with 2003, underpinned by the brisk performance of exports to the Chinese mainland, which rose by 19.2%.
Strong growth in exports in 2004 to Japan (up 28.1%) and the EU (France, up 20.8%; Italy, up 13.9%; the UK, up 11.4%, and Germany, up 4.9%) underscored the diversity of the territory's major markets. However, exports to the US - the territory's biggest market with a 30.2% share of total exports - slipped 0.6% compared with a year earlier.
Paper stationery remains Hong Kong's largest export category and includes exercise books, albums, diaries, sketchbooks, memo pads, gift boxes, shopping bags, shipping bags and gift-wrapping materials. However, moving up fast are computer accessories such as labels, disks, disk storage containers, PC covers, cleaners and mouse pads.
Luxury stationery is another key growth area, with demand for quality correspondence paper or cards on the rise, as is stationery featuring licensed characters from popular TV shows, cartoons and movies. Furthermore, stationery sets, comprising a plastic ruler, tape measure, retractable paper cutter, pencil and pencil sharpener, stapler and scissors, are gaining in popularity.
Both buyers and exhibitors at the 2005 fair were enthusiastic about the business opportunities afforded. "Every year, we make new contacts," said Bubugao general manager Yuping Zhao, who noted that the Chinese mainland pen manufacturer had exhibited at each of the past five fairs
"At least 80% of the buyers I met were new, and there were lots more than last year. This is the only exhibition that I join in Asia, and I will double the size of my booth in 2006."
Also happy was Yasushi Muto, product planning department assistant manager of Japan's Sanrio Co Ltd. The firm has 150 retail shop outlets and 1,500 department store concessions.
"Hello Kitty is one of our most famous characters, and we were interested in sourcing companies with the necessary techniques and manufacturing capability to support our business," he said. "I am happy to have found at least 12 new suppliers."
Meanwhile, United Arab Emirates-based Dubai Library Distributors - the sole Disney licensee for the Middle East - placed US$250,000-worth of orders for stationery and office equipment, school supplies and educational toys.
"I was comfortable with the quality and price levels the manufacturers offered," said managing director Rashed Al Kaitoob, who added that he definitely planned to return in 2006.
Ahead, mindful that keeping up with new developments is essential in any industry and part of an ongoing effort to keep visitors fully informed, the 2006 edition's information-packed conference and seminar programme will feature leading industry experts who will discuss their views about the future of the industry.
"There's still time to sign up," advises Chick, "as the deadline for on-line registration for this not-to-be-missed international event is December 5, 2005."
For serious industry traders, the Hong Kong International Stationery Fair 2006 is clearly the place to be for sharing information, seeing the latest products and getting the most from a buying trip.
WRITTEN BY ANDREA PAWLYNA
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