Speeches and Presentations

Speech by SCED at Hong Kong Houseware Fair

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mrs Rita Lau, at the opening ceremony of the Hong Kong Houseware Fair 2009 today (April 20):

Jeffrey (Lam), Fred (Lam), Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good Morning. It is my pleasure to join you today at the opening ceremony of the Hong Kong Houseware Fair.

"Home is where the heart is" as the saying goes - and it is no surprise that people want to fill their homes with beautiful items and that our entrepreneurs have seen a great deal of business opportunities in this specialty. The Houseware Fair has provided a perfect platform where both exhibitors and buyers alike can explore these business opportunities and exchange the latest market intelligence. Being the largest of its kind in Asia, the fair has firmly established its position as a not-to-be-missed event in the calendar of buyers and sellers from around the world.

Over the years, our houseware industry has been moving up the value chain rapidly and has taken great strides in branding, top-notch designs and marketing. In 2008, Hong Kong houseware exports totalled US$25.5 billion (HK$199 billion), which accounted for 7% of our total export. With the rising purchasing power of the Mainland and other emerging markets, there will be a greater demand in those markets for Hong Kong's home-living products.

This year, this largest houseware fair in Asia will house best branded collections resulting in a comprehensive range of innovative lifestyle products, including tableware, kitchenware, pet accessories and home decoration items in exhibits here. I am confident that buyers will be satisfied by what they are going to see in this fair, which represents the highest standards of style, quality and creativity.

To enable mega shows like this to grow and flourish, the Government has played an active role in ensuring the provision of sufficient quality exhibition facilities. Back in 2005, we gave our full support for the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre Atrium Link Extension project. Since then, we have been working closely with the Trade Development Council in facilitating the project throughout its planning and construction phases. Today, I am most happy to witness these efforts bearing fruit. The extension project was just completed a few days ago, and has boosted the centre's total exhibition space by 42% or an additional 1,000 booths that will benefit thousands of Hong Kong SMEs currently on the waiting lists for over-subscribed trade shows. I am also pleased to note that this Houseware Fair has taken up a new exhibition hall created through the project.

To allow more time for you to visit the array of exhibition booths and strike business deals, I better keep my speech short. In closing, I wish you all a rewarding show and wish that the exhibitors will leave the event with more new orders and the buyers will find their ideal houseware products.

Thank you.

Monday, April 20, 2009