The 16th HKTDC Hong Kong Electronics Fair and HKTDC International ICT Expo drew more than 100,000 buyers from 153 countries and regions, up 3.6 percent year on year, upon its conclusion April 16.
There was a significant increase in the number of buyers from several markets, including Mainland China, Macau, Japan, Korea, Thailand, South Africa, Brazil, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Russia and the United Kingdom. The Spring Electronics Fair received a total of over 67,000 buyers, while the ICT Expo saw over 34,000 buyers in attendance.
“In the digital era, innovation and technology have become mega trends and smart cities are beginning to change the way people live, work and play,” says Benjamin Chau, HKTDC deputy executive cirector. “To meet the demand from buyers globally, this year’s ICT Expo and Spring Electronics Fair put the spotlight on smart city solutions and cutting-edge electronic products. Sourcing and business discussions were brisk throughout both events.”
To gauge the industry’s views on market prospects, product trends and hot issues, the HKTDC commissioned an independent on-site survey during the fairs that interviewed a total of 903 buyers and exhibitors.
The survey found that most respondents (96 percent) expect overall sales to rise (50 percent) or remain steady (46 percent) in 2019. In terms of growth prospects in major sales markets, respondents view Korea (85 percent) as being the most promising among traditional markets over the next two years, followed by Western Europe (79 percent) and North America (77 percent). As for emerging markets, Mainland China (77 percent), ASEAN (71 percent) and Latin America (70 percent) are the most favored by survey respondents. Regarding product trends, the survey showed that electronic/electrical accessories (27 percent), digital imaging (13 percent) and audio-visual products (12 percent) have the highest growth potential in their major sales or export markets in 2019.
Asked about current global issues, 59 percent expect that the ongoing trade friction between the United States and Mainland China will have no impact on the sector’s export performance, while 65 percent of respondents believe Brexit will have no impact. The survey also showed that 86 percent of respondents are either neutral or optimistic about smart city development in Hong Kong, thanks to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government’s push to launch smart city initiatives.
This year’s ICT Expo adopted the theme of Smart City, Smart Living and featured a broad range of technologies and applications. Key exhibitors included Cyberport, Airport Authority Hong Kong, Microsoft, NEC, Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation, SenseTime, the Smart City Consortium and Xiao-i. In addition, the expo featured several pavilions including those of the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer (OGCIO) of the HKSAR Government and the Hangzhou Government. The “So French So Innovative” pavilion featured more than 30 French organizations, including multinational corporations, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and French start-ups that have not set up offices in Hong Kong.
Marie-Helene Prevot, Vice President, Foreign Trade Advisors of France, Hong Kong Committee, says, “Hong Kong is a nice platform for companies to expand their presence in Asia and go into the Mainland Chinese market. We are keen to explore the opportunities presented by the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area through this expo. The pavilion is a good showcase of how French companies integrate innovative solutions into business operations, and the expo is a great event for us to meet with all sorts of professionals behind the smart ideas.”
In addition, the HKTDC actively invited various government representatives to visit the fairs. They included the governments of Zhuhai and Huizhou, the Department of Commerce of Guangdong Province, the Economy and Informatization Commission of Zhejiang Province, Shanghai Municipal Commission of Economy and Informatization, and the Shenzhen Municipal Commerce Bureau from Mainland China; government representatives from Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand in the ASEAN region; and the UAE and Saudi Arabia from the Middle East.
A highlight at the Spring Electronics Fair was the new AI & voice recognition zone, set up in the tech hall to meet the market’s demand for products and solutions related to these emerging technologies. The fair also hosted multiple seminars and networking events to help participants get a better understanding of the latest technological trends and opportunities, including the anchor conference, “Tech Trends Symposium 2019 – Roadmap to the Future”.
Buyer activity was brisk at both events. Kim Eui Geun, manager at Korea’s Hyundai Mobis Co., says he found several potential suppliers of car electronics products such as air purifiers, wireless chargers, smartphone chargers, and smart watches with GPS and car key functions. If the suppliers were suitable, he said he would likely buy 50,000 pieces per item every year.
Established in 1966, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is a statutory body dedicated to creating opportunities for Hong Kong’s businesses. With 50 offices globally, including 13 on the Chinese mainland, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a platform for doing business with China, Asia and the world. For more info, visit:www.hktdc.com/aboutus.