Hong Kong’s “dragon” is no longer just a very strong and ambitious. He is like a sponge absorbs Western business standards and gradually expanding its sphere of influence, thread by thread weaving of lace Foreign Economic Relations and effectively using the fruits of economic globalization. Undoubtedly, the role of one of the main tools in achieving these indicators is the annual Honkong International Watch & Clock Fair, which opened next September 6.
City of contrasts
“Wow!” Wow! ” – Just this is the first impression that covers most of the “foreigners” when you look at this island. Huge mirrored skyscrapers, ancient monuments, bustling and at the same time, unhurried pace of life, pedestrian walkway, multilevel road junctions, just striking the port – it all adds charm to this magnificent city. Although the language does not turn to name just a Hong Kong city. Hong Kong – a state within a state, historically over the past half-century bridge between the West and rapid pragmatic wise unhurried East.
This ambivalence and ambiguity manifests itself in everything – from the shabby prefabricated multistory “Khrushchev,” located behind the broad backs of the giants of the glittering glass and concrete, and finishing with slogans and signs, everywhere are duplicated on both Chinese and English. Dissonance manifests itself outside of downtown – in many villages and fishing villages located outside the city limits, and no trace remains of the flashy gloss advanced English in Hong Kong, there are ubiquitous usual dimensions of China’s unpretentious and hard manual labor of the peasants.
With all of this feel in Hong Kong is surprisingly easy and comfortable. I suspect that much of the credit for this goes to the organizers of the exhibition and the Trade Council of Hong Kong, day and night custody of all the guests at such an important event for the region’s economy. It was noticeable that conceived and designed to create a working mood upbeat even minor details. For example, each (!) Booth is literally drowning in flowers and during the first three days to the accompaniment of live orchestra performed a mini-list: young and very attractive models out to the public with the best models of hours of exhibiting at the wrists. Not to mention the excellent accommodation of invited guests.
In inexperienced visitor could easily have the impression that such a comfortable environment is not very favorable for the hard work. The view however naive, and so is not true: the Chinese would not have to invest so much money in Honkong Watch & Clock Fair, if they had not fought back a hundredfold.
In contrast to the pathos of the Basel and Geneva show, the main purpose of participation in them – a good PR, Hong Kong is much more Western in respect of pragmatism. In my opinion, correct to call it not so much an exhibition as a huge trading floor. Communication arena for buyers and sellers. The latter is becoming every year more and more, and their “nobility” and level – all the above. Thus, the keynote speaker at the Asian time the conference was Philip Shariol – I think this person needs no introduction.
Made in Hong Kong. Assembled in Switzerland
Unfortunately, for many adherents of traditional views in the medium term, the phrase may well turn into a matter of course. Representatives of many well-known Western brands in Hong Kong every year becomes more and more. And they come here, of course, not only out of idle interest, and not from a desire to show themselves. Rather the opposite: do everything possible to avoid being noticed. It is not surprising. Those who cherish Swiss Made label on their products, are not interested in divulging information that the lion’s share of expensive components of prestigious hours are purchased in Hong Kong.
The reason for their interest in the island is simple: there is already a modern production facility equipped with the most advanced equipment, managers are also competently, with a true Swiss pedantic approach to the quality of products and introduction of advanced technologies. In Hong Kong, you will easily be able to order and the tourbillon and chronograph and watch with GMT, and the minute repeater. Then all will be done at the highest level, and most importantly – for more than reasonable prices. Europeans know about this. And bought.
According to the head of one of the Russian companies from going on such a venture, he suffered a shock: “If it were not for the characteristic shape of the eyes of employees, seen through the glass mask, I would never have believed that I was in China, but not at the Swiss factory. And production, and equipment, and self control of the process – at the highest European level. ”
But because the Europeans bought Hong Kong companies increasing number and range of accessories. In the near future, Hong Kong is unlikely to become a serious competitor of the same Swiss in the production of the final product price segment, “above average”. And the Chinese have such a goal does not pose, knowing full well that behind the leading European brands – old traditions and the work of nurturing and maintaining customer loyalty to their brands. Although … the Japanese in their time, too, started with a cheap quality cars, and the Lexus brand at the time of her birth, European and American automakers looked down.
But apart from the segment “above average” there’s another part of the market, the most capacious in value and quantity. In the world there are more consumers who prefer high-profile name quality at a reasonable price. And they will be more to the extent that people will understand that cheaper and less hyped clock set the same “insides” as in the expensive Swiss. In the fashion part of the functionality. And the ratio of money to gonkongtsami few can argue.
Themselves “British-Chinese” noted the increasing competition from Japan and South Korea (in the middle price segment) and mainland China (the lowest price segment). At last – a segment, primarily cheap watches. And before the rest of Hong Kong companies have more than a serious advantage in the form of state support. For example, since January 1 this year, all manufacturers of watches and their components in Hong Kong are exempt from VAT (and he was neither more nor less than 30%)! Such an attitude from the authorities is understandable – watch industry for the region’s economy is one of the most important.
There is another point, which is encouraging local watchmakers. This is the total penetration of digital technologies in the life of an ordinary person. According to most gonkongtsev, which had a chance to talk, sooner or later, the proportion of multifunctional digital clock in the total amount will be the dominant (by the way, the exhibition featured many of these miraculous mechanisms). Guess who will be the leader in this area? That’s right, Hong Kong. with its rich experience in manufacturing hours of traditional and extensive development of microelectronic industry.
In general, the opinion of the Hong Kong watchmaking community is as follows: 5-10 years most of the components of traditional “expensive” European brands will be manufactured in Hong Kong. There also will produce the majority of quality timepieces middle segment and multi-functional digital wrist devices. And only the lowest-price segment, “occupy” the mainland Chinese. Plans, of course, Napoleon. But something tells me that such a scenario is even possible. And demonstrated that Honkong International Watch & Clock Fair.
This year in Hong Kong was not the exhibitors from Japan, Russia and Singapore. But this only means that they will lose some of the world market to those who came to replace them: companies from Canada, Denmark, Malaysia and USA. After HWCF – World Marketplace, which annually attracts buyers from all over the world, including Russia. Details of his visits to the same Russians have not disclosed, but the results of the negotiations appears to have been very pleased. In their unanimous opinion, the prospects for Hong Kong should not be underestimated. Moreover, we must do everything we can to these prospects get the most benefit and advantage.
Those who still ponders whether to go next year Honkong International Watch & Clock Fair, boldly recommend: Be sure to go! In addition to commercial use, the trip will undoubtedly be useful to anyone interested in new and unknown – in none of the “traditional” cities you will not find such an alloy of Western European and East Asian cultures, both in the city contrasts with the name of Hong Kong.