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AI Business Matching At Autumn Sourcing Week

The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is running Autumn Sourcing Week | ONLINE (ASWO) from 16 to 27 November, featuring the latest products from different industries including electronics, houseware, lighting, outdoor lighting, eco tech, gifts and premiums, toys, baby products, stationery, optical and watches and clocks. The virtual fair serves as a one-stop online sourcing platform to keep small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) connected with global buyers and help create business opportunities across various sectors.

Autumn Sourcing Week | ONLINE (ASWO), which will open tomorrow (16 November), has attracted 2,600 exhibitors from 33 countries and regions, featuring 37 group pavilions and covering the latest products from 11 industries.

Benjamin Chau, HKTDC Deputy Executive Director, said the COVID-19 pandemic has changed sourcing patterns and driven more companies to go digital and promote their businesses through online channels, increasing the demand for online marketing services. "The pandemic will eventually come to an end, but for now Hong Kong companies are taking a positive approach to the new normal by making more use of online promotion platforms to capture online-to-offline (O2O) business opportunities. The HKTDC has reacted to these changes swiftly, developing online exhibitions that can help SMEs attract new buyers and gain new orders during this difficult time."

Under the theme "A New Connected World Beyond the New Normal", ASWO has attracted 2,600 exhibitors from 33 countries and regions, featuring 37 group pavilions, including the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA), Taiwan Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers' Association (TEEMA), Zhejiang, Chongqing and Jiangsu provinces from Mainland China, Cyberport and the Federation of Hong Kong Industries.

New 3D virtual booth

A new 3D virtual booth has been introduced at ASWO to enable exhibitors to showcase their products and promote their brands in a more attractive and effective way. The Environment Bureau of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) is featuring an interactive "Hong Kong GO Green" virtual tour, showcasing the latest waste-reduction facilities and applied technologies in three areas: "Community Recycling Network", "Recycling Facilities" and "Green High-Tech". Cyberport is featuring 14 start-up companies at its virtual booth, highlighting innovative technologies in the areas of consumer electronics, electronic health products, robotics and wearable devices. Eastcolight, a Hong Kong toy company, is presenting its virtual booth as a theme park featuring electronic toys, DIY toys, STREAM (science, technology, robotics, engineering, arts and maths) toys and more. In addition, exhibitors from the houseware, gifts and premiums, baby products and optical sectors are presenting their latest products through their specially designed 3D booths.

Intelligence Hub

More than 20 webinar sessions will be staged over the exhibition period with some 100 industry leaders sharing the latest market trends, providing buyers and exhibitors with the latest information to help their future planning. Highlights of the webinars include:

  • "Symposium on Innovation & Technology - A New Connected World Beyond the New Normal" on 16 November. Among the speakers, Ricky Wong, Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Hong Kong Television Network Limited, Professor Yuen Kwok-yung, Chair of Infectious Diseases, Department of Microbiology at the University of Hong Kong, Professor Ray Liu from the University of Maryland, Dr Adam Drobot from OpenTech Works, who is also a member of the US Federal Communication Commission (FCC) Technological Advisory Council, together with representatives from Google, Amazon and KPMG will discuss how pivotal technologies including artificial intelligence (AI), 5G and cloud technology will help combat the pandemic and create a better post-pandemic world.
  • "Beyond Connection: Lighting as a Strategy" on 17 November invites Nicolas Rimbeau from British smart street lighting and smart city application developer Telensa to talk about the importance of smart street lighting in future city planning.
  • "Hong Kong Toys Industry Conference - Toys for the Future" on 18 November invites Kenny Sham from LEGO Group to share consumer analysis and marketing strategies for the toy industry in the Greater China region.
  • "Hong Kong International Watch Forum" on 18 November will see industry representatives from Germany, France, Japan, Korea and Mainland China share valuable insights into the watch industry's trading performance and manufacturing trends.
  • The "Eco Asia Conference", powered by the Environment Bureau of the HKSAR, will take place on 19, 20 and 23 November, featuring five thematic sessions. Wong Kam-sing, Secretary for the Environment, and representatives from the Department of Ecology and Environment of Guangdong Province and Macao's Environmental Protection Bureau (DPSA) will give updates on environmental work in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area on 19 November. In addition, a representative from the Ministry of Ecology and Environment of the People's Republic of China will share the latest green policies in Mainland China.

Anti-epidemic products draw attention

Various anti-epidemic products are available at the virtual exhibition, including some from local companies that are looking for the opportunity to explore international markets. One Hong Kong start-up has developed a 5G AI-driven robot that can measure body temperatures and is already used by several companies in Hong Kong. Other health-related products being exhibited include a disinfectant spray, cotton mask for repeated use, a germicidal lamp and many more.

A wide range of new educational toys, houseware and lifestyle products are also being showcased at the virtual exhibition. For example, well-known optical brands such as Laura Ashley, Big Horn and OSSII SOUND are showcasing new designs, along with an Italian exhibitor featuring glasses with Venice-inspired designs. In the watches and clocks section, special-edition watches will be introduced in the Korea and Taiwan pavilions. Elsewhere, buyers can find STREAM toys for children learning at home along with a variety of baby strollers and baby gear from Europe.

Click2Match AI-driven business matching platform

Buyers and exhibitors can make deals through the HKTDC's business matching platform, Click2Match, which uses AI technologies to conduct automatic matching between potential business partners. The platform also helps participants to schedule meetings, get together for video conferences, chat in real time and exchange e-business cards. In addition, the HKTDC has mobilised its network of 50 offices worldwide to invite quality international buyers, arranging online business matching meetings according to their sourcing needs to increase the chance of business collaboration.

Exhibitors are eligible for a three-month promotion on the upgraded Sourcing platform to help maintain business relationships with global buyers. The platform has brought together more than 130,000 suppliers and 2 million buyers, facilitating 24 million business connections a year. It applies AI, machine learning and image recognition technologies to provide a more effective and more personalised smart sourcing experience.

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