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Recently, Dynamic Export was invited to Hong Kong to attend the World SME Expo and Innovation and Design Expo (IDE), running from November 29 to December 1.

The government-run Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) played host to the group of journalists, who were invited to meet with government officials and economists to discuss the strength of the Hong Kong economy, the benefits of trade in Hong Kong and how they can help businesses looking to expand into the Asian ‘gateway’.

The expos coincided with the HKTDC’s ‘40 Years of Trade’ celebrations, and were organised to help SMEs explore international market opportunities, taking particular advantage of Hong Kong’s close proximity with mainland China, and opportunities existing through the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) and China’s accession into the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

The World SME expo attracted more than 25,000 SMEs from around the world, 86 making the trip from Australia and New Zealand. Australian representatives included the Hong Kong–Australia Business Association and CPA Australia.

The expo also included the 7th Hong Kong Forum, where SME participants got to network with decision makers and top executives from around the world, and receive the latest information about how to better access Hong Kong and Chinese markets and HKTDC’s business matching services.

There were 58 delegates from Australia who took part in the forum, 30 of which were from Adelaide and led by Adelaide’s Lord Mayor, Michael Harbison.

More than 32,000 attendees at IDE (82 from Australia and New Zealand) were treated to the latest innovations, practical technologies and design solutions to help the trading, manufacturing and service sectors enhance their capacity to supply world markets.

The expo offered inventors and designers a chance to take advantage of Hong Kong’s well-developed infrastructure and legal system that protects intellectual property (IP) rights, and offers a safe gateway into mainland China, where there can be greater risk of IP infringements.

Participants included Australian inventor Colin Johanson (pictured with his award), creator of the Kangan Roo sports wheelchair, and winner of the people’s choice award on ABC’s New Inventors program. Johanson’s invention was born of a desire to create a faster, more appealing electric wheelchair he would happily use. His trip was sponsored by the HKTDC, and offered him the chance to get his design from idea and patent stage to manufacture. “Funky looking products break down barriers and start conversations,” Johanson says of the public’s response to the design so far.

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