The Hong Kong Trade Development Council's (HKTDC) Hong Kong Electronics Fair is still going strong. 'It has become the largest fair of its kind in the world, with more than 4,300 booths from 25 countries and regions,' said Raymond Yip, assistant executive director of the HKTDC. 'And the Hall of Fame returns to showcase more than 300 quality brands,' he added. The 29th edition of the fair, showcasing consumer electronic products, is being held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai from today until Friday. The electronicAsia fair, with more than 700 booths, is being held concurrently at the convention centre. Hong Kong Electronics Fair exhibitors said they felt the event was important to them. First Audio Manufacturing, which has been attending the fair for more than 10 years, said the event was the only Asian electronics fair worth attending due to the quality of its visitors. 'The visitor quality of the Hong Kong fair is better than [those who attend] fairs on the mainland, where visitors mainly go to buy low-cost products,' said sales director Christopher Fok. 'The Hong Kong fair showcases higher-quality products.' This year's fair is also significant to most exhibitors as it gives them the chance to show that their company is still operating despite the economic meltdown. 'A lot of companies in the industry have collapsed due to the economic downturn. In order to tell clients that we still exist, we have to exhibit at fairs,' said Lui Ming-wah, director of Keystone Electronics Company. The electronics industry was hard hit by the downturn, starting last year. As a way of ensuring their survival, companies have taken various measures, from inventing new products and trends to reducing the number of products. 'Our orders have decreased by 40 per cent since last year, so we are creating new products and trends to attract clients,' Fok said. 'In addition, we have decreased our number of products from about 20 to eight to 10.' To aid exhibitors, HKTDC is encouraging buyers from Europe, America, Japan and emerging markets to use the fair to source the latest and most innovative products. The Atrium Link expansion at the venue has increased the available space for exhibitors. 'We are expanding our booth by seven to eight times from last year as we want to attract more clients' attention,' Fok said. The HKTDC has also created several highlights to push up the attendance. A product demonstration and launch pad will be held for brands including iMusicStation, Shockwave, Bee iTranslator, COOLER, AEE and Suga to showcase their electronic products. There will also be two seminars on electronic trends and certification. The 'Latest Developments of EU Directives RoHS2 and EuP' seminar will feature Miranda Lee, deputy director of consumer testing services at SGS HK, and Raphael Thomas, eco-design expert of Bureau Vertitas, talking about the regulatory updates on RoHS2 and EuP, and solutions. A seminar entitled 'Electronic and Electrical Appliances Certification for Entering the Chinese Mainland and International Markets' will feature Mao Kexin, section chief of the product certification department at the China Quality Certification Centre; Wang Huiling, senior engineer in the product certification department at the China Quality Certification Centre; and Lee Kam-chuen, general manager of the electrical products division of Hong Kong Standards and Testing Centre. They will talk about the mainland's preferential policy and certifications, and give tips on how to introduce electrical products to the international market. Zones include the Hall of Fame, which showcases top brand names and trendy electronic products, and the Technology Exchange Zone, which presents the latest innovations, ideas and prototypes of applications and production. Other new zones this year will feature electronic gaming, health care electronics, computers and peripherals, digital imaging, testing, inspection and certification, and the digital world. Categories continued from last year include audio-visual products, electronic accessories, home applicances, in-vehicle electronics and navigation systems, office automation, personal electronics, security products, telecommunications products and trade services. Even though it is difficult to point out obvious trends in electronics, with such a large variety available, the HKTDC has its own overview of the most popular hi-tech products. With the trend for electronic components to be smaller, but with an increase in computational power, Yip believes that manufacturers will be able to offer multipurpose electronic gadgets with sleek and eco-friendly designs. With the improvement of wireless access infrastructure in developed countries, electronics with internet access are expected to become more available. 'Products include small, wireless-connectable computers, such as netbooks and mobile internet devices, which are gaining popularity among consumers,' Yip said. The Hong Kong electronics industry is recognised as the city's largest merchandise export earner. Exports rose by 7 per cent last year, representing an increase of US$11.5 billion. Electronic products contribute more than 50 per cent of Hong Kong's exports.