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HK electronics fair aspires to become world's biggest
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Hong Kong Electronics Fair, whose annual autumn edition opened Saturday, could expand to become the biggest show of its kind in the world by 2009, when an expansion on the city's major exhibition center comes on stream.


Hong Kong Trade Development Jack So said at the fair's opening ceremony Saturday the show would be then "on target to become the biggest of its kind in the world."


The exhibition space of Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center (HKCEC) would increase by 40 percent to 66,000 square meters if the project was completed on time.


With over 3,600 booths and close to 2,500 exhibitors from 29 countries and regions this autumn, the show was already the largest of its kind in Asia, according to Trade Development Council (TDC), the government-affiliated event organizer.


The autumn edition of the fair last year saw 2,481 exhibitors and 58,000 buyers from 151 countries and regions, while its spring edition this year saw 2,400 exhibitors.


Currently running alongside the fair was the eleventh edition of electronicAsia, a sourcing event featuring 700 booths and 556 exhibitors from 17 countries and regions.


So said, however, that there as no shortage of competition in the region but he remained confident about Hong Kong's advantage.


"I look forward to working with the government and the local community to help Hong Kong maintain its hard-won position as Asia 's leading international exhibition center," he said.


Donald Tsang, Hong Kong's chief executive, recently outlined a plan to further expand the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center in a policy address.


The famed exhibition center on the Victoria Harbor first opened in 1988 at the cost of 1.6 billion HK dollars (205 million US dollars) and underwent a major expansion in the 1990s, costing another 4.8 billion HK dollars (615 million US dollars).


The ongoing expansion project costing 1.4 billion HK dollars ( 179 million US dollars), when completed, could enable at least four leading fairs aside from the electronics -- the gifts, toys, jewelry and lighting shows -- to possibly become the biggest of their kind in the world, said Peter Woo, who recently retired as chairman of the TDC.


(Xinhua News Agency October 14, 2007)


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