The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) brought its seven autumn trade fairs* together onto a single ‘physical + online’ platform in 2021. The physical fairs came to a close 30 October, having attracted more than 16,000 industry buyers in person, while the online fairs run until 6 November.
To date, more than 3,000 meetings have been arranged while close to 12,000 buyers browsed products and conducted business discussions online.
Featuring more than 1,700 exhibitors from 18 countries and regions, the hybrid fairs present a comprehensive range of the latest technologies. HKTDC deputy executive director Benjamin Chau said this year’s policy address outlined steps to build Hong Kong into an international innovation and technology centre, underlining the huge potential for companies in the innovation and technology industry.
Positive sales outlook
The HKTDC conducted an on-site survey during the fairs. Among the 450 exhibitors and buyers interviewed, more than half (55%) expected overall sales to increase next year, while 30% expected sales to remain steady. In terms of market potential, respondents were most optimistic about Taiwan (78%) and South Korea (63%) among traditional markets, and Mainland China (76%), India (72%) and Eastern Europe (72%) among emerging markets.
The Covid-19 pandemic affected exhibitors and buyers in different ways, including a drop in sales and revenue (64%), rising logistics costs (23%) and rising sourcing/production costs (19%).
With just two months remaining until the new year, 44% of respondents believed fluctuations in the global economy will be the major challenge to their businesses in 2022, followed by an increase in operating costs (32%) and changing political developments (29%).
Asked about opportunities, 37% of respondents expected that business leads driven from e-tailing would have the most impact, followed by recovering customer purchasing power (36%) and rising demand from emerging markets (34%).
Latest technology presented
The seven trade shows presented a one-stop shop for electronic technologies, smart city solutions, lighting solutions, medical and environmental protection technologies, services and information.
At the online fairs, the HKTDC has been mobilising its network of 50 offices worldwide to invite overseas buyers to conduct discussions with exhibitors via video conferencing. The online fairs are featuring Click2Match, an artificial intelligence (AI)-powered online business matching platform launched by the HKTDC last year, to bring exhibitors together with potential buyers. Buyers and exhibitors can also take advantage of functions such as a meeting planner, live chat, video meetings and e-business card exchange.
AT-Vibe Technology Ltd, which participated in both the physical and online formats of the HKTDC Hong Kong Electronics Fair (Autumn Edition) for the first time, demonstrated its latest IoT solutions. Product manager Wilson Chan said of the response at the fair: “We are negotiating orders with potential buyers from several IT companies and a bank that we met at the physical exhibition. The HKTDC has also lined up virtual meetings for us to meet with overseas buyers on its AI-powered Click2Match platform to further explore overseas business opportunities.”
* The seven autumn trade fairs include the HKTDC Hong Kong Electronics Fair (Autumn Edition), HKTDC International ICT Expo, HKTDC Hong Kong International Medical and Healthcare Fair, HKTDC Hong Kong International Lighting Fair (Autumn Edition), HKTDC Hong Kong International Outdoor and Tech Light Expo, electronicAsia, which is jointly organised by the HKTDC and MMI Asia Pte Ltd, and Eco Expo Asia, which is jointly organised by the HKTDC and Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd.