It’s business as usual in this busy economic centre, as SMBs flock to key events.
Buyers, exhibitors and business-owners have continued to descend upon Hong Kong for key trade events, undeterred by recent political and social unrest in the economic hub.
It’s very much business as usual in Hong Kong, the third leading global financial centre, after New York and London, as ranked according to the Global Financial Centre Index .
Despite recent social incidents in Hong Kong, the Fraser Institute recently pinpointed Hong Kong and Singapore as the freest economies in the world based on regulation, freedom to trade internationally, size of government, sound legal system and property rights and government spending and taxation.
More than 50,000 buyers recently attended the 39th Hong Kong Electronics Fair (Autumn Edition), organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKDTC). The event, held over four days concurrently with the 23rd electronicAsia event, also attracted over 17,000 visitors.
Commenting on the event, Benjamin Chau, HKTDC acting executive director said despite the ongoing trade friction between the United States and mainland China; and the continued social unrest in Hong Kong, the twin electronics fairs and associated events ran without a hitch.
“The HKTDC will continue to strengthen its business-matching services and organise buying missions to create more opportunities for exhibitors and buyers through the Hong Kong platform,” he said.
Several exhibitors and buyers at the event echoed these sentiments.
“I am not worried about the current situation in Hong Kong,” said Kevin Liu, president, MiNiSV Holding Limited, mainland China. MiNiSV develops medical and healthcare products with the use of North European technologies.
“The difficulty is just temporary. Hong Kong is still a good place for me to do business. I am very confident in the future of Hong Kong because Hong Kong, as an important financial centre in the world, cannot be replaced by any other city in mainland China.”
Shawn Tennier, owner of Canadian-based TDL, a consumer electronics wholesaler, said despite some initial reservations due to the unrest, that it was “business is as usual” in Hong Kong. Sourcing directly from mainland Chinese suppliers instead of buying from the US, helps avoid high tariffs on Chinese-made products, representing a key motivation for Tennier in attending the event.
“I love this fair [Hong Kong Electronics Fair (Autumn Edition)] because there are new and niche products that I cannot see at other electronics fairs and I like the quality of exhibitors here,” he added.
Aussies on board
Meanwhile, the 38th Hong Kong Watch & Clock fair also concluded recently, with nearly 18,000 buyers from 104 countries in attendance. Buyers
“I have visited the Hong Kong Watch & Clock Fair for more than 20 years because it is convenient for me to meet with both existing and new suppliers in one place,” said Mark McNeil, general manager, Lindsay’s, watch bands and parts supplier to 500 retailers in Australia.
“On the first day of the fair, I met with five existing suppliers and two new and potential suppliers and already placed orders for US$20,000 worth of watch straps with four existing suppliers,” he said.
“I’ll continue my negotiation with one of the potential suppliers and see if there is an opportunity for me to distribute their watch straps in Australia. I am not worried about safety. I feel very safe here and business is as usual in Hong Kong.”
Also drawing to a close recently, the 2019 edition of Asia’s premier fashion event, CENTRESTAGE, attracted approximately 240 fashion brands from 23 countries and regions to Hong Kong, and also close to 7000 buyers from 74 countries and regions.
Aussie fashion firm Timaginarium’s director, Alexey Oleshov, said the show was a good opportunity to source new brands and ideas.
“I am looking for up-and-coming designers to enrich our offerings,” he said.
“Design concepts and the quality of fabrics are the primary concerns and I have found three potential brands from…the political issue in Hong Kong was not a worry at all. I didn’t see anything unusual or undesirable here.”
Most recently, the 21st Hong Kong International Lighting Fair (Autumn Edition), the fourth Hong Kong International Outdoor and Tech Light Expo also attracted over 48,700 buyers from across the globe, with the twin lighting shows forming the world’s largest lighting marketplace. The shows offer buyers a wide variety of the latest products and a one-stop platform for sourcing products and gathering market information.