The first Hong Kong brand expo in Guangzhou will open on Wednesday to promote the city's products to consumers in southern China. The four-day product fair was organised to help Hong Kong firms open up the mainland market, Trade Development Council assistant executive director Benjamin Chau Kai-leung said. About 250 Hong Kong brands whose products range from apparel, toys and watches to electronics, cosmetics and food will join the trade fair, jointly organised by the TDC and the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade. 'In the past, we kept urging Hong Kong exporters to explore the mainland market. However, as the US and European markets were booming, they were indifferent to our suggestion,' Mr Chau said. 'Now, as the developed economies are badly hit by the financial crisis, Hong Kong companies are keen on coming to the mainland.' He said the mainland would be the TDC's focus for the next two years and it had earmarked 25 per cent more resources for activities there. Two more expos to promote Hong Kong brands are planned, in Wuhan in May and Chongqing in November. A Hong Kong-themed gallery is also due to open in Beijing's Wangfujing Avenue in June to showcase the city's brands and designs.