Trade fair organiser sees rise in orders

PUBLISHED : Monday, 22 April, 1996, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 22 April, 1996, 12:00am

International trade show organiser Miller Freeman expects Hong Kong's trade fair business to grow but warns that insufficient complementary back-up services pose a threat to the territory's competitiveness.

Michael Duck, general manager of Miller Freeman, said demand for hotel rooms and airline services was expected to surge as trade show business grew bigger.

Mr Duck said Hong Kong's geographical location as the centre of Asia would not be replaced by other countries despite the quality of exhibition venues such as the Sunset Centre and the World Trade Centre in Singapore.

'Though Hong Kong has a good [geographical] advantage, we still need to work extremely hard to maintain the services and the costs to ensure it offers the most attractive trade show venue,' he said.

He said the Asia Pacific Leather Fair had 70 exhibitors 13 years ago when the project was launched.

The fair, dubbed Hong Kong's biggest, opens today.

This year it has grown to more than 4,000 exhibitors from 47 countries and will occupy the exhibition venue at the Convention Centre and China Resources Exhibition Centre with a floor space of 66,900 square metres.

Reflecting the limited space available - a problem which will ease when the centre's extension opens next year - Mr Duck said more than 300 exhibitors had to be placed on a waiting list.

The leather fair, managed by Miller Freeman, has had to be split into two parts.

Part one of the fair, Raw Materials and Manufacturing, will take up not just 30,000 square metres in the Convention Centre but a further 1,900 square metres in the China Resources Building Exhibition Hall.

Mr Duck attributed the fair's success to the increasing disposable income of Asians which attracted European and Latin American traders to tap business opportunities in the region.

He expects on-site orders to rise. On-site orders for a smaller leather fair in October amounted to $694.2 million.