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Fair Review(HKTDC Packaging, Vol 02,2006)

A Successful Debut



The Hong Kong International Printing and Packaging Fair made a successful debut at AsiaWorld-Expo from April 8-11, 2006. Organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (TDC) and CIEC Exhibition Co (HK) Ltd, the event offered new growth opportunities for the industry throughout the region and buyers and sellers alike took full advantage.

The fair attracted 299 exhibitors from six countries and regions, with the Chinese mainland's 102 exhibitors demonstrating the increasing strength of the printing and packaging industries there.

Patronised by 37 buying missions, the fair also attracted more than 9,000 buyers from 71 countries and regions. Many visitors came from Asia, underlining the industry's increasing development throughout the region. However, visitor figures from Europe, the Americas and Australia were also strong.

Among exhibitors were conventional and digital printers, packaging specialists, production and pre-production houses, suppliers of printing and packaging equipment and various service providers, including design houses.

The fair enabled these manufacturers and suppliers to make important contacts with potential buyers from all over the world. "Our participation in this fair was very fruitful," said Chinese mainland exhibitor Cai Wanqing, CEO of Sanxin Int'l Group. "On the first day alone, we met 50-60 new clients [who expressed] an intention to cooperate. We will participate in the next fair and promote our Sanxin brand to the world through this international platform."

General manager Wang Kun of Chinese mainland exhibitor Qingdao Fungchoi Paper Products Co Ltd was equally enthusiastic. "This was the first time we were able to bring together all the companies in our group to participate in a fair under a unified image. We aimed to secure more overseas orders and to expand our international business through the Hong Kong International Printing and Packaging Fair. We thank the organisers for creating such a valuable business opportunity," he said.

Buyers too found the fair a valuable venue for sourcing a variety of products. "I came to see only shopping bag manufacturers, but also found many box manufacturers, printers and other suppliers with interesting items that could be useful and interesting in the Mexican market," commented Jorge Mondragon of Morysan, Mexico.

Meanwhile, production director Angela Davis, from Intervisual Books Inc of the US, expressed her desire to get down to business as quickly as possible. "I am looking forward to sending many requests for quotations as our company gears up for the upcoming publishing season," she said. "I was able to make some new contacts as well as renew some old friends. I applaud the fair organisers for their efforts in creating a successful first show."

In the publishing sector, the printing of educational material, especially for developing countries, continued to thrive, while printed recreational reading matter more than held its ground against other media.

On the other hand, most attractive to the buying public in the competitive retail sector were products with well-designed and attractively printed packaging.

Hong Kong ranks in the top four printing centres internationally, and printing is the largest manufacturing industry in Hong Kong in terms of the number of establishment units - which stood at 4,236 in September 2004.

Books, booklets, brochures, pamphlets and leaflets, paper and paperboard labels mainly used for packaging are among the range of products manufactured by local companies. Other categories include advertising materials, commercial catalogues, calendars, postcards and greeting cards.

The territory's packaging firms produce a wide range of materials, including paper containers (corrugated carton boxes, paper carrier bags, paperboard boxes and pulp moulds out of newsprint and corrugated paper), polyethylene packages (bags for food and garment packaging, stretch film for wrapping purposes and shrink film for multiple item packaging), polyvinyl chloride packages (film/tubing for wrapping consumer items and plates for blister card) and metal containers for beverages and edible oils.

In 2005, Hong Kong's total exports of printed matter and packing materials were valued at more than US$5.1bn, with the US, the Chinese mainland, the UK and Japan among the top export markets.

Hong Kong's well-known track record for quality, reliability and integrity was seen as an impressive drawing card for buyers, who also knew they could rely on the territory's top-tier logistics and financial services to support their trading.

The 2007 Hong Kong International Printing and Packaging Fair (April 28-May 1, 2007 at AsiaWorld-Expo) is expected to build on the momentum generated by the 2006 event.

Next year's fair will explore new horizons in technology, product development and markets through related information-sharing and social networking events. Highlights include seminars on markets, international printing standards, technology advances and creative updates. Open Forum sessions will allow exhibitors to provide a detailed picture of their products and services.

"Everyone is looking forward to 2007," enthused TDC senior exhibitions manager Anne Chick. "Hong Kong's strong economy in recent years has driven up demand for products and services related to the printing and packaging industry, and this encouraging trend will help us to further enhance the professional positioning of the new fair by amplifying the breadth of exhibits, boosting the showcase quality, intensifying publicity efforts and improving our customer service."

As an added bonus, buyers at the Hong Kong Gifts and Premium Fair (more than 50,000 in 2006), which will be held concurrently at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, will have free access to the Hong Kong International Printing and Packaging Fair 2007.