Eye-catching fair attracts record turnout
Asia's top ocular event, the 18th Hong Kong Optical Fair, will see buyers and exhibitors from around the world gather at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre from today until Friday.
Organised by the Hong Kong Optical Manufacturers Association and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), more than 580 exhibitors from 21 countries and regions will take part, a record for the event.
Seven pavilions have been erected representing the mainland, Germany, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and the manufacturers association itself.
The biggest section of the fair, represented by 165 exhibitors, will be dominated by eyewear, frames, lenses and accessories.
Buying missions from 63 countries and regions have been invited representing more than 3,130 buyers from 2,250 companies. Exports from Hong Kong of spectacles, lenses and frames amounted to HK$10.4 billion in the first eight months - up 17 per cent compared with the same period last year - accounting for 0.5 per cent of Hong Kong's total exports.
The 8th Hong Kong Optometric Conference takes place tomorrow, co-organised by the Hong Kong Optometric Association and the Polytechnic University, with the topic 'Silver Eyecare', featuring speakers from ophthalmology and optometric institutes from Britain, the United States, Australia and Japan.
Local speakers will include experts from the Polytechnic University together with a representative from the Hong Kong Society for the Blind.
Singapore-based Acespex Global marks its first entry to the show, while INC Vision will be launching its latest collection of its exclusive brand Crocs Eyewear.
Marketing manager Alan Tern says: 'As Crocs Eyewear will be launched in the show, we are expecting some fanfare at our booth.
'We look for interested buyers from the Asian and European markets.'
Rem Eyewear has a dual identity as buyer and exhibitor. Managing director Daniel Lai Ying-ho says: 'We have been attending for more than 20 years and have exhibited at the Brand Name Gallery since last year. Our creative and product development team from head office will visit the show and meet factories.
'As an exhibitor, we meet new and existing customers, and make more business and expand our distribution.
'We also want to continue to expand the business distribution by targeting new customers in Japan and India.'
For the past 15 years, Wescan, an importer, exporter and distributor of eyewear, has been represented at the fair solely as a buyer.
Susan Khouloujian from the company says: 'As a buyer, the fair is invaluable for discovering new factories, products and technologies.
'However, we will assume the role of an exhibitor for the first time. Our main objective as an exhibitor is to increase our distribution network in Asia.'
OPHL SA is a designer and manufacturer of French spectacle frames and sunglasses. It is making its first appearance since 2004.
Assistant general manager and export director for Asia Rapha?l Rambeau says: 'The HKTDC is changing its exhibition strategy from being a manufacturing and subcontracting exhibition to become a product show with designer brands. We will see as many retailers as possible from the region and also find potential distributors for new territories such as Thailand and Vietnam.
'We are going to regroup part of our sales force from Singapore, Taiwan and China, but also I will arrive with my export manager for the Middle East, Russia and India.'
Simon Chim of Simon Says Concepts is renowned for eyewear design and the company makes its debut this year. Chim says: 'I would like to attract distributors and potential clients from the Far East and Japan. I would like to build up my brand not only to the European market but also to the Asia-Pacific region.'
Trade visitors can register for free admission badges to the Optical Fair through one of these channels:
Smartphone Info Site download HKTDC FAIRS at iPhone App Store (for iPhone users) and Blackberry App World (for Blackberry users)
Mobile Info Site visit hktdc.com/wap/en; or SMS your e-mail to (852) 6390 0702 (Optical Fair) or 6390 0701 (Medical Fair)