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Ninth Annual Hong Kong International Stationery Fair

The stationery industry continues to grow in scope, fuelled by a thriving international market. A diverse collection of stationery and back-to-school products will be featured at the ninth annual Hong Kong International Stationery Fair from 5 8 January 2009. Organised by Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) and Messe Frankfurt, the fair will be held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Recognising the growing demands of the stationery market, the 2009 fair will showcase a wide range of stationery items from environmentally-friendly pens and pencils; colourful paper and bags; stylish yet functional organisers and office supplies; and creative children's stationery and educational systems. For easier navigation, some items will be accommodated in three zones: Children's Stationery & School Supplies Zone, Office Supplies Zone and Paper & Printing Products Zone.

The fair serves the industry as one of the most important sourcing platforms in the region, serving exhibitors and buyers equally well. Local exhibitor, Gewah Lam, Creative Director of Green & Associates (HK) Ltd., commented during the 2008 fair, "This event provides a good opportunity for us to meet buyers as well as promote our brand names."

Another local exhibitor Lancy Kam, Director, Development of Polyfit Industrial Ltd., said, "Through the show we have come to know a lot of buyers from all over the world. We use the fair as a channel to promote our image, to show people what we can do."

Buyers also found the fair an excellent resource. "AMPRO is an importer and exporter of corporate promotional products in India. I visit the fair every year and have been placing orders regularly for the last five years. This stationery fair is one of the best in the world and is very useful for my business as exhibitors here display products of high quality and innovative designs. I have found lots of interesting products this year and collected samples for my clients to make their selections." said Indian exhibitor, Sumit Pasricha, Director of AMPRO.

Stationery business expands, as market demands functional yet fashionable designs

The stationery industry has become more than a seasonal, back-to-school business. With the advent of computer-assisted design, many products have seen a recent change to the face of traditional stationery business such as the traditional technical pen business. Manufacturers have responded by expanding into office pens and higher-end writing instruments, not only for traditional use but also as gifts.

What's more, luxury stationery is becoming a key growth indicator in the market. Demand for quality correspondence paper or cards is on the rise. Desk accessories, too, are symbols of status, while quality materials, such as aluminium, wood and glass, sometimes in combination with plastic, continue to be popular in the high-end stationery market.

At the same time, there is an ongoing trend of "back to basics" in the use of stationery materials, with natural materials such as wood, vine and paper especially among the EU buyers.

Currently, home offices are expanding, especially in the US. Superstores and mail order companies are dominating the channels for selling to small offices in the US and increasingly in Europe. The superstore-type stationery shops will continue to be popular as more suppliers add computer consumables, office equipment and furniture to their product range.



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