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Hong Kong presents region’s first Asian licensing awards
ASIA’S top licensing players were recognised at the region’s first Premier Asian Licensing Awards, held on 7 July 2004 in Hong Kong.
Organised jointly by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) and the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association (LIMA) in conjunction with the territory’s third licensing show, the award presentation recognised the efforts by accomplished individuals, companies and properties in Asia’s licensing industry.
The best licence and the best licensee of the year went to ‘Princess Collection’ from Disney Consumer Products (Asia Pacific) and ‘Winnie The Pooh’ from Grand Smart International Development Ltd respectively. ‘Harry Potter’ from Warner Bros Consumer Products emerged as the best licensing agency, while ‘Tottoko Hamtoro’ from Shogakukan Production Co Ltd clinched the best new property award.
Fred Lam, executive director of HKTDC, said there was great value in creating the awards in affiliation with LIMA, as the latter supports Hong Kong’s aspirations to become a leading licensing hub in Asia.
“Trademark and character licensing currently accounts for approximately US$170 billion in worldwide retail sales each year, and Asia offers great potential for all parties involved in the licensing process,” he added.
Held from July 6-8, the licensing show was organised by HKTDC alongside the inaugural Summer Sourcing Show for Gifts, Houseware and Toys 2004.
Registering a 33% increase from last year for exhibitor numbers, the show featured more than 200 brands, licensed properties and licensing-related services. They included Hallmark, Hamtaro, Harry Potter, Astro Boy and Lord of the Rings, all of which were undertaken by Hong Kong licensing agents.
While buyers’ attendance reached more than 10,000 this year, an ACNielsen on-site survey pointed out that retailers, traders and wholesalers collectively constituted the majority of buyers at 64%. In its separate survey with 92 companies, this group of visitors also displayed the strongest intention to look for a Hong Kong business partner compared to other businesses, with 33% of them doing so in order to tap on the advantages of the Closer Economic Policy Agreement (CEPA).
In addition, animation characters and cartoon were highlighted as the most popular form of licensing business for licensors and licensing agents as well as traders, wholesalers and retailers.
Rachel Chan, HKTDC’s director of service promotion, said the show was the most effective springboard for international and local licensors and licensing agents to search for partners and expand their regional networks.
“With the implementation of the CEPA, the opening of Hong Kong Disneyland in 2005, the approach of the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai, Hong Kong will take on an even more important role in facilitating licensing business in the Chinese mainland,” she said.
In fact, according to 30 exhibitors and 213 visitors who participated in ACNielsen’s survey, 43% and 56% of them respectively have already voted it as the most important licensing event in Asia compared to other similar shows.