Following is a speech by the Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Mr Raymond Tam, at the joint opening ceremony of the Hong Kong Toys and Games Fair 2014, Hong Kong Baby Products Fair 2014 and Hong Kong International Licensing Show 2014 this morning (January 6):
Mr (Fred) Lam, Mr (C K) Yeung, Dr (Royce) Yuen, Mr Li (Baozong), Ms (Dyah Winarni) Poedjiwati, Professor Dr (Apinan) Poshyananda, distinguished guests, ladies and gentleman,
It is my great pleasure to be here at the joint opening ceremony of the HKTDC (Hong Kong Trade Development Council) Hong Kong Toys and Games Fair, the Hong Kong Baby Products Fair, and the Hong Kong International Licensing Show 2014.
The synergy created by these concurrent exhibitions is advantageous whereby buyers and exhibitors can explore new business opportunities and sourcing channels. The toys, games and baby products industries have always been working closely with the licensing industry. By obtaining the user rights of well-known brands, icons, anime and manga characters and films through licensing, and using them in the designs of products, producers can attract more customers and enjoy a competitive advantage when tapping into new markets.
Celebrating its 40th edition, the Hong Kong Toys and Games Fair is the largest event of its kind in Asia and second largest in the world. The 2013 show drew over 39,000 buyers from 126 countries and regions.
This year, over 1,900 exhibitors from 39 countries and regions have come together to put their latest collections on display and to meet their potential business partners. With group pavilions of Mainland China, Indonesia, Korea, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, and the World of Toys Pavilion, the HKTDC Hong Kong Toys and Games Fair further establishes its internationality.
From January to October in 2013, Hong Kong's total toy exports amounted to HK$52.5 billion, with Mainland China, USA, Japan, Germany and UK being its top export markets.
While in slow recovery, the toys industry is still facing many challenges under the current economic climate, for example, the continual pressure of the rising costs for labour and raw materials, smaller orders and shorter lead time. Added to these challenges is the market expectation. The market continues to raise its expectations of high quality and safety standards of toys and baby products.
In order to reduce operating costs and to enhance competitiveness, many manufacturers in Hong Kong have set up production facilities offshore, mainly on the Mainland. We see that the role of the Hong Kong office has somewhat migrated towards quality control, management, marketing, product design and production planning.
Through the development of innovative, educational, safe and eco-friendly products, our manufacturers have succeeded to strive through the tough moments and remain competitive in the market. Hong Kong manufacturers are known for their creativity, flexibility and high ethical standards, which earn Hong Kong the reputation as an international supplier of high-quality toys and a global centre for toy product design, production planning, marketing and management.
2014 will be another year full of opportunities and hope, and I wish these three concurrent trade fairs will boost the prospects of the toys and baby products sectors as well as licensing opportunities in the years ahead.
Last but not least, may I take this opportunity to wish you all Happy New Year, and our visitors a fruitful and enjoyable stay in Hong Kong.
Ends/Monday, January 6, 2014