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[Photo of ICT Fair in Hong Kong]With economies on the mend, the world's gobbling up gadgets again

In the course of four days, the spring edition of Hong Kong Trade Development Council's (HKTDC) Electronics Fair broke fair records with more than 55,000 buyers in attendance. Some flew in from nearby Vietnam, Korea, and Japan. But the fair attracted buyers from as far away as Australia, Brazil, France, and the US.

Professor KB Chan, chairman of the HKTDC Electronics/Electrical Appliances Industries Advisory Committee, said fair exhibitors reported receiving many orders for their products. “Sales of LCD TVs, security systems, and LED lighting products did particularly well,” Chan disclosed.

The Hall of Fame gathered more than 300 big-name brands under one roof. The fair saw the addition of several new brands to the exclusive display pavilion, including Philips, Daewoo, Hyundai, Changhong, and Pierre Cardin.

One of the biggest draws for industry players were the seminars sponsored by leading electronics companies. The world may be ready to start spending again, but the global recession has changed spending trends and priorities. “This is an era of exciting technology evolution,” said HKTDC deputy executive director Benjamin Chau.

That same week, the International Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Expo bustled with over 570 exhibitors from 14 countries. The expo featured three new display areas: Telecom, Networking and Wireless Technologies, Cloud Computing and Open Source, and Smartphone Technology.

But one of the foremost stars of the show was a gadget that even non-techies would appreciate. Electronics company Taide displayed a varied selection of stylish audio-video recorders disguised as sunglasses.

The shades come with a built-in 2GB memory and can store as much as four hours of audio and video recording. A high-resolution complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) pinhole camera gives clear recording. The UV-protection lenses are just there to make the user look cool. In case more storage space is needed, these spy shades also have an extended memory slot for MicroSD cards. With some 200 trade delegations gathered in Hong Kong for the fair, business was brisk. CD & E, Home Solutions Retail (India) Ltd CEO Manoj Kumar said his company spent some US$3 million at last year's fair. And orders will likely double this year thanks to the improving global economy, he pointed out.

Larger companies like Best Buy from the US, Japan’s Sony and JVC, and Halfords from the UK were there either as exhibitors or buyers. Suning Appliance and China Resources Vanguard from Mainland China were also represented, as were companies from Australia, Europe, and South America.
While the trade halls were buzzing with business, fairgoers were also trading in something far more valuable: ideas.

J Chris Rohde, a British buyer for Hearing Products International Ltd, said he has been visiting the fair for many years. His company focuses on products for the handicapped, especially the blind and deaf. “My goal here is to meet with my existing suppliers and see what's new. I've already found many new ideas,” he said
-With reports from Antonio Apatan Jr.

Print ed: 06/10


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