Inter-regional Collaboration Explored at Lifestyle Expo in Dubai

Officiating guests include (L-R) Jin Lei, Commercial Attache, Economic & Commercial Section, Consulate General of the People's Republic of China in Dubai; Regina Lai, Director, Product Promotion, HKTDC; HE Juma Al Kait, Assistant Undersecretary of Foreign Trade and Industry, Ministry of Economy, United Arab Emirates (UAE); Huang Yongguang, Deputy Division Director, The Department of Commerce of Guangdong Province; Perry Fung, Regional Director (Middle East & Africa), HKTDC

The sixth edition of the Lifestyle Expo in Dubai opened on 25 June and concluded yesterday at the Hyatt Regency Dubai. Jointly organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) and the Department of Commerce of Guangdong Province of the People’s Republic of China, the Expo serves as a platform for suppliers from Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland to connect with buyers from the Middle East and Africa, supporting companies to seize the tremendous business opportunities presented by the Belt and Road Initiative and Expo 2020 Dubai.

The two-day event showcased a wide selection of trendy products from more than 120 Hong Kong and mainland companies to close to 1,400 buyers from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Iran and Africa. Exhibits include consumer electronics, information and communications technology (ICT) products, household products and electrical appliances, fashion and fashion accessories, gifts and premiums, as well as watches and clocks.

Exploring regional cooperation on Belt and Road opportunities

Speaking at the Opening Ceremony, HKTDC Product Promotion Director Regina Lai highlighted the cooperation between the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong and the UAE to unlock opportunities arising from the Belt and Road Initiative, a key global economic driver for the 21st Century.

“Both Hong Kong and the UAE have what it takes to be a key commercial hub for the Belt and Road Initiative. Working together, we can build new business-to-business links along the Belt and Road and gain access to new markets,” Ms Lai said.

“The Chinese mainland, Hong Kong and the UAE have forged a very close business partnership. The Lifestyle Expo in Dubai is the signature promotion event in emerging markets that facilitates exchanges on market trends and creates synergy for mutual benefits,” Ms Lai added. “The HKTDC have long recognised the geographical advantage of the UAE as a springboard to the promising Middle East and Africa markets. We will continue to organise different promotional events in the region to help enterprises capture the growing business opportunities.”

Dubai: key business hub in the Middle East

The Belt and Road Initiative, together with the upcoming Expo 2020 Dubai, are expected to drive the economic development of the UAE, boosting demand for trade, logistics, infrastructure, real estate and financial services in the region. Hong Kong and mainland companies are uniquely positioned to provide services and investment with their experience and expertise.

The UAE is Hong Kong’s largest trading partner and export market in the Middle East. Bilateral trade between the two places has been growing at an average annual rate of 14 per cent since 2010. In 2017, Hong Kong’s total trade to the UAE grew 3 per cent to US$10.8 billion, led by exports of telecommunications equipment and parts, precious and semi-precious stones and jewellery. Last year, HKTDC’s international fairs showcased a variety of products to close to 12,000 buyers from the Middle East.

Business matching and networking

The Lifestyle Expo in Dubai featured a number of seminars and networking events, including the fourth Hub-to-Hub Business Meeting that brought together business leaders from Hong Kong, the UAE and Africa to share their insights on the latest market developments. Customised “One-to-One” business matching services were provided on site to connect exhibitors and buyers to foster collaboration.

Products from 120 exhibitors were spotlighted at the “ Small Orders Showcase”, allowing buyers to place orders of between 5 to 1,000 pieces. The HKTDC Frequent Buyer Awards 2018 was presented yesterday to Middle East and African companies for their on-going support to the Council’s trade fairs in Hong Kong and Dubai.

Business mission to Kenya

In addition, Elvin Law, Product Promotion Manager of the HKTDC will be leading a business mission to Nairobi, Kenya to explore collaboration opportunities with African companies. Members of the delegation represent a variety of sectors including electronics, fashion, housewares, gifts, packaging and wellness products.

Highlighting Hong Kong’s position as Asia’s lifestyle trendsetter, the Lifestyle Expo in Dubai is one of the HKTDC’s signature international promotion events aiming to foster trade between companies from Hong Kong and emerging markets worldwide including Russia, Poland, Turkey, India and Indonesia.

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