The 15th Spring Edition of the Hong Kong Electronics Fair (April 13-16) saw a four per cent increase in buyer attendance on the previous year, show organisers have revealed.
Byron Lee, senior exhibitions manager at the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, told ERT that the show had grown every year since it began.
The four-day fair saw more than 98,000 buyers from 151 countries and regions. Of these, 66,000 attended the Spring Electronics Fair and 32,000 buyers visited the ICT Expo, which runs alongside it.
This year’s show has a special focus for the first time on smart tech, with a dedicated ‘Smart City’. HKTDC deputy executive director Benjamin Chau (pictured) said that smart technology is becoming a huge driving force behind the global economy as it “infiltrates all aspects of people’s lives”.
“Technology is developing at a rapid pace. International industries, people’s daily lives and society as a whole are all embracing smart technology, which is a huge driving force behind the global economy,” said Mr Chau. “The Spring Electronics Fair and the ICT Expo welcomed global buyers to source and learn about the latest market and product trends. We saw vibrant momentum in the fairground and industry players were keen to exchange ideas. To enhance the effectiveness of the fairs, the HKTDC organised overseas buying missions to visit the fairs and provided services, such as business-matching and start-up investment matchmaking sessions, to help exhibitors explore new markets and business opportunities.”
The show also attracted more than 3,500 exhibitors from 25 countries, with the Start-up Zone also making a return, growing to 110 exhibitors.
An independent survey carried out by HKTDC at the show discovered that despite trade tensions between China and the US, 59 per cent of respondents expect the ongoing Sino-US trade friction to have no impact on the sector’s export performance.
In terms of growth prospects in their major sales markets, the majority believe Korea (90 per cent) to be the most promising traditional market, closely followed by western Europe (80 per cent) and North America (78 per cent).
When asked whether uncertainty surrounding Brexit negotiations was a concern for export business in Hong Kong and China, HKDTC’s Mr Lee said that a lot of businesses would be impacted if a deal between the UK and EU was not reached.
“Last year, there was a lot of discussion about Brexit in terms of the world economy and trade with Hong Kong and China. But so far, I don’t think it has affected us too much as an export-oriented economy,” explained Mr Lee. “But now, of course, we are closely monitoring the trade war that could happen. We are always hopeful, although we have been alerting Hong Kong companies to closely follow this, because there could be implications on their business. We always hope that both sides will resolve the problems, but until more substantial information is put forth, we just don’t know.”
However, Dr Sunny Chai, deputy chairman of the Federation of Hong Kong Industries, said he believes that an agreement could take longer than the 2019 deadline to be reached, adding that it took the EU five years to decide on the colour of the passport.
“It could take that long,” he says. “They will decide it slowly, I think. I’m a bit sceptical because, of course, we don’t want there to be no trade deal, but it could happen.”
For a full review of the Hong Kong Electronics Fair, see the May issue of ERT magazine.