11 January 2013 – The four Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) fairs held this week registered a total buyer attendance of more than 100,000. That’s up seven per cent over last year, with both buyers and exhibitors believing that exports could be up by about five per cent in value this year.
Over 2,700 exhibitors, a record high, took in this week’s Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair, Asia’s largest, the Hong Kong Baby Products Fair, the Hong Kong International Stationery Fair and the Hong Kong International Licensing Show, at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. The two-day Licensing Conference alone attracted more than 1,000 participants.
Trend to Smaller Orders Continues
“The fairs welcomed buyers from more than 120 countries and regions. Most of them came from the Chinese mainland, Korea, Taiwan, the United States and Japan,” said HKTDC Deputy Executive Director Benjamin Chau. “For the Toys & Games Fair, participation from the mainland, Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand and Cambodia in the Asia-Pacific region, along with Columbia and the Czech Republic, registered the most significant increases,” he said.
“The newly established Small-Order Zone was very popular with buyers. Over the four-day exhibition period, it drew more than 6,000 buyer visits, with buyers coming from Europe, the US, Japan and a number of emerging markets, generating over 6,000 business enquiries,” Mr Chau added.
Make it Fun
HKTDC Toys Advisory Committee Chairman Yeung Chi Kong said that, judging from the products exhibited at this year’s Toys & Games Fair, manufacturers realise how important it is to have new concepts and quality products to retain customers and attract new orders. “The age-old adage of ‘product is king’ remains unchanged. For toys, it has got to be fun. Manufacturers followed the latest trends; some integrated Gangnam-style elements into their products, some included smartphone applications. While the i-products attracted attention, educational toys were also popular.”
Playing with Smartphones
E-Supply International Administration Manager Korie Au said that smartphone-controlled toys are a new trend. Her company is spotlighting a smartphone-controlled, bubble-blowing helicopter. Ms Au noted that, among emerging markets, Russia commands the strongest purchasing power. Because finding local distributors is not easy, Russian buyers prefer coming to Hong Kong to source new products. “They like mid-priced products, and they source widely and are not very price-sensitive,” she added.
Exhibitor Toyeast Ltd set up a battlefield at the fair to showcase its smartphone-controlled tanks. Orders were received from department stores and model shops, according to Marketing Manager Mariko Ko. She added that most of the buyers were Europeans, showing recovering European market sentiment. The US market has stabilised as well, she said, with orders similar to last year’s levels.
Wai-Lun Leung, Director of 4D Cityscape Asia Ltd, a cityscape model manufacturer, noted that Thai buyers showed great enthusiasm at the fair, with Russian buyers demonstrating strong purchasing power. “Africa is also an area of interest,” he added. “As travel opportunities for Africans remain limited, they are interested in cityscape models of other countries. Our New York cityscape model was the most popular, followed by London. Hong Kong also attracted many European buyers.”
Diverse Buying from Emerging Markets
Vladimir Samarov, Head of Commercial/Import/Export projects for Russian online shopping website Ozon.ru, said the company expected it would spend some US$10 million on product purchases at the toy fair.
Ayman El Shawy, Manager of Egypt’s Educational Supplies, said his company has 12 toy stores in the United Arab Emirates, where education budgets are going up. “Such policies benefit educational toy retailers like us. I will be buying about US$100,000 in electronic games, touch-screen educational toys and handicrafts at the fair.”
Robert Palmowski, owner of Polish company Enjo, said that as families become smaller, they have more resources to spend on high-quality toys. “Remote control, educational and dinosaur toys are my targets. The toy fair attracts many international exhibitors with highly competitive products, and that gives me plenty of choices for selection.”
The Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair, Hong Kong Baby Products Fair and the Hong Kong International Licensing Show are organised by the HKTDC; the Hong Kong International Stationery Fair is organised by the HKTDC and Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd.
Growing Up: Toys & Games Fair: http://www.hktdc.com/info/webcast/v/en/en/1X04BL90/
Character Building at Asia's Top Licensing Show: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G9UqQDzI-7I
Licensing Conference: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YLJ7mAQhtg
Please contact the HKTDC's Corporate Communication Department:
Tel: (852) 2584 4216
About the HKTDC
A statutory body established in 1966, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is the international marketing arm for Hong Kong-based traders, manufacturers and service providers . With more than 40 global offices, including 11 on the Chinese mainland, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a platform for doing business with China and throughout Asia. The HKTDC also organises trade fairs and business missions to connect companies with opportunities in Hong Kong and on the mainland, while providing information via trade publications, research reports and online. For more information, please visit: www.hktdc.com.
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