16 July 2004
Toys and Games Fair Preview(HKTDC Toys & Games , Vol 02,2004)
Toys and Games Fair Preview
Toying With Success
January 11-14, 2005
The outlook for the toys and games industry is highly encouraging, with the sector looking forward to hosting what may possibly turn out to be "the very best" fair yet, according to the chairman of the TDC Toys Advisory Committee, Jeffrey Lam.
"The US economy is quite stable and the market there is strong. There are still more openings for the industry, particularly on the Chinese mainland. Also, the diversification of products has improved and there is a far wider spread of the types of toys and games coming on-stream as against the previous problem of over-production of too few varieties."
Lam believes the timing of next January's Toys and Games Fair could not be better. "Everything points to 2005 being a very special year. The Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) with the mainland will be a year old, while there will be a lot more openings there for international businesses as the country widens its role under the WTO framework," he says.
Turning to the Hong Kong connection, he notes, "We are internationally recognised for the safety, design and attractiveness of our products, plus our respect for intellectual property rights. The mainland is very happy to do business in Hong Kong to take advantage of the widely acknowledged good faith that exists in the market here."
To top it all, Hong Kong really goes out of its way to be much more than just the host city for such a highly important international event, Lam points out. "Apart from the basics such as transport, hotels and fine restaurants, we offer all kinds of help to both exhibitors and buyers, covering logistics and in some cases even helping to bring both sides together to finalise the financial aspects of deals which otherwise might be lost."
Lam explains that January is probably the best time of the year to visit Hong Kong. "Even the weather will be on our side," he notes. "So, to sum up, we're looking at one of our best, if not the very best, Toys and Games Fair ever."
Echoing Lam's bullish viewpoint is Anne Chick, the TDC's senior exhibitions manager, who says, "We are very upbeat about the 2005 Toys and Games Fair."
She cites "several excellent reasons" for this buoyant outlook. "In general, the world's economies are prospering, and a tried-and-tested yardstick of such a situation is a flourishing market for toys and games. Prospects are equally promising for North America, Europe and other traditional markets."
Along with these factors, Chick notes that the Chinese mainland is setting an increasingly strong pace among emerging markets. "It's nice to be their next-door neighbour in such circumstances," she feels.
In addition, Hong Kong's economic bounce-back has gathered further pace. "We have completely shrugged off the problems of last year. We are back on top of our game, and keenly looking forward to welcoming still more exhibitors and buyers to what I am highly confident will be the biggest and best Toys and Games Fair ever staged in Hong Kong."
The upcoming fair will continue to include the Hobby Goods Section and popular Private Showroom. The Bicycle Section launched in 2004 will return in an expanded format in the Sporting Goods Section.
WRITTEN BY GEOFFREY SOMERS
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