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"The Spanish toy sector has for many years maintained a clear commitment to internationalization"

Interview with Virginia Seoane, Marketing Manager for Spain and Portugal of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council


The Hong Kong Trade Promotion Council, Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), celebrates its 50th anniversary as an international trade support body. In addition, 50 years of its first commercial promotion action in Spain have been celebrated and, since then, marketing and communication actions have been carried out in Barcelona with the aim of facilitating relations between the business communities of both areas. A point where the Hong Kong International Licensing Show, recognized as the best and biggest fair in Asia, plays a significant role, which has helped to consolidate its position as the regional licensing center. Below is an excerpt from the interview that can be found in the last issue of November 60 of the magazine Juguetes Express, on the occasion of this date appointed for the HKTDC.

- How has HKTDC been adapted to the economic evolution and the business fabric?
- The HKTDC is a body whose main goal is to help companies to do business through the Hong Kong platform. While thirty years ago we helped Western companies to relocate their production in China, we now have a double task: on the one hand, to help Western companies introduce their products into mainland China, and on the other hand, to help Companies in China to channel their investments abroad. Our extensive network of offices around the world helps us locate the right connections for companies using our platform. Currently, we have 46 offices around the world; 11 in Europe, 13 in mainland China and 24 in Asia.

- How will you celebrate and promote this 50TH anniversary?

- Our anniversary celebrations started last May in Hong Kong and will last until the end of the year. With the motto "Golden Jubilee - Golden Partnerships", the aim is to ensure that entrepreneurship is transmitted from generation to generation.

- Regarding the fairs organized by HKTDC, how does it benefit Spanish companies to visit or exhibit at these events?

- HKTDC organizes more than 35 trade shows a year, with 11 of the largest in Asia, of which electronics, jewelry, gifts, watches and lighting fairs are the largest in the world. Our fairs are the meeting point of the sector for manufacturers, importers and even investors from all over the world. If a Spanish company does not know the fairs in Hong Kong, I recommend that you make a prospecting visit to know what your competition is doing and analyze the trends of your sector. Finally, I believe Hong Kong fairs are a good showcase for brands that want to introduce their products in China and Asia.

- How do you assess the evolution of these sectors in the Spanish market as well as in Southeast Asia?
- The Spanish toy sector has for many years maintained a clear commitment to internationalization. According to the AEFJ, 40% of the turnover of Spanish companies is destined for export. And for me, the Spanish companies of the sector have been pioneers in Spain in its expansion in Asia, and specifically in China. I believe that they are the most prepared to deal with the changes arising from the new Chinese policy that authorizes married couples to have two children as well as the habits of the new millenial consumers in China.

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