YUGOSLAV buyers are targeting Hongkong, and their terms are perfect: hard currency, upfront payments and a huge appetite for electronic and other consumer goods. There is just one snag: the country remains under a blanket United Nations trade embargo and, with little sign of an end to the war raging across the republic, there are slim prospects of it being lifted in the near term. Mr Aleksandar Opacic, a vice-president with private chamber of commerce WPS Group, said the aim of his trade mission later this month would be preparatory: to lay the groundwork for trade when the embargo, which has been in place since May last year, waslifted. He said: ''We want to get prepared for when sanctions are lifted. We usually trade with Russia, accounting for around 30 per cent of trade, and other European countries, such as Germany, Austria and the Netherlands, are major partners. ''We have very bad political relations with them right now and that will probably affect business relations too, so we want to start co-operating with Far East countries. ''This shift is partly politically motivated; partly to do with reduced buying power and it being cheaper to buy here; and partly just a move to cut out middlemen through whom we have dealt with the Far East in the past.'' He added that ramifications of the war included a freeze on the banking system and an embargo on air traffic, which had prompted a flight of capital to countries such as Cyprus, South Africa, Hungary and Bulgaria. The WPS Group, which is supported by the state-run chambers of commerce, said businessmen were eager to buy goods from Hongkong rather than China, because there was less bureaucracy. The group of visiting businessmen is to include top-level management or owners from companies involved in imports and exports, wholesale, retail, garment manufacturing, electronic components manufacturing and tour operators. Mr Opacic said: ''These people will come with hard currency. They have bank accounts abroad. They will pay in advance, because who on earth could insure you? Right now in Yugoslavia it is normal to pay everything in advance in hard currency.'' Sanctions could be lifted in a matter of months or a matter of years, he added. He said the various chambers of commerce were planning to start trade commissions in most countries, and were keen to co-operate with Hongkong.