The Hong Kong Electronics Fair (Autumn Edition), which ran from Oct. 13-16 and attracted 87,000 buyers, reflected back-to-back robust periods – in 2017, when exports were valued at $329 billion, and for the January through August 2018 interval, when they were valued at $234 billion and up 14 percent over the same stretch in 2017. And while a statement based on an attendee survey during this show referenced “the recent Sino-U.S. trade friction” as having had somewhat of a negative impact on export performance thus far for 2018, 40 percent of respondents said they still expected their overall company sales to grow this year – with the most promising emerging markets for their goods being Japan, South Korea, Western Europe, the Chinese Mainland, the Middle East, and ASEAN countries.
That said, arching over the wealth of finished-goods innovations on display there was the hot topic at issue: namely, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its positioning as the next big trend poised to shape the electronics industry. In fact, the show’s organizers, the Hong Kong Trade and Development Council (HKTDC), crafted a centerpiece symposium to the topic which featured, among others, industry headliners from Microsoft’s and IBM’s Hong Kong offices.
Nicholas Yang, JP, the secretary of innovation and technology for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government, noted AI’s rapid development, particularly on the manufacturing side for its potential in operational efficiency improvements in that it frees up employees to focus on more innovative work. In Hong Kong, he said, a priority going forward would be devotion of resources to next-generation AI and its place in the industry.