KOELNMESSE, THE organiser of the world's largest international hardware and home improvement fair, has brought its International Hardware Fair/Practical World to Hong Kong. The German trade show organiser is globally renowned for its expertise and specialised approach. The fair will be co-located with the China Sourcing Fair: Gifts & Home Products, and its maiden launch is co-organised by Global Sources and Koelnmesse. The fair showcases hardware, tools, furniture, garden and horticulture products, fire and safety products and home improvement and security products, and will be held at the AsiaWorld-Expo until Tuesday. 'We are delighted to have Koelnmesse, the world's leading hardware and DIY trade show organiser, bring its event to the China Sourcing Fair in Hong Kong,' said Merle Hinrichs, Global Sources chairman and chief executive. Jochen Witt, president and chief executive of Koelnmesse, said that through the strategic alliance his company was further strengthening its involvement in trade fairs abroad. 'The combined experience and professionalism of Koelnmesse and Global Sources ensures buyers and exhibitors a specialised, world-class event. We aim to put Hong Kong on the map as an important centre for buyers to source hardware and DIY products from across Asia.' Koelnmesse managing director, Michael Dreyer, said: 'We hope it will become the most important event in Asia and people will put it on their calendar. They will come here before going to China because of our high-quality and low-cost products. Global Sources specialises in the gifts and home products category and we specialise in hardware products. Both of us are dedicated to business-to-business services and want to do focused and high- quality exhibitions. The two companies ideally go together.' Mr Dreyer said bringing together the two companies' contacts helped them serve a wider clientele. The pairing brings in more visitors and exhibitors because many companies have gift and home, and hardware segments. Buyers can therefore go to one fair and source their whole product range. 'Hong Kong is a good location. It is an international trading centre. A lot of companies are based in Hong Kong, so there is a natural customer base here. And it is the gateway to southern China. Asia will lead in market strength, especially China and Taiwan, if the cost of raw materials and transport don't increase much,' Mr Dreyer said. The German trade fair organiser has backed up this belief by expanding operations in Asia. Koelnmesse has established six events in China and has expanded operations in Japan and Thailand by establishing two new Asian subsidiaries.