REPORT FROM HONG KONG

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The Hong Kong Optical Fair had everything, trendy frame designs, advanced lens technologies, 3D printing, products that protect against blue light, modern manufacturing equipment and much more. VCPN had the opportunity to attend the event held November 9-11 to get a firsthand look at the products coming out of Hong Kong, China, as well as the rest of the world from the international exhibitors throughout the show.

Meetings with frame designers from the region and other countries along with visits to booths of local materials manufacturers revealed trends that included laminated acetates, frame add-ons, flat lenses and combined materials-acetate with metal, acetate with wood, metal with wood, and more.

The Hong Kong Optical Manufacturers Association shared some statistics related to the region’s production of optical products: In the first nine months of 2016, Hong Kong’s total exports of spectacles, lens and frames amounted to over $1.9 billion, a 37% increase over the previous year, with its major markets being the U.S. followed by Italy and the Chinese mainland.

In addition to expanding in the Original Equipment Manufacturing (OEM) and/or Original Design Manufacturing (ODM), some Hong Kong companies are shifting their business focus to Original Brand Manufacturing (OBM), promoting their own brands to overseas markets.

Big news from the U.S. came through during a presentation on “Global Optics Industry Reacts to the Economic Development” by Gianni Cossar, global director of optics and eyewear for analyst firm GfK Retail & Technology. Trump was elected the next president of the United States! When asked during his presentation what the impact would be, Cossar said, “Clearly, a lot has been said about China during the U.S. election campaign. News of this for sure could have an impact in the short term in terms of consumer confidence in China. That said, as we just saw during the recent economic crisis, when there is an economic slowdown, the optical industry proves to be extremely resilient.”

The Hong Kong Optical Fair’s 24th edition hosted a record-breaking 780 exhibitors from 29 countries, and the Brand Name Gallery showcased more than 200 international brands.

Organized by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council and co-organized by the Hong Kong Optical Manufacturers Association, the 2017 Hong Kong Optical Fair will be held November 8-10.

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