Although one may find it hard to name even half a dozen local household electrical appliance brands in Hong Kong, the truth is that the city is quite a significant player in the production and export of a wide range of such products.
As a matter of fact, most of the output of local firms in the sector is sold under foreign labels.
Last year, Hong Kong’s total exports of electrical appliances exceeded HK$19 billion. Household lighting products was the biggest category, accounting for about one third of the total. Others include personal care items, home care and kitchen appliances.
Given that most local firms have relocated their factories to China, an overwhelming portion of the overseas shipments are actually re-exports of goods of mainland origin.
While Hong Kong enterprises are known for their cost competitiveness and quick response to changing market conditions, there are a number of product trends that will determine whether they can continue to win business from their clients, most of which are from the US, Europe and Japan.
Among changing customer preferences, wireless appliances are apparently catching on, Hong Kong Trade Development Council noted in a report.
To enhance convenience, wired appliances are evolving into new wireless versions powered by charged batteries. The items in the list include wireless coffee makers, wireless irons and wireless vacuum cleaners.
Environmental protection is another important theme. Compliance with European and North American eco-labeling and energy saving schemes, for instance, is becoming an important competitive edge for Hong Kong makers.
Along the same line, more energy efficient and long-lasting LED products are replacing traditional models.
Smart products represent another big trend. Smart appliances that allow users to control the products remotely through smartphones will get more popular. Among others, air-conditioning, security, entertainment and lighting are some of the applications.
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