Organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), the 14th Hong Kong Electronics Fair (Spring Edition) and the concurrent 14th International ICT Expo drew to a successful close yesterday (16 April).
The four-day fairs (13 to 16 April) welcomed more than 94,000 buyers from 138 countries and regions, an increase of 1.4 per cent over the previous year. The number of buyers from mature markets such as Japan and Korea recorded growth, while buyers from emerging markets including the Chinese mainland, Brazil, India and Russia recorded a double-digit percentage increase.
The HKTDC commissioned an independent research agency to conduct surveys on-site, interviewing over 850 buyers and exhibitors to gauge their views on industry prospects. According to the results, more than 80 per cent of respondents expect overall sales to increase or remain steady in 2017. The respondents view North America, Western Europe and Hong Kong to be the most promising traditional markets, while the mainland, ASEAN markets, India and Middle East are seen as having the best prospects among emerging markets.
- Inaugural Startup zone presents innovative solutions to global buyers -
Supporting the development of start-ups, the HKTDC introduced the Startup zone at the Spring Electronics Fair and ICT Expo this year to showcase the innovative technologies, products and services of more than 100 start-ups from Hong Kong, the mainland, India, Japan, the US and Taiwan.
There were also a series of start-up themed events, including sharing sessions featuring representatives from Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund, the crowdfunding platform FringeBacker and angel investors. Pitching, mentoring and "Startup, Smart Launch" sessions were also organised to help start-ups connect with and pitch their ideas to potential partners or investors, showcasing their outstanding creativity to overseas buyers.
- Inaugural Tech Hall, smart technology in focus -
The Spring Electronics Fair is the largest spring electronics trading event in Asia. Together with the ICT Expo, the two fairs attracted more than 3,500 exhibitors from 23 countries and regions. This year's Spring Electronics Fair featured a Tech Hall with four themed zones: the new Virtual Reality zone and the returning Connected Home, Robotics & Unmanned Tech and Wearable Electronics zones, showcasing an assortment of high-tech electronics products. With the growing prevalence of IoT technology and smart homes, smart products that incorporate IoT technology continued to be highly sought after.
In terms of product trends, respondents expect electrical and electronic accessories (20%), audio-visual products (12%), home appliances (9%), electronic gaming products (9%) and digital imaging products (9%) to have the best sales growth this year. Among wearable electronics, smart watches (40%) and smart wristbands (29%) are considered to have the biggest growth potential in the next two years, while good prospects are also seen for 3D goggles for playing 3D video games or watching wide-screen 3D films.
Among electronics products with smart home applications, system items for wireless and Wi-Fi Internet/mobile connection (70%), wireless charging devices for smart appliances (70%) and audio-visual items with smart functions (68%) are seen to have the best prospects. On average, respondents expect consumers are willing to pay around 18 per cent premium for electronics products and household appliances that are compatible with smart home application.
- Diverse ICT solutions connect global business opportunities -
In this digital age, apt applications of ICT can enhance corporate efficiency, productivity and profitability. The ICT Expo, held in parallel with the Spring Electronics Fair, is a leading event for the Asian ICT sector. The expo is an excellent platform that showcases a wide spectrum of ICT solutions and relevant services under one roof, including cybersecurity systems, e-commerce platforms, electronic payment, logistics management and online-to-offline (O2O) business solutions.
The expo attracted many buyers from emerging markets with vibrant economic growth, including ITQAN Global for Digital Cloud Systems from the UAE, one of the largest IT service providers in the region. It supplies a wide range of system integration and technology solutions, including cloud-based projects and cybersecurity initiatives.
To cater to buyers' growing need to source in small orders, the Spring Electronics Fair once again featured the hktdc.com Small Orders zone, where about 300 showcases featured nearly 3,000 products available in minimum order quantities ranging from five to 1,000 pieces. Over the four-day fair period, around 30,000 buyers visited the zone, generating more than 20,000 business connections.