1 Nov 1998
TDC NEWS (HKTDC Houseware,1998)
TASTE BUDS PUT FOOD FAIR TO THE TEST
ASIAS leading food and beverages promotion event, Food Expo 98, recently showcased a wide selection of traditional and regional delicacies at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC). This marketing event is organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (TDC) annually during the summer holidays.
A total of 135 local exhibitors, together with 44 companies from mainland China, Japan, South Korea, Thailand and the US, filled the fairground with exotic flavours, colours and aroma.
Speaking at the opening of the show, TDC chairman Victor Fung said the fair was a must-go summer event for people from all walks of life. Hong Kong people are not just food lovers, but major consumers, making the fair an ideal occasion for on-site market research and new product testing.
He also said the fair played a more important role in boosting the food business during tough times. A fair like this helps companies boost their brand recognition, develop and expand their trade contacts, and meet the maximum number of buyers, vendors and retail customers, in an efficient, business-like and cost-effective setting, said Fung.
Last year Hong Kong imported HK$61.5bn worth of food and beverages, a 6% increase on the previous year.
Hong Kongs exports of processed food products and beverages have also remained strong totalling almost HK$27bn last year showing that Hong Kong has established itself as a sourcing and distribution centre for food products throughout Asia.
Betty Tung Chiu Hung-ping, the guest of honour at the opening, toured the fairground and took the opportunity to enjoy herself in the 9,000-square-metre gourmet paradise.
Exhibits included baby food, bakery products, beers, biscuits, bread, cakes, canned food, cereals, confectionery, desserts, frozen food, health and natural food, instant food, kitchen utensils, sauces and seasoning, soft drinks, snacks, vegetables and wine.
ADVERTISING PROFESSIONALS ASSEMBLE AT MARCOMASIA
ASIAS first trade exhibition for the marketing and communications industry, MarComAsia 98, is a useful springboard for global players to tap into the huge and booming China advertising market, says CS Lee, TDCs director of exhibitions.
Organised by TDC, MarComAsia was held from 2-4 September at the HKCEC. The fair featured media, advertising and marketing services, as well as the latest technologies, equipment and materials for the industry.
The event attracted 105 exhibitors and more than 6,000 trade visitors from 22 countries and regions. A three-day conference held concurrently drew an audience of more than 1,500. According to a survey conducted at the fair, most of the exhibitors were satisfied with the quality and number of visitors.
Hong Kongs superb location, advanced information infrastructure, free-flowing information and cross-cultural background have attracted many global advertising agencies and public relations companies to establish their regional base here, said Lee. As the advertising capital of Asia, which ranks third in the world in terms of per capita advertising expenditure, Hong Kong is helping international players to tap into the China market and vice versa. Our exhibitors from the Chinese mainland are particularly aware of this.
The China Media Pavilion, which comprised 58 exhibitors, was the largest pavilion. General manager of Radio Guangdong Wang Shaobing emphasised the contacts she made with advertising companies. Radio Guangdong is no longer a government-funded body and is now operating on a self-supporting basis, she said. Advertising is a major source of our income. We have established useful contacts through the fair and we are entering into substantial deals with business partners.
Xu Guoliang, vice group leader of Wenhui-Xinmin United Group of Press, explained: Earlier this year, Wenhui and Xinmin, two Shanghai-based media, merged to form one of the biggest media groups in Shanghai. Similar mergers have taken place elsewhere in response to the keen competition among mainland media. MarComAsia has provided a useful opportunity for our group to get into contact with new clients, thus sharpening our competitive edge.
The fair also played a significant role in enhancing partnerships between mainland China and Hong Kong media. Advertising department director of the Shanghai Oriented Television Shen Mingchang said: We have entered into a partnership with Commercial Radio in Hong Kong, and collaborated in producing a programme on Shanghai/HK financial and economic news. Partnerships of this kind will surely benefit both partners and open new sources of advertisement.
MarComAsia was not only about clinching business deals. To advertising, public relations and communications professionals, it was also a useful channel for Asian players to exchange business information at the highest level.
That explains why the three-day conference on advertising and communications in Asia, held in conjunction with the trade exhibition, was so well-attended by professionals from the region, added TDCs Lee. We are committed to offering more conferences of this kind to professionals next year.
TDC is planning to make MarComAsia an annual event. The next show will be held from 1-3 September 1999 at the HKCEC.
MORE BUYERS CLOCK TOP EVENT
THE worlds largest timepiece event the Hong Kong Watch and Clock Fair which closed on 13 September at the HKCEC, attracted a total of 15,818 worldwide buyers, up 15% over 1997.
The number of overseas buyers attending this years event was 5,692, up 6% over 1997, according to German-based independent audit specialist, the Voluntary Control of Fair and Exhibition Statistics.
Visitors from Asia (57.03%) topped the list of overseas buyer attendance, followed by those from Europe (19.73%) and North America (11.14%).
The Hong Kong Watch and Clock Fair was co-organised by the TDC, the Hong Kong Watch Mfrs Assn Ltd and the Federation of Hong Kong Watch Trades and Industries Ltd. This year, a total of 811 exhibitors from 15 countries and regions displayed their latest timepiece products.
The growth in buyer attendance further strengthened Hong Kongs position as the major supplier and distribution hub of watches and clocks in Asia, said TDC director of exhibitions CS Lee.
The Chinese mainland has now become the top source of buyers, followed by Japan and Taiwan. Eight Asian countries are among the top 10 of overseas buyer attendance, re-affirming the Hong Kong Watch and Clock Fair as Asias pre-eminent timepiece event, Lee said.
Hong Kongs other traditional markets such as the US and Western Europe have also demonstrated positive growth from 5% for the US to 55% for the Netherlands, he said. Due to the worlds volatile business climate, buyers were generally more cautious and conservative in placing orders.
The newly launched Premier Watches of the World section also received good response from both exhibitors and buyers from the Chinese mainland, he said. More international brands and fashion labels are expected to join this section at next years fair.
The section, organised by the TDC in co-operation with the Hong Kong Watch Importers Assn, featured 39 of the worlds leading brands from famous watchmakers. Benjamin Chau, TDC senior manager of exhibitions, said: The increasingly affluent Chinese mainland market is a key focus for this initiative. Over 200 major watch buyers and retailers from the mainland came to this event, helping exhibitors to further deve-lop the mainland market.
The Premier Watches of the World section was well received by both exhibitors and buyers alike. We expect more prestigious brands and fashion labels will join next year.
Peter Klaus, chairman of the Hong Kong Watch Importers Assn, said the Premier Watches of the World section allowed exhibitors to look for new business opportunities in the mainland market. Since many exhibitors have already developed the markets in large cities like Beijing and Shanghai, this event has helped them to make contacts with buyers not just from these cities but also from other parts of the mainland, he said.
This event has also provided an excellent opportunity for buyers to make their selections and to network with suppliers of renowned brands, Klaus said.
Zhang Ling, assistant general manager of Beijing Watch & Spectacles Co, said demand for high-quality timepieces is rising on the mainland. It is a good chance for me to exchange information with watch agents and distributors. After this trip, well consider importing some leading brands of watches for our market, Zhang said.
The next Hong Kong Watch and Clock Fair is scheduled for 7-11 September 1999 at the HKCEC.
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