Hong Kong reclaims status as global hub for lifestyle products
The April Lifestyle Fair 2023, hosted by HKTDC, attracted nearly 56,000 buyers from over 130 countries.
Buyers from all over the world had always turned to Hong Kong for the latest lifestyle products, until the pandemic shut its borders. Now that borders have reopened, so has Hong Kong reclaimed its status as a global hub through the staging of its April Lifestyle Fair which has attracted nearly 56,000 buyers from over 130 countries.
“The development of the creative and knowledge-based economy has become a major driving force for global economic growth,” Sophia Chong, deputy executive director of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), said.
“For the first time in April, the HKTDC held seven major lifestyle and licensing events concurrently,” she added.
5-in-1 April Lifestyle Fair
The April Lifestyle Fair included five exhibitions: Home InStyle; Hong Kong International Home Textiles and Furnishings Fair; Hong Kong Gifts & Premium Fair; Fashion InStyle; and Hong Kong International Printing & Packaging Fair.
Notably, what had been previously known as the Hong Kong Houseware Fair and the Hong Kong Fashion Week were rebranded in this year’s fair as Home InStyle and Fashion InStyle, respectively.
Hong Kong Exporters’ Association Vice President Helena Chiu, who is also a member of the Fair Organising Committee, said the new name, Home InStyle, reflects “the positioning of the fair and the latest industry trends and bringing more design and cultural-oriented products to buyers.”
“In this fair, the Home InStyle and the Hong Kong International Home Textiles and Furnishings Fair have attracted more than 2,800 exhibitors from 21 countries and regions and this, again, reaffirms Hong Kong's position as the global hub for lifestyle product procurement,” asserted Chiu.
Similarly, Katherine Fang, who chairs the HKTDC Garment Advisory Committee, explained that relaunching Hong Kong Fashion Week as Fashion InStyle was intended to better respond to the latest industry trend.
The Fair which featured innovative fashion technologies, such as 3D-printed fashion, AI, and RFID, attracted 500 exhibitors from across the industry chain.
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The Fair, held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC) on 19-22 April, was joined by 4,100 exhibitors from 23 countries and regions. Exhibitors and traders are able to access the Fair online until 29 April through the Click2Match smart business matching platform, provided under HKTDC’s Exhibition+ hybrid model.
Optimistic growth outlook
Apart from the influx of buyers and sellers at the Fair, HKTDC also found an improved business sentiment amongst the participants.
A survey commissioned by the HKTDC showed that more than half of the respondents (52%) expect that the easing of health restrictions and the restoration of business travel would positively impact business and sales.
The report, which surveyed 850 exhibitors and buyers at the fair, also found that nearly 70% expected business and sales to revert to their pre-pandemic levels within the next six to 18 months.
Across markets, most buyers have also expressed their preference for Hong Kong (85%) and Mainland China (60%) for trade-fair participation. Other markets being eyed as buyers’ new targets in the next two years are Northern and Western Europe (21%) and ASEAN countries (15%). ASEAN is composed of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
At the Home InStyle fair, the survey showed that sleek and simple designs are expected to be in high demand, as cited by 41% of the respondents polled. On the other hand, sustainable products are seen as the next market trend by 61% of the respondents at the Gifts Fair.
Further, HKTDC reported that the products with the greatest growth potential are gardening, camping, and outdoor products (24%), followed by eco-friendly products (20%), then health & wellness products (18%), and kitchenware & tableware (18%).
Additionally, products that show great prospects are sustainable gifts (26%), advertising gifts & premium (25%), and tech gifts (23%).
In 2022, exports of Hong Kong’s giftware and premiums were valued at HK$177.58b (US$22.68b), whilst exports of houseware products and clothing amounted to HK$3.6b (US$458) in 2021 and HK$48.59b (US$6.19b) from January to September 2021, respectively.