Mar 30 - Apr 05, 2009

Hong Kong, with a 7 million population, has become one of the strongest economic power houses in the world with $750 billion trade volume including imports worth $390 billion and exports level of $350 billion.

Raymond Yip, Assistant Executive Director of Hong Kong Trade Development Council is currently visiting Pakistan with his innovative ideas to promote bilateral trade relations with Pakistan especially with a view to cope up with the global financial meltdown and economic recession threatening to the world economies.

Besides having interaction with the government officials of related ministries, Raymond had meetings with the representatives of a large number of trade bodies as well as with Trade Development Authority of Pakistan to explore potential areas for increasing trade volume between the two countries.

Accompanied by Asad Sajjad, CEO Global Exhibition and Marketing who represents HKTDC in Pakistan, Raymond while speaking at a press briefing last week, said that despite all economic odds, robust activities in development of infrastructure were underway in Hong Kong as well as other countries under the supervision of Hong Kong companies. In this backdrop, Hong Kong would appreciate export of building material including cement, marble, granite and other necessary building material from Pakistan.

Raymond looked well informed about the available potential in Pakistan said that Pakistan was probably on top of the list of marble producing countries where quality marble in 123 different colors has the quality to attract buyers. He however remarked candidly that promoting trade relation goes like dating before marriage. One has to develop understanding, faith, and confidence before entering into wedlock.

To have greater integration between the trader communities of the two countries, Raymond said that Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) will be holding six international trade fairs aimed at providing rewarding opportunities to Pakistani businesses.

Actually, Raymond Yip is on a special 4-day visit to highlight the importance of the April fairs and meet with government officials and corporate sector entities to discuss matters of business cooperation to maximize trade potential between Pakistan and Hong Kong.

"HKTDC has six major international trade fairs in April, 2009, said Mr. Raymond Yip, Assistant Executive Director, HKTDC while addressing a media gathering. "To harness the potential of Pakistan, we will market them intensively to encourage more trade with this market." The six trade fairs are HKTDC Hong Kong Electronics Fair (Spring Edition), HKTDC International ICT Expo, HKTDC Hong Kong International Lighting Fair (Spring Edition), HKTDC Hong Kong Houseware Fair, HKTDC Hong Kong Gifts & Premium Fair and Hong Kong International Printing & Packaging Fair.

Mr. Yip informed the media about the trade potential that exists between Pakistan and Hong Kong and how businesses specifically SMEs can benefit by accessing Hong Kong markets. He told that Pakistan is a 43rd trading partner of Hong Kong and the total trade volume between Hong Kong and Pakistan in 2008 reached US$613 million, while foreign direct investment of Hong Kong in Pakistan was US$340 million in 2007 and it ranked fourth after the United States, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom.

Mr. Raymond Yip also announced a US$10.3 million package for the SME sector in Pakistan. Focusing on emerging markets like Pakistan, this initiative offers various subsidized packages of air ticket and hotel stay for international buyers to the trade fairs in Hong Kong organized by HKTDC throughout 2009.

Hong Kong Electronics Fair is the largest electronics fair in Asia. In 2008, over 51,000 buyers from 162 countries and regions came to witness products exhibited by 2,400 exhibitors from 23 countries and regions.

Concurrently, International ICT Expo sets about Hong Kong's position as a technology leader and presents the latest products and solutions in the information and communications areas to traders. This year, new zones have been added to cater to this fast-changing industry, including 'Computer & Peripherals', 'Digitainment & Multimedia', 'IT Security' and 'Storage Technologies'.

"With a large proportion of telecommunications equipment and parts imported by Pakistan coming from Hong Kong, Hong Kong Electronics Fair (Spring Edition) and International ICT Expo are worth visiting for Pakistani buyers," said Mr. Yip.

The Spring Edition of Hong Kong International Lighting Fair is a debut event. Driven by overwhelming demand as well as the continued success of its Autumn Edition, the new fair provides an additional opportunity for exhibitors to showcase their products and for buyers to source quality lighting products.

Following these three fairs, Asia's largest houseware event, Hong Kong Houseware Fair, will showcase a wide array of houseware items in categorized zones in its 24th edition, 20-23 April. In 2008, over 2,380 exhibitors from 38 countries and regions participated whilst over 29,000 buyers from 145 countries and regions visited the fair.

Hong Kong Gifts & Premium Fair and Hong Kong International Printing & Packaging Fair will be held in tandem from 27-30 April. As the largest of its kind in the world, Hong Kong Gifts & Premium Fair highlights five new zones responding to up-and-coming trends, namely 'Figurines & Decorations Zone', 'Men's World', 'Party & Festive Items Zone', 'Tech Gifts Zone', and 'Wedding Items Zone'. Last but not the least, Hong Kong International Printing & Packaging Fair will return to Asia-World Expo to display the latest products and technologies in printing and packaging.

"Hong Kong, characterized by its free trade, world-class infrastructure and free flow of information, is an ideal trading platform," said Mr. Yip. "Our fairs are thus the best avenue for one-stop sourcing from parts to finished products, from traditional models to innovative designs."

With its intrinsic advantages, Hong Kong is an important trading hub for buyers and suppliers. All six trade fairs running through April in Hong Kong present opportunities for companies in Pakistan to source quality products and make alliances and business contacts for expansion.