15 November 2017 – Seven trade fairs organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) in October and November attracted a total of more than 9,500 exhibitors, and welcomed over 190,000 buyers from 176 countries and regions. The attendance figures is similar to last year’s. The seven fairs were: the Hong Kong Electronics Fair (Autumn Edition), electronicAsia, the Hong Kong International Lighting Fair (Autumn Edition), the Hong Kong Optical Fair, and the Hong Kong International Wine & Spirits Fair, which were held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC); as well as the Hong Kong International Outdoor and Tech Light Expo, and Eco Expo Asia, held at the AsiaWorld-Expo.
Increase in overseas exhibitors and buyers
International trade fairs attract many business visitors with high consumption power to Hong Kong. The seven autumn fairs drew more than 7,000 Chinese mainland and overseas exhibitors (up six per cent over last year), and about 120,000 mainland and overseas buyers (up three per cent) to Hong Kong. Buyer attendance from a number of countries and regions, including the Chinese mainland, India, Korea and Thailand, recorded satisfactory growth. According to the Hong Kong Tourism Board, per-capita spending of overnight MICE visitors was HK$7,700, which includes fees for hotel accommodation, shopping, food and beverage, local transport and sightseeing (excluding cross-border transport). HKTDC Deputy Executive Director Benjamin Chau said: “Based on this figure, the total amount spent by Chinese mainland and overseas exhibitors and buyers during their stay in Hong Kong would amount to more than HK$1 billion, a significant source of income for the tourism industry. In addition, the fairs also brought in substantial orders for local exhibitors, resulting in a major driving force for the development of local industries.”
Industry optimistic about sales growth next year
The HKTDC commissioned an independent survey about market prospects and product trends to gauge the views of more than 1,600 exhibitors and buyers at the autumn Electronics Fair, Lighting Fair and the Outdoor and Tech Light Expo. The survey found that more than half of the respondents (51%) expected overall sales to grow next year, while 43 per cent expected it to remain unchanged. A majority of respondents saw Taiwan (84%) and Japan (79%) with the most growth potential among traditional markets in the next two years, while 78 per cent and 77 per cent of respondents considered North America and Western Europe to be promising or very promising, respectively. For emerging markets, respondents were optimistic about the Chinese mainland (92%) and ASEAN (89%) markets. Most respondents considered the business challenge this year to be rising operating costs (45%), followed by price fluctuations in raw materials (41%), and keen competition within the industry (33%). Twenty-seven per cent of respondents were concerned about fluctuations in the global economy.
More respondents optimistic about wearable electronics
Innovative technology is critical to the success of the electronics industry. A survey at the autumn Electronics Fair polled industry views on three types of emerging technology products. Ninety-one per cent of respondents said that the prospect of wearable electronics in the next two years are promising or very promising, up 15 percentage points over last year’s survey. Eighty-one per cent of respondents held positive expectations on AR and VR applications in the next two years, while 70 per cent were optimistic about robotic applications. Among wearable electronics items, most respondents expected smart watches (60%) to have the greatest market potential, up 21 percentage points over last year, followed by smart wristbands (45%), up seven percentage points over last year. Among robotic applications, respondents believed products with the greatest market potential were entertainment devices (51%), followed by robots for retail services (36%), and home appliances (35%).
For the lighting industry, respondents were most optimistic about household lighting (29%), LED and green lighting (24%), and commercial lighting (16%). However, the industry expects both the retail price and ex-factory price of LED lamps to drop by eight per cent within the year. Ninety-three per cent of respondents believed smart city and smart home development would spur growth in the lighting industry in the next two years, up nine percentage points over last year. For related products, most respondents were optimistic about household lighting systems that are compatible with, or can be controlled by smartphone or tablet applications (53%), as well as smart lighting systems primarily with energy-saving purpose (40%).
Small quantity orders match global market demand
The survey also found that 56 per cent of respondents engaged in e-tailing, an increase of 29 percentage points over last year. Seventy-seven per cent of buyers sourced less than 300 pieces of each item. In view of the keen demand for small orders, the hktdc.com Small Orders concept was introduced in 2012. The hktdc.com Small Orders zones at the autumn Electronics Fair and Lighting Fair featured close to 500 showcases for buyers to source in minimum quantities of between five and 1,000 pieces, generating more than 30,000 business connections. To further support Hong Kong companies in exploring global e-tailing opportunities, the HKTDC launched the hktdc.com Small Orders online transaction platform (http://smallorders.hktdc.com/) in 2014, enabling more than 11,000 suppliers to feature over 120,000 products, generating a total of more than 2.5 million business connections to date.