Industry Trends point to LED and Eco Products. The four leading Autumn trade fairs organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) in October – the Hong Kong International Lighting Fair (Autumn Edition), inaugural Hong Kong International Outdoor and Tech Light Expo, Eco Expo Asia and Hong Kong International Building and Hardware Fair – have come to a successful close.
The fairs welcomed a total of more than 77,000 buyers from 148 countries and regions, an increase of 5.6 per cent year-on-year. The number of buyers from mature markets including the United States, Germany and Australia, as well as emerging markets such as the Chinese mainland, the Philippines and Indonesia also recorded a considerable increase.
Benjamin Chau, Deputy Executive Director, HKTDC, said, “At the four fairs this year, buyer attendance increased 5.6 per cent compared to last year. We saw vibrant business momentum at the fairgrounds, which is an indication of optimism about market prospects. As users become more conscious of environmental protection, and companies place greater emphasis on energy-efficient and socially responsible strategies, the potential for green business is vast, and eco products emerged as a highlight of the fairs. Exhibitors and buyers from around the world can make full use of the HKTDC’s one-stop, large-scale, cross industry sourcing platform to develop new markets.”
World’s largest lighting marketplace
The Autumn Lighting Fair and the inaugural Outdoor and Tech Light Expo welcomed a total of more than 3,000 exhibitors from 37 countries and regions, forming the world’s largest lighting marketplace. Together with the concurrent Eco Expo Asia and the Hong Kong International Building and Hardware Fair, the events further added value for exhibitors and enhanced sourcing efficiency for buyers.
To better understand the views of industry players regarding the business outlook, the HKTDC commissioned an independent market research agency to conduct on-site surveys during the Autumn Lighting Fair and Outdoor and Tech Light Expo, interviewing 654 exhibitors and buyers. The survey found that over 60 per cent of the respondents regard North America and Western Europe as the traditional markets with the highest growth potential, while the industry considers the Chinese mainland (64%) and ASEAN countries (42%) as the most promising emerging markets.
Nixon Chen, CEO of Canadian company SmartRay Inc, joined the Autumn Lighting Fair for the third time. He said daylight in some of the North American regions is insufficient to support optimal plant growth, creating a niche market for artificial lighting in North America. “I am happy to have found a good supplier of grow lights at the fair. I am planning to place an initial order worth US$100,000 with them.” Mr Chen said he would come to the Autumn Lighting Fair again next year to look for new products and new technologies.
The renowned German brand BJB specialises in the production of connections for LED products. Philipp Henrici, President and General Manager of BJB GmbH & Co KG, said the Autumn Lighting Fair is very international and is one of the most important shows for their company. The fair attracts a lot of global buyers every year and enables their brand to showcase new products. He added that the emerging markets such as Chinese mainland and South America have rich growth potential for LED products due to their large populations
Russian buyer Anton Korolev said, as one of the biggest shows in Asia, the Autumn Lighting Fair is more international than other similar shows in the region. He said, “Russia is an emerging market for smart lighting because consumers find smart products very convenient. I have already found several potential suppliers from the Chinese mainland and France and we are in talks about supplying home lighting products and smart lighting solutions. I plan to place orders next month.”
Brazil’s NICOM is a retailer of building materials and lighting products. The company’s President, Hiroshi Shimuta, commended on the HKTDC’s concurrent hosting of the Outdoor and Tech Light Expo and the Building and Hardware Fair, saying buyers could conveniently source building materials, eco products and lighting devices all under one roof. “In terms of lighting products, we spotted a high-power floodlight from Dongguan, and may place a sample order of about 200 units with the manufacturer.”
Great potential for LED and green lighting products
The on-site survey found that 40 per cent of the respondents consider LED and green lighting to have the greatest growth potential in 2017, and they expect indoor household lighting and smart lighting systems to have the highest growth among all LED application areas. Japan’s Citizen Electronics Co, Ltd has been exhibiting at the Autumn Lighting Fair for many years. Edmond Wong, General Manager of C-E (Hong Kong) Ltd, a subsidiary of Citizen, said, “The Autumn Lighting Fair is one of the most influential fairs for the industry. It provides an important launch pad for our new products. This year, we are introducing the second generation of our LED Vivid Series. Our new products have attracted many new buyers from the Chinese mainland, Europe, India, Southeast Asia and the US.”
United Arab Emirates buyer Mohammad Khalil, Business Development Manager of Master Light Electrical Trading, said the Middle East is now actively preparing for the World Expo 2020 and will be implementing construction projects that are worth hundreds of billions of US dollars over the coming four years. In addition, Dubai is setting an example for sustainable city development and will be inspiring the building of smart cities in other countries. All these are set to drive the demand for outdoor lighting, he said.
Joy Jia, Overseas Sales Manager of Fonda Technology Co, Ltd from the mainland, said outdoor and tech lighting are part of the smart city concept. There are potential business opportunities in solar street lighting as governments around the globe, especially in India, Indonesia, South America and the Middle East are looking for such solutions. She added, “We are glad to see tech light being included in the inaugural expo. Our company signed many pilot scheme contracts at the World of Outdoor Lighting & Lighting Accessories last year, and some of them have evolved into real projects. This year, many clients from Australia, India and South America came to visit our booth again.”
New Eco Home Tech zone at Eco Expo Asia
At the 11th Eco Expo Asia, the new Eco Home Tech zone was presented as a household setting to allow visitors to experience the green living concepts first-hand. One of the products showcased was BAFCO Hong Kong Ltd’s Haiku® energy-efficient ceiling fans. The company also had a booth at the Green Building Solution and Service zone. Sam Han, the company’s Marketing and Communications Manager, East Asia, said, “We have met more than 100 potential clients, including those from Israel, Singapore, the UAE and the United Kingdom; officials from the provincial and municipal governments of the Chinese mainland, and the Hong Kong Housing Department. Representatives from Coca-Cola, a French architectural firm and an Indian property management company also expressed keen interest in our products. The expo is very international. We are confident that we will accomplish the goal of expanding our customer base and capturing new business opportunities through the fair.”
Eco vehicles at Green Transportation Experience zone
With governments actively promoting green transportation, the Green Transportation Experience zone was upgraded this year to showcase more advanced electric vehicles (EVs), charging facilities and other related transportation solutions. Dr Allen Wong, Head of Product & Business Development – Consumer Group, HKT Ltd, visited Eco Expo Asia for the first time and met with many green SMEs from Hong Kong. He said his company was running an EV charging joint venture with CLP Holdings and hoped to find suitable EV charging technologies at the expo. He had met six potential exhibitors, including Hong Kong EV Power Ltd, Powerpeg NSI Ltd and Fortune Dragon Motors Ltd. He planned to come again next year to learn more about the development of local green companies and the EV industry.
With generous support from the Environmental Protection Department, over 200 green managers from listed companies and various government departments were invited to visit the expo and take part in briefing sessions and guided tours, with the objective of facilitating business matching with relevant exhibitors as well as promoting green sourcing among businesses and government departments.
The Hong Kong International Lighting Fair (Autumn Edition), Hong Kong International Outdoor and Tech Light Expo and Hong Kong International Building and Hardware Fair are organised by the HKTDC. The events welcomed more than 39,000, close to 12,000 and over 13,000 buyers respectively. Eco Expo Asia is jointly organised by the HKTDC and Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd, and welcomed over 13,000 buyers. The Autumn Lighting Fair was held 27-30 October at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, while the other three fairs ran 26-29 October at the AsiaWorld-Expo. The four fairs generated a synergistic effect and created more cross–industry business opportunities as a one-stop sourcing platform for both exhibitors and buyers.