Trade fairs attract more Japanese despite disasters

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 20 April, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 20 April, 2011, 12:00am


Hong Kong has recorded an increasing number of Japanese buyers and exhibitors at its latest trade fairs, despite that country's recent devastating earthquake and tsunami.

'It seems that the Japanese market is still performing OK because in the coming gifts and premium fair, there will be 34 exhibitors from Japan, up from 12 last year, meaning that they are still very keen on doing business,' said Benjamin Chau Kai-leung, Hong Kong Trade Development Council's deputy executive director, yesterday.

The council will run the four-day Hong Kong Gifts and Premium Fair and Hong Kong International Printing and Packaging Fair starting next Wednesday.

Participation from Japanese exhibitors in this year's Hong Kong Houseware Fair, which will open today, together with the Hong Kong International Home Textile Fair at the Convention and Exhibition Centre, will also grow 75 per cent to 14 exhibitors this year.

'It shows that their business sentiment has not been dampened by the crises,' Chau said.

Of the three other fairs, including the electronics fair the council organised last week, the number of Japanese buyers rose 6 per cent year on year to 2,317. Last week's fairs attracted 113,488 buyers, up 6.4 per cent over a year ago. Visitors from Russia rose the most, up 53 per cent to 1,900 buyers, followed by Europe and the mainland, up 18 per cent and 17 per cent respectively.

He said that the coming four fairs would attract more than 6,600 exhibitors and around 100,000 buyers from around the world.

Another fair organiser, Global Sources, also said it did not see any changes in the number of buyers and exhibitors from Japan in last week's China Sourcing Fair, which focused on electronics and components and was held at the AsiaWorld-Expo on the Lantau Island.

Benson Pau, vice-chairman of the Hong Kong Exporters' Association, said he had not seen any moderation in demand from Japanese buyers.