Events showcasing electronic and communications appliances and components have long been a staple for the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC). This year, the HKTDC combined its five autumn technology fairs events into a single exhibition, running in a hybrid physical and online format, that underscored Hong Kong’s emergence as a growing innovation and technology hub.
The physical elements of the five autumn technology fairs organised by the HKTDC drew to a successful conclusion on Sunday (16 October). The four-day exhibition attracted more than 9,800 buyers to attend the fairs in person at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, giving them the opportunity to view products and discuss business opportunities.
This year’s fairs adopted the HKTDC’s EXHIBITION+ hybrid physical-digital model, with smart business matching via the Click2Match platform helping to build connections between exhibitors, buyers and industry professionals worldwide. By the close of the physical fair, the HKTDC had arranged more than 3,000 business-meeting sessions through Click2Match while more than 10,000 buyers had browsed products and made business connections via the five fairs’ online platforms. Click2Match will remain active until 23 October for the five fairs.
Sophia Chong, Deputy Executive Director of the HKTDC, said: “The five autumn technology fairs featured more than 1,100 exhibitors, over 340 of which are online exhibitors from Mainland China and overseas, showcasing numerous creative ideas, smart products and innovative solutions that can benefit Hong Kong’s future development.
“The fairs were the first business-to-business (B2B) exhibitions held following the Hong Kong government’s implementation of the ‘0+3’ quarantine arrangement and we were delighted to see some of the international buyers gradually returning to our physical events. The HKTDC will continue to provide comprehensive support to Hong Kong’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), assisting them to connect with global buyers and capitalise on post-pandemic business opportunities.”
She added: “The HKTDC will launch an international innovation and technology (I&T) promotion campaign on a larger scale next April. The goal is to further promote Hong Kong’s technological development and the complementary advantages of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area industrial chain, contributing to the city’s transformation into an international I&T hub.”
Bullish on I&T sector
The HKTDC conducted an on-site survey during the fairs to understand exhibitors’ and buyers’ views on the I&T sector and what they expect the major trends to be. The survey found 35% of respondents expected product sales will increase in the next six to 12 months, while 47% anticipated sales will remain unchanged. Respondents were more optimistic about market conditions in the medium term; 46% expected that sales of their products will increase in the next one to two years, while 42% believed sales will remain unchanged.
The rapid development of technologies presents enormous business opportunities. More than 70% of those surveyed expected that the smart-lighting market will present ideal market potential in the coming two years, while 60% saw robotics offering the best growth prospects. Most respondents believed use of robots in the medical field had the greatest potential, including for surgery and rehabilitation.
Smart-product demand grows
Themed “Innovations for Better Living”, the five autumn technology fairs brought together exhibitors and industry professionals from across the globe, offering Hong Kong’s start-ups an important platform to showcase their I&T solutions and generate business opportunities.
Stang Limited, a Hong Kong start-up joining the HKTDC Hong Kong Electronics Fair (Autumn Edition) for the first time, featured its Qoolmate ice-pack incorporated with a thermal thick film integrated circuit. Sidney Tang, the company’s project manager, said they had met more than 100 potential buyers from Hong Kong, Europe, Japan, Korea, Mainland China and the United States through the fair. He revealed that one Japanese buyer will order 500 sets of Qoolmate once Stang has obtained the necessary safety certifications from authorities in different regions.
The Office of the Government Chief Information Officer set up a Smart Government Pavilion (main picture) and Hong Kong Innovation Pavilion at the HKTDC International ICT Expo under the theme “Smarter Hong Kong”. The pavilion featured an array of solutions designed to help drive smart city development and enhance the efficiency and efficacy of public services, in addition to several award-winning solutions.
Drawing in global buyers
The “0+3” quarantine arrangements, removing the hotel-stay requirement, let overseas visitors with an Amber Code on their LeaveHomeSafe App take part in B2B exhibitions during their three days of medical surveillance. The five autumn fairs welcomed buyers from India, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, Poland and Thailand, among other countries and regions, to source at the fairground.
Przemys.aw Kowalczyk, a buyer at Polish company LEDIN Sp. z o.o., said he could return to the HKTDC Hong Kong International Lighting Fair (Autumn Edition) thanks to the HKTDC’s support. “I am pleased to have a chance to visit the fair again this year. I have found two potential suppliers of tri-proof lights and garden lights. I plan to do business with one of the suppliers and place an order for US$1 million worth of tri-proof lights next year.”
All five autumn technology fairs adopted the EXHIBITION+ hybrid model that combines four key exhibition elements – the HKTDC-organised physical fairs, the smart business-matching platform Click2Match, online-to-offline seminars under the Intelligence Hub, and the hktdc.com Sourcing platform. LED Lighting & Energy Storage Systems, an American importer of commercial and industrial lighting, was looking to develop partnerships with new suppliers through the fairs in order to offer quality lighting solutions to its customers.
Company representative Jorge E Cruz said he found six or seven potential business partners supplying smart lighting solutions, landscape lighting and smart downlights at the physical Autumn Lighting Fair and the HKTDC Hong Kong International Outdoor and Tech Light Expo. He planned to place orders with three potential suppliers. “The online meetings arranged through the HKTDC’s Click2Match platform provided a good option for me to meet with suppliers that are not participating in the physical fairs. I will have online meetings with six suppliers after the physical fairs,” Mr Cruz said.
Nearly 50 content-rich events were held during the fairs, including the Symposium on Innovation & Technology, the Hong Kong Electronic Forum, and seminars held by the So French So Innovative pavilion and the B4B Challenge pavilion respectively, with visitors keen to participate. Industry professionals can watch videos of the events through the fair websites.
Following on from the five autumn fairs, the HKTDC will coordinate the first edition of International Healthcare Week in November to promote medical technologies, with two flagship events: the HKTDC Hong Kong International Medical and Healthcare Fair 2022 (9 to 11 November for the physical fair) and the Asia Summit on Global Health 2022 (10 and 11 November). The objectives are to spur industry exchange and generate business opportunities in this increasingly important sector.
The five autumn technology fairs were the HKTDC Hong Kong Electronics Fair (Autumn Edition), electronicAsia (organised by the HKTDC and MMI Asia Pte Ltd), HKTDC International ICT Expo, HKTDC Hong Kong International Lighting Fair (Autumn Edition) and HKTDC Hong Kong International Outdoor and Tech Light Expo.