13 Sept 2005
Showing The Way(HKTDC Watch & Clock, Vol 04,2005)
Visit the website at www.hkwatchfair.com
The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (TDC) is anticipating a record turnout of exhibitors and visitors for the 24th Hong Kong Watch & Clock Fair, which will be staged from September 7-11 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre in association with the Hong Kong Watch Manufacturers Association Ltd and the Federation of Hong Kong Watch Trades and Industries Ltd.
"Last year more than 760 exhibitors from 17 countries and regions and over 16,500 buyers from 102 countries and regions took part in the event, making it our biggest show yet," observes TDC senior exhibitions manager Anne Chick.
She notes that buyer numbers increased almost 10% in 2004 compared to the previous fair, with the 6,733 buyers from outside Hong Kong representing a 15% boost over the 2003 figure.
An independent audit by the Society of the Voluntary Control of Fair and Exhibition Statistics of Germany (FKM) confirmed buyer attendance at last year's Hong Kong Watch & Clock Fair included:
They were attracted by exhibitors such as Doshisha Corp of Japan, whose president Koji Kobayakawa confirmed Chick's assessment of the 2004 fair.
"We've had interest from buyers from the Middle East and the US, even Brazil," he said. " It is a good opportunity for us to develop outside business."
First-time exhibitor Paul Baldin Italy Inc of the US is another firm believer in the benefits of the Hong Kong Watch & Clock Fair. "We received good exposure to other markets at this fair, as we were looking to increase our presence here in Hong Kong, as well as in Japan, Thailand and Saudi Arabia," co-owner Mario Martellacci explained. "We had a good response to our products and set up a lot of appointments."
These positive comments notwithstanding, Chick's confidence has been further boosted by the results of a survey on market trends by independent market research company Oracle Market Research, which polled 410 exhibitors and 703 buyers during the 2004 fair.
"Some 65% of exhibitors and 64% of buyers expected a better market outlook in 2005, continuing a growth pattern that saw Hong Kong's total exports of watches and clocks increase by 9% in 2004," she remarks, noting that components and parts also "performed well" and helped push industry earnings to HK$45,666m.
Exports to the EU, which accounted for nearly a quarter of Hong Kong's total watches and clocks exports, grew 3% as consumer spending on the whole remained strong. "Particularly noteworthy markets include Switzerland, which grew by 21% thanks to robust sales of parts and components, and the US, which climbed 10%," Chick explains.
Buyers from these areas will undoubtedly be to the fore at the Hong Kong Watch & Clock Fair 2005, which will again feature such favourites as:
Other highlights of the Hong Kong Watch & Clock Fair 2005, which will cover more than 31,000 square metres of exhibition space, include the winning designs in the 22nd Hong Kong Watch & Clock Design Competition.
"This competition has become a leading attraction that further underlines the Hong Kong watch and clock industry's commitment to quality design as more and more manufacturers move upmarket by developing ODM business," Chick believes.
"These designers, together with an acknowledged commitment to manufacturing quality timepieces, components and parts at highly competitive prices, will ensure the Hong Kong watch and clock industry continues to grow solidly in future."
Other important facets of the Hong Kong Watch & Clock Fair 2005 include invaluable business matching meetings that see international brand names interested in developing watch lines present their requirements to interested manufacturers, and the Asian Watch Industry Conference, a popular forum at which market experts will discuss developments in the timepiece industry.
"This year, with our regular exhibits and new features, we are confident we will set a new record and further underline the Hong Kong Watch & Clock Fair's acknowledged status as the leading fair of its kind in the world," Chick concludes.
WRITTEN BY SANDRA JENNER