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Second Hong Kong Products Exhibition Inaugurated At Expo Centre Sharjah

The 2nd Hong Kong Products Exhibition was inaugurated at the Expo Centre Sharjah on Sunday by H.E. Ahmed Mohammed Al Midfa, Chairman of Sharjah Chamber of Commerce & Industry and Mr Victor Chu, Chairman, SunExpo Hong Kong ­ the co-organizer of the event. The inauguration was attended by top government officials and dignitaries.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Midfa lauded the efforts of SunExpo Hong Kong in organizing the exhibition and bringing an even larger number of exhibitors to participate in the event this year.

Urging local businesspersons to take advantage of the benefits of interacting with the traders from Hong Kong, he said this exhibition offered vast opportunities for building up valuable contacts in sourcing and broadening their business activities in other areas.

Mr Victor Chu said he viewed this region as an important market for which Hong Kong products enjoy an advantage of being highly competitive, good quality and suitable. “A significant portion of Hong Kong’s exports to the Middle East is routed through the United Arab Emirates,” he said.

This year, exhibitors from Hong Kong have come to Sharjah in greater numbers for the second edition of this exhibition where about 180 companies will be representing their country with an increased participation of about 80 per cent, as compared to the first edition of this exhibition held last year.

The reason behind the Hong Kong exhibitors’ strong presence in the UAE is the Emirates’ keenly competitive, price-sensitive and brand-conscious consumer market, Mr Chu said, while pointing out that the increased numbers of participating exhibitors in this second edition of the fair highlighted the importance of both the event and the venue in Sharjah.

Such fairs also showcased Hong Kong’s importance as a valuable contributor of innovative ideas and quality goods to the international products market, he added.

Fasahat Ali Khan, Deputy Director General of Expo Centre Sharjah said “Hosting this exhibition is in line with our policy for boosting bilateral trade with other countries, especially in the South East Asian region.

“Looking at the strong participation from Hong Kong and the wide interest that this exhibition has generated among traders and professionals from the Middle East region, we are confident that this event will further strengthen trade relations between this region and Hong Kong,” he said.

The four-day exhibition will feature display of a wide variety of items such as electronic and electrical products, foodstuffs, decorative and gift items, clothes and textiles, machinery and equipment, auto parts and accessories, health products, toys, stationery, clocks and watches, batteries, bags, cosmetics and novelty articles.

The demand for Asian products by the Middle East has been increasing in recent years and imports recorded in this region in 2002 amounted to US $ 183 billion (Dhs 667.95 billion) with goods coming in from mainly Hong Kong, China, India, Japan, and the major markets being the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Kuwait and Iran.

The Middle East continues to present itself as a leading regional hub with its free-enterprise system, highly developed infrastructure, world-class hotels and cosmopolitan lifestyle offering a wide range of business opportunities and investment incentives.

With the UAE playing a major role as a regional re-export center in the Middle East to destinations like Iran (40 per cent), Saudi Arabia (9.4 per cent), Kuwait (8.2 per cent), Algeria (6.6 per cent), and even India (10.6 per cent), Hong Kong ranks among the top suppliers to the UAE with export figures of 2.1 per cent.

Hong Kong, which profiles itself as the undisputed business center of Asia, has for decades been a prominent supplier of high-quality, branded products to the American and European markets.

Close proximity with mainland China, which has allowed Hong Kong manufacturers to set up their production units in China’s competitive labour and production environment, have also provided them a competitive edge in the market.

The exhibition will be open everyday from 14 to 17 March 2004 from 10 am to 1 pm and 4.30 pm to 9.30 pm. The first three days from March 14 will be open to trade visitors only with the last day, March 17, being open to all members of the public. However, visitors under 16 will not be allowed at the exhibition.

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