Foreign Manufacturers Confident at International Hardware Fair

Manufacturers from Israel, Taiwan and Spain, amongst others, will be exhibiting their products. Two months prior to the start of the International Hardware Fair/Practical World in Cologne, manufacturers from abroad have issued confident statements about the economic outlook of the sector in the coming year. Amongst others, manufacturers from Israel, Taiwan and Spain will be exhibiting their products in Cologne from 9th to 12th March. William Liao from the trade magazine Fastener World Inc. explained that he has been able to secure the presence of around 100 Taiwanese manufacturers of fastening systems for the world's largest hardware fair.

The manufacturers from the Far East also emphasise that "the price is not the only factor for assessment" with regard to competitiveness. Reliability, rapid and punctual delivery, technical support and after-sales offers from manufacturers or wholesalers must also be considered. The sector continues to expect annual growth of three to five percent for the European Union.

The Spanish Hand Tool Manufacturers' Association is also expecting good business from the sector's most important global trade fair in Cologne. The association, which has been attending the International Hardware Fair for forty years, is bringing 17 of its member companies from Spain to Cologne in 2008.

According to a HERRAMEX spokesperson, hand tools have been produced on the Iberian Peninsula for hundreds of years. The first smithies in Spain emerged as early as the 16th century in regions with substantial iron reserves. A century earlier, iron from Spain was already being sold to other countries. "Therefore, Spain was an export-oriented country at a very early stage, " continues the association's spokesperson.

The Israeli D.I.Y. and hardware sector is also coming to this leading international trade fair in Cologne, which runs for four days. In Israel, the sector comprises around 400 companies, according to their own information. In 2006 Israeli suppliers exported products worth a total of approximately $1.5 billion to over 100 countries worldwide.

Some 78 per cent of the products were exported to Europe, whilst 19 per cent were sold in the U.S.A. Whether it's tools, gardening equipment, irrigation systems, varnishes, locks, security systems, decoration, bathroom or kitchen accessories, Israeli manufacturers today supply retailers in Europe, America and increasingly the Far East.

Suppliers from Israel are keen to ensure that their products from the D.I.Y. and hardware market sell successfully at home and abroad. This is due to strict customer orientation and fair prices, high quality and tailoring to the lifestyle and requirements of the purchasers. Because the domestic market is small in Israel, manufacturers have to hold their own on the global market if they wish to achieve economies of scale, according to a sector spokesperson's statement issued prior to the International Hardware Fair/Practical World in Cologne.

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