HONGKONG property agents have moved quickly to secure prime positions for a major exhibition aimed at developers, contractors and investors in the international real estate market. The first World Property Market will be held from September 27 until 30, at the Hongkong Convention and Exhibition Centre, and has been timed to coincide with the 17th International Urban Development Association (INTA) world conference which will begin one day earlier. This is the first time the INTA conference has been held outside Europe and the organisers felt it appropriate to link it with the World Property Market. Leading the local competition against the European participants for prime space at the exhibition centre are First Pacific Davies, Chestertons, Richard Ellis and the Land Development Corporation. Newcomers also making their presence felt include New World Developments, Gammon Construction, Shun Tak Holdings, Erdman Lewis and W. T. Partnership. The enthusiastic take-up by these high profile companies is indicative of the regard in which this event is held, according to World Property Market organisers Cathay International Trade Fairs (CITF). The two events are expected to draw even greater interest from those involved in commercial and investment property development and will have a significant impact on the future of major development programmes in Hongkong, as well as on expansion in China. Senior Chinese ministers are to speak at the INTA conference, which will be attended by a party of about 100 government officials. Many European companies have seized this opportunity to make their debuts in the Asia-Pacific region. Of prime interest will be China's development programme. In Guangdong province alone, this sector of the real estate market accounted for the biggest single component of the pre-tax profits at 32 per cent. Head of research at First Pacific Davies Ms Mary Seddon said that Hongkong was an exciting centre for property development in the Asia-Pacific region. ''But, before investing, it is important to gain a thorough knowledge of the market, including local and foreign investment restrictions, performance of major developers, infrastructure investment needed, and detailed market sector information. ''At the World Property Market, First Pacific is looking to promote its expertise in this field to major players in the region, and others from the West.'' Among the 50 companies from Europe are the English Urban Development Corp, Welsh Development Agency, Blue Circle Properties, Design International, Akeler and Longwood. From the United States will come Reynolds-Roces Marketing Concepts; and from Portugal will come the Fenalu Group. The international director of CITF, Mr Richard Trafford, said the interest shown reflected the rare position of Asian economies, relative to those in Europe, the US and Australia.