Myanmar: Myanmar to debut trade promotion at Hong Kong fair

AS THE MYANMAR government prepares for “national branding” in international exhibitions, businesses are being encouraged to take part in a long-standing major trade show to be held in Hong Kong next year.

Aung Soe, director-general of the Myanmar Trade Promotion Department (MyanTrade), said at a public seminar on Friday on “Mega Show Part I 2017” that local businesses should showcase their products at the event, as it might help them expand through an extensive network. 

“We not only need to increase productivity but also must work hard to let the world know about our products. In the past, our businesses used to participate in exhibitions in China. Now, it is time to look at Hong Kong that can provide a larger network for us,” he said.

“When it comes to trade promotion, we need to have international exposure and learn from other countries. The aim of participating in a fair should be more than getting new buyers. It is indeed the way we can establish ourselves and uplift our own image.” 

The event will be held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre from October 20-23 next year. The core products to be showcased include gifts and premiums, housewares and home decoration, toys and games, kitchen and dining accessories, gift wrap and packaging, glassware trends, baby and nursery accessories, and a design studio. 

In its 26th running, the fair is expected to attract around 4,000 exhibitors and more than 30,000 trade visitors from many countries all over the world. 

Aung Soe encouraged local businesses to participate in the fair, as the first-ever Myanmar pavilion would be introduced at the event. 

“We sincerely want our businesses [to become] stronger as we open up our economy. We need to catch up with international businesses. So we recommend joining in the Mega Show, as there will be a special offer for Myanmar next year. The participation fee is reasonable and costs much less than joining a trade show in Europe. 

“As it is an international event, hundreds of European and American buyers will also join it. This [could create] a lot of opportunities for Myanmar businesses,” he said. 

“In some countries, the governments usually subsidise some costs if small and medium enterprises want to join such a trade show. But as we [only] started MyanTrade’s operations in April this year, we do not have a budget for subsidisation. The new government encourages our businesses to be present at international events. Hopefully, we can subsidise some costs in the near future.” 

Kyaw Dewa, joint secretary-general of the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry, said the introduction of a Myanmar pavilion at an international event would have positive impacts on export promotion, which plays a key role in decreasing the budget deficit. 

“From the chamber’s perspective, there are many Myanmar companies [that] want to promote their products abroad. But unfortunately, they do not know how to promote, as they do not have enough contact with buyers. Such companies should join it. It is beneficial not only to their market penetration but also to increasing national income,” he said. 

‘Learn from international players’

Thet Su Hlaing, managing director of Su Shwe Nadi Co, a partner of ComAsia Ltd, which is preparing the Myanmar pavilion, said local businesses should learn from international players about how they penetrate new markets, how they convince customers, and how they showcase their products to arouse visitors’ interest. 

“It may help improve Myanmar businesses’ innovation and inspiration. We should not look at the domestic market alone. We need to change our mindset. Now it is time for us to go public by extending their network outside the country,” she said. 

Thet Su Hlaing expects more than 10 Myanmar companies will showcase their products at the event. She promised to conduct a training programme, in cooperation with Myanmar’s Commerce Ministry and MyanTrade, for potential exhibitors in the first quarter of the new year. 

Javed Khan, general manager of ComAsia Ltd, said Myanmar businesses could buy a 6-square-metre furnished stand for US$2,800 (Bt100,000), while the normal participation fee is $3,516. He said the Myanmar pavilion would be placed opposite the VIP Buyer lounge so that quality buyers could easily notice it. Additionally, the pavilion will be promoted through massive advertising both in print and online. 

“Buyers nowadays are looking for new suppliers. Exhibitors are also looking for new buyers. It is a matter of how you are going to convince them. Everybody wants to see what Myanmar exhibitors can offer,” he said. 

Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/news/business/aec/30301908