Hong Kong International Building and Decoration Materials and Hardware Fair Hoping to capitalise on the building boom on the mainland and parts of Asia, two fairs have joined forces this year to offer a more consolidated sourcing platform for buyers. The new Hong Kong International Building and Decoration Materials and Hardware Fair, held from today until Friday at AsiaWorld-Expo, is the result of a merger between the Hong Kong International Hardware and Home Improvement Fair and the Hong Kong International Building Materials and Construction Equipment Fair. 'Buyers will find a wealth of building products and services from the resulting merger. The new fair takes sourcing to a new level because of the synergy between the industries,' said Raymond Yip, assistant executive director of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC). The HKTDC and CIEC Exhibition Company (HK) are jointly organising the combined event, which has attracted about 300 exhibitors from around the world. On offer are a wide range of products, including building materials, decorative materials, hardware and do-it-yourself products, bathroom fittings and sanitary ware, doors/windows and accessories, building technology, safety and security systems, building engineering and service, and lawn and yard products. A special zone will feature aluminium-plastic composite panels, which are widely used on the mainland. 'This is a new type of environmentally friendly construction material which has been extensively applied to curtain walls, interior and exterior decoration, advertisement and publicity plaques, vehicle and boat decoration, and furniture,' said Sam Xie, managing director of CIEC. Major exhibitors from Hong Kong include Year Full Group Holdings, which specialises in bamboo flooring, outdoor decking, bamboo veneer and furniture, and Kwan Kin International Holdings, a producer of 'wooden plastic'. Among the international exhibitors are Malaysia's Gold Paint Chemical Industrial, a paint supplier; Austria's Josef Krenn, a maker of hardware tools; and wallpaper supplier Eastern Arts Yuemei from the United States. 'We expect business at the fair to be good because bamboo costs less than hardwoods, and the price of bamboo has been stable while the cost for hardwood flooring is rising,' said Billie Wong, general manager of Year Full. 'Bamboo is also environmentally friendly because it is a sustainable material.' The company is introducing bamboo wallpaper and stains for bamboo flooring in 12 to 15 colours, and bamboo wallpaper. Europe and the United States are the company's major export markets, but Ms Wong said the company hoped it could expand the 10 to 15 per cent of its exports to the mainland to 50 per cent over the next couple of years. 'We want to use the fair to educate Chinese buyers about bamboo, about how durable and long-wearing it is,' she said. Hong Kong's exports of building materials, including hardware, totalled HK$70.3 billion over the first eight months of this year, an increase of 7 per cent over the corresponding period last year. The mainland is Hong Kong's largest export market, accounting for a 57 per cent share, with exports rising 7 per cent over the same period. The mainland is also the world's biggest importer of building materials and hardware, accounting for more than half of all such products supplied by foreign exporters.