HKTDC April Fairs Draw 230,000 Buyers, Up Nearly 3 Percent
More than 230,000 buyers from 176 countries and regions attended the seven fairs organised by the HKTDC in April, a yearly increase of nearly 3%. 130,000 of these buyers were from mainland Chinese and overseas, an increase of more than 4%, while there were more than 9,000 exhibitors.
Business sentiment at the fairs was unaffected by the escalating Sino-US trade dispute of recent weeks. On-site surveys conducted during the fairs found 70% of respondents expected no negative impact on Hong Kong's export performance, while 80% were neutral or optimistic that the 2 nations would resolve their differences.
The seven April fairs were: the Hong Kong International Lighting Fair (Spring Edition), Hong Kong Electronics Fair (Spring Edition), International ICT Expo, Hong Kong Houseware Fair, Hong Kong International Home Textiles and Furnishings Fair, Hong Kong Gifts & Premium Fair, and the Hong Kong International Printing & Packaging Fair, which was jointly organised by the HKTDC and CIEC Exhibition Company (HK) Ltd.
The HKTDC commissioned an independent research agency to conduct on-site surveys during the fairs in April, interviewing more than 2,700 exhibitors and buyers. 67% of respondents in the electronics industry were positive about the developments in innovation and technology in Hong Kong, with financial technologies (FinTech) identified as having the highest potential, followed by smart city and artificial intelligence. The respondents felt that the huge number of relevant professionals (50%), reliable and predictable policy (36%) and business-friendly environment (34%) were Hong Kong's advantages in developing innovation and technology.
HKTDC Deputy Executive Director Benjamin Chau said, "As seen from the survey, innovation and technology are where Hong Kong should go in future. They are not just highlights in the Government's latest Policy Address and Budget, but have become key elements in HKTDC's events. Leveraging on the latest mobile technology, HKTDC provided its e-Badge to buyers at each of the April Fairs, upgrading their Hong Kong fair experience, as the badges were introduced last November and were warmly-received."
In addition, many elements of innovation and technology were added in the Fairs. These included setting the theme of ICT Expo as "Smart City: The Way of the Future" with the debut Smart City zone. Apart from the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer (OGCIO) presenting the Hong Kong Smart City Blueprint, smart solutions were also brought by top technology enterprises from around the world. The Spring Electronics Fair's "Tech Hall" highlighted zones such as "Connected Home" and "Robotics & Unmanned Tech".
The Spring Lighting Fair gathered renowned experts to a seminar on "Artificial Intelligence and Smart Lighting" to discuss the ways that AI could help enhance smart lighting. The Houseware Fair held a seminar on "Connect and Optimise - The Technology & Market Trend in the Building Industry" sharing the latest updates on IoT technology advancement.
The Gifts & Premium Fair featured a "Tech Gifts" zone and held a seminar themed "Top 5 Global Digital Consumer Trends in 2018" to discuss the tech-driven consumer trends that are reshaping commerce. The "Digital Printing & 3D Printing Zone" featured in the Printing & Packaging Fair, together with the concurrent seminar "New Development and Application of Digital Printing", analysed digital printing technology trends for the future.
The HKTDC is committed to enhancing the support services provided at the fairs to generate more business opportunities for exhibitors and buyers. During the April fairs, HKTDC helped connect buyers with exhibitors by arranging one-on-one business matching meetings based on buyers' needs.
Catering to O2O sourcing trends and buyers' growing needs to source in small quantities, HKTDC set up hktdc.com Small Order zones at the Spring Electronics Fair, Houseware Fair and Gifts Fair, featuring a total of over 940 showcases. By scanning a QR code, buyers could receive product information, place orders, settle payments and arrange shipment. During the April fairs, the zones generated more than 60,000 business connections, bridging buyers and suppliers and promoting further cooperation.