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Jan retail sales up 0.9%

The value of total retail sales in January, provisionally estimated at $36.5 billion, rose 0.9% compared with the same month in 2023, the Census & Statistics Department announced today.   After netting out the effect of price changes over the same period, the provisional estimate represents a 1.2% year-on-year decrease.   Of the total retail sales value in January, online sales accounted for 6.5%. Provisionally estimated at $2.4 billion, the value of this segment went down by 20.9% compared with a year earlier.   Noting that retail sales tend to show greater volatility in the first two months of a year due to the timing of the Lunar New Year, the department said the year-on-year comparison of the figures might have been affected to a certain extent.   The value of sales of jewellery, watches and clocks, and valuable gifts increased 25.2% compared with January 2023.   Increases were also recorded in the sales of other consumer goods not elsewhere classified (up 7

Exhibition sector thriving in HK: FS

As the first mega international trade gathering of 2024, this sets the stage for what promises to be a busy and productive year ahead.


"Innovative Play: A Legend Across Time" is a fitting theme for this event. It embraces Hong Kong's spirit of innovation. This spirit is reflected by the new zones this year, spotlighting global demand trends such as original designs and eco-friendly products.


The theme also echoes our city's legendary association with the toy industry over many decades. And, I am sure, the legend will continue, with this 50th edition of the Toys & Games Fair being the largest of its kind in Asia and the second-largest in the world.


And I have no doubt that the Baby Products Fair and the Stationery & School Supplies Fair, are just as inviting, diverse and appealing.


But we are not here just for fun and games. We are here, first and foremost, for business.


Amid the challenging global economic environment, I am pleased to note that Asia provides a bright spot for the toy industry.


Indeed, research shows that toy market revenue for Asia is expected to grow at an average annual rate of 3.5% up to 2028, surpassing the global average of 2.6%.


In particular, ASEAN (the Association of Southeast Asian Nations) is showing good potential as a new key export market. ASEAN accounted for more than 20% of Hong Kong's toy exports in the first 11 months of last year, up from just 8.4% for the whole of 2021. This is just one good example of expanding our markets through finding new partners.


Toy Story, the HK version

As Hong Kong's "Toy Story" continues to evolve with the support of events like this, so does our position as a preferred destination for MICE (meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions) events in Asia.


The convention and exhibition industry has long been an important contributor to our city's overall economy. It attracts high-spending overnight business visitors, spurring economic activities and creating business and employment in sectors such as tourism, retail and catering.


To further stimulate growth, we are expanding the convention and exhibition (C&E) space in Wan Chai North and at the airport island, with seamless integration with existing venues. Upon completion of the relevant projects, our C&E space will increase by more than 40% to over 220,000 square metres. I hope that will provide more space for business people such as yourselves, to meet and explore partnership opportunities here in Hong Kong for many years to come, further boosting our status as the prime international MICE centre.


Ladies and gentlemen, it is most encouraging to see so many buyers and suppliers from 35 countries and regions attending the concurrent fairs here this week. I am sure you are all keen to get down to business.


Financial Secretary Paul Chan gave these remarks at the joint opening ceremony of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council’s Toys & Games Fair and the council’s Baby Products Fair 2024.

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