Autumn brought more than falling leaves in Hong Kong this year as the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) hosted a collection of technology-focused fairs.
Innovation ruled the roost as the seven autumn trade fairs took a single “physical + online” platform this year. The physical fairs ended in late October, having attracted more than 16,000 industry buyers to visit in person and conduct business discussions, while the online fairs ran until 6 November. More than 3,000 meetings had been arranged by the time the physical events closed, while nearly 12,000 buyers browsed products and conducted business discussions online.
Featuring more than 1,700 exhibitors from 18 countries and regions, the hybrid fairs presented a comprehensive range of the latest technologies. HKTDC Deputy Executive Director Benjamin Chau pointed out that this year’s policy address by Carrie Lam, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), 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. Buyers and exhibitors across the world connected and conducted business matching through the fairs, both online and offline, creating more business opportunities.
Positive sales outlook
The HKTDC conducted an on-site survey during the fairs. Among more than 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 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 cut 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 business leads driven by e-tailing would have the most impact, followed by recovering customer purchasing power (36%) and rising demand from emerging markets (34%).
The physical trade shows took on a vibrant atmosphere, presenting a one-stop shop for electronic technologies, smart-city solutions, lighting solutions, medical and environmental protection technologies, services and information.
At the HKTDC Hong Kong International Outdoor and Tech Light Expo, Innobuild exhibitor BeeInventor displayed a smart helmet which deploys Internet of Things (IoT) technology to improve construction-site management. Commercial manager Simon Yau said the company targets Hong Kong customers and had met 40 potential buyers in the first two days of the expo, including those from construction companies and government departments. The company expected 30% of these prospects to become new customers, far exceeding expectations.
HKTDC International ICT Expo exhibitor Dayta AI Limited showed cloud solutions that analyse customer traffic patterns at offline retailers. Dayta’s Head of Business Development Jack Ling said the company had negotiated with 30 potential partners at the expo and closed a deal with a fashion retailer. Other buyers include non-government organisations and retailers in the IT sector. He expected more deals to be made after the event.
The Environment Bureau of the HKSAR released Hong Kong's Climate Action Plan 2050 in October. The plan outlines the four major decarbonisation strategies and measures – net-zero electricity generation, energy saving and green buildings, green transport and waste reduction – that will lead Hong Kong towards carbon neutrality. Themed “Promoting Green Recovery for Carbon Neutrality”, this year’s Eco Expo Asia brought together companies offering environmental protection products, solutions, equipment and technology in different categories, including Green Building & Energy Efficiency, Green Transportation and Waste Treatment & Recycling.
A buyer at the expo, Max Tsang, Director of GreenCo ESG Advisory Limited, said he was looking for the latest eco-friendly solutions and products for clients and was helped by the HKTDC’s business matching service, which helped the company screen suitable suppliers and successfully identify three potential providers of waste management equipment and food-waste decomposers. Mr Tsang said Eco Expo Asia provided an ideal platform for him to learn the latest environmental protection trends, adding that he would like to participate again next year.
At the online fairs, which ran until 6 November, the HKTDC continued to mobilise its network of 50 offices worldwide to invite overseas buyers to conduct discussions with exhibitors via video conferencing. The online fairs once again featured 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 could also take advantage of functions such as a meeting planner, live chat, video meetings and e-business card exchange, helping to facilitate their online business.
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 was very satisfied with 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,” Mr Chan said. “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.”
HKTDC Hong Kong Electronics Fair
HKTDC International ICT Expo
HKTDC Hong Kong International Lighting Fair (Autumn Edition)
HKTDC Hong Kong International Medical and Healthcare Fair
HKTDC Hong Kong International Outdoor and Tech Lighting Expo
Eco Expo Asia