30 April 2016

HKTDC fairs for gifts, premiums, printing and packaging attract over 60,000 buyers

Source: HKTDC. 

The 31st Hong Kong Gifts & Premium Fair  and 11th Hong Kong International Printing & Packaging Fair attracted more than 60,000 buyers from 134 countries and regions, said organisers the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC). Around 50,000 buyers visited the Gifts Fair, while over 14,000 buyers attended the Printing & Packaging Fair. Markets such as the Chinese mainland, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Indonesia saw growth.

"In the face of a fluctuating global market, suppliers should promote their brands and products even more proactively, while distributors and retailers should seek out new competitive products," said Benjamin Chau, HKTDC Deputy Executive Director. "Showcasing top-quality items and providing a diverse range of choices, the two fairs are the ideal platform for both promoting and sourcing products."

The HKTDC organised a total of 171 buying missions from 75 countries and regions for the two fairs, comprising more than 13,200 buyers. At the fairground, business matching services were also provided to foster business opportunities and partnership-building. Moreover, in view of the keen demand for small-order sourcing, the HKTDC Small Orders display at the Gifts Fair featured over 360 showcases offering more than 2,500 products available for orders of between five and 1,000 units. A total of 23,000 business connections were generated during the four-day fair.

Chau also noted that, during the Gifts Fair the HKTDC signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Thailand, a key ASEAN country, to strengthen business promotion and cooperation between Hong Kong and Thailand. This includes offering a top-quality promotion platform for Thai products through the HKTDC's fairs and online promotion services, covering sectors such as garments, fashion accessories, textiles, food and agricultural products.

Decorative gifts, figurines lead market growth

The HKTDC commissioned an independent onsite survey during the Gifts Fair, interviewing some 920 buyers and exhibitors about their views on market prospects and product trends. The survey found that the industry is cautiously optimistic about the gifts market this year. Close to half of the respondents expect overall sales to remain the same in the coming year with 20% expecting sales to improve. Thirty-seven per cent of respondents expect production costs and sourcing costs to increase. More than 60% of respondents, however, do not expect to raise free on board (FOB) selling prices or retail prices, suggesting that they will not transfer increasing costs to customers. 

Source: HKTDC. Tian.
As to the market with the highest growth potential, most respondents pointed to the Chinese mainland, followed by Hong Kong and Korea.

The survey also analysed product trends in the gifts and premium market. Most respondents said they expect decorative gifts and figurines to have the strongest growth potential this year, followed by tech gifts, then advertising gifts and premiums. As for products, the industry generally believes that consumers are increasingly focused on product practicality and quality, followed by their pricing and cosmetic design.

Exploring business opportunities

Tian Guofeng, Director, Exhibition Department, China International Center for Economic & Technical Exchanges, Ministry of Commerce, said this was the first time that the Ministry had organised a delegation to the Gifts Fair, comprising 10 companies from Yunnan Province. "As the Hong Kong fair is not only the world's largest gifts and premium fair but also the most influential show of its kind, it will help Yunnan manufacturers develop overseas markets," said Tian. 

Source: HKTDC. Fukushima.
"Exhibitors from Yunnan Province are showcasing a wide variety of high-end products such as metal ware, silverware, wooden gifts, pottery, stone carvings and gunny handbags. Responses from buyers have been very encouraging."

Shosuke Fukushima, Director of Japan Pavilion, Business Guide-Sha, said that Japanese exhibitors achieved very good results at last year's fair, so they returned this year with 17 companies joining the Japan Pavilion, the largest-ever such delegation. "Japanese exhibitors are here showcasing all kinds of trendy products such as cosmetics, garments, stationery, toys and video games. The Hong Kong fair is an international trade fair where Japanese exhibitors can talk to many buyers and learn more about the market needs. More importantly, Hong Kong is a key gateway for Japanese companies to look for distributors and retailers from all over the world. We'll continue to organise the Japan Pavilion next year."

Hong Kong exhibitor Eco Concepts, which produces various green products with PLA (polylactic acid), was at the event for the fifth time. PLA is a type of biodegradable plastic that comes from renewable resources such as corn or tapioca. Phoebe Wong, Director of Eco Concepts, said the company had received a US$9,000 order from a Thai buyer on the first day of the event. 

"Through business matching services provided by the HKTDC, we have met with more buyers from Europe, probably because our products can meet their strict requirements in terms of environmental protection. On the first day of the fair, we have already got an order worth US$9,000 from a Thai buyer," said Wong.

Source: HKTDC. A wide range of product samples were on show.

Another Hong Kong exhibitor, Gianna Company, strives to inject new design elements into products. The company's Managing Director Lawrence Tong said the market trend towards innovative designs is prevalent. "We received onsite orders worth over HK$2 million in total from long-time clients. We have also established contacts with many potential buyers from various countries at the fair," said Tong.

Meanwhile, at the Printing & Packaging Fair, Hong Kong exhibitor Tommy Yu, Senior Manager of VersaTech Energy Innovation, and Environmental Consultant of The Hong Kong Printers Association, noted cleaner production is the way forward amid growing environmental concerns. The Hong Kong Printers Association made good use of the Hong Kong International Printing & Packaging Fair to promote new technology for cleaner production. "Many large-sized printers have taken the task seriously and we want to encourage more SMEs to join the wave through the exhibition. In the first few hours of exhibition, about 50 visitors including printing-related companies from Hong Kong, the Chinese mainland, the Philippines and Taiwan approached us. They showed keen interest in how new technology in cleaner production can work for printers."

New products and onsite orders

Sia Yew Ming, Senior Corporate and Trade Marketing Manager, Mediacorp TV Singapore, was a first-time visitor to the Gifts Fair. She came looking to develop products that are related to their TV programmes with a view to selling them to consumers through convenience stores and bookshops in Singapore. She said that, with so many suppliers at the fair, there was a great variety of products at competitive prices. She placed an order of 500 units of USBs and 500 units of power banks on the second day of the fair. "I have found a lot of new ideas and new products here. I have found 10 potential suppliers and will follow up after the show," she said.

B. Food Product International from Thailand sells food products domestically as well as to different markets worldwide including Asia and Europe under two major brands S-Pure and Betagro. Sakhorn Jullarat, the company's Product and Process Development Director, said, "We put strong emphasis on the quality and safety of the food we produce every day. This is our first visit to the Hong Kong International Printing & Packaging Fair. We've already found five potential suppliers for packaging items that will be used for our frozen and chilled food products. We can find a lot of interesting packaging products and ideas here. We would like to visit the fair again next year."