Global Sources presses TDC on co-operation
Global Sources, the city's largest private organiser of trade shows, has made a bigger push for co-operation with the Hong Kong Trade Development Council after criticising the trade promoter's dominance in the industry.
The Nasdaq-listed firm, founded in Hong Kong 40 years ago, has complained that calls since February last year for co-operation in trade shows had been ignored, according to Global Sources president of exhibitions Tommy Wong Tam-wai.
The HKTDC, through a spokesman, said eight of the 35 trade shows it had held this year were hosted jointly with private organisers.
Without specifically answering the call for partnering with Global Sources, he said any private organisers were welcome to have a booth at any HKTDC show to promote its business.
The comments followed a Legislative Council meeting two weeks ago where 40 industry representatives argued over the dual role of the council as a government trade promotion unit and a trade show organiser.
Global Sources, an anchor tenant at the government-controlled AsiaWorld-Expo at Chek Lap Kok for about three years, conceded that the exhibition facility was relatively under-utilised compared with the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai, where the HKTDC has been a dominant host for decades.
'We proposed to the HKTDC and the government to work together with private organisers like us to have one fair in two venues or two shows in one city,' Wong said yesterday. 'This idea was floated 14 months ago and is still pending a reply.'
He also called for a jointly marketed shuttle bus service running between the Wan Chai exhibition centre and Chek Lap Kok.
The HKTDC promised to promote trade fairs hosted by private organisers inside and outside Hong Kong, the spokesman said.
Rita Lau Ng Wai-lan, the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, said yesterday that the government encouraged collaboration between the HKTDC and the private sector instead of competition.
She pointed out that the HKTDC would hold four shows at AsiaWorld-Expo this year, more or less the same as last year.
Government statistics showed that the HKTDC's market share in the city expanded to 29 per cent last year from 25 per cent in 2008 in terms of the number of trade shows.