Hong Kong Brands & Products Expo
Making its debut in 1938 and organized by the Chinese Manufacturers' Association of Hong Kong (CMA), the Hong Kong Brands and Products Expo (HKBPE) is a renowned exhibition aiming to promote Hong Kong's products, and to foster the development of our industry and external trade.
As a retailing exhibition held outdoor traditionally, the HKBPE not only presents a comprehensive picture on Hong Kong's manufacturing industry as a whole, but also gradually encompasses industrial products from Mainland China and overseas countries, so as to reflect the overall situation of international industrial activities, latest products, technologies, as well as services.
Following the Expo's well-established tradition, the CMA would always line up a wide variety of spectacular programmes and fabulous performances during the exhibition period, making HKBPE a wonderful place for the citizens to enjoy a combination of both shopping and entertainment. Among the others, the Miss Exhibition Pageant, with a brilliant history of near 60 years, has been commended as a precedent for Hong Kong's beauty contests. The HKBPE is now widely recognized as one of the most important annual events in Hong Kong, and it has been deeply-rooted in the hearts of the local community.
Looking back, there was no plain sailing for the HKBPE. The HKBPE was inaugurated in 1930's. At that time, Hong Kong’s industrial products exports faced great difficulty due to imposition of heavy tariffs by Mainland. The CMA, therefore, decided to explore the Southeast Asia market. The CMA participated in the “1st Chinese Products Exhibition” in Singapore. Hong Kong's industrial products were increasingly popular since then. Southeast Asia became a major export market for Hong Kong’s industrial products. With the success in exploring foreign markets, it became widely agreed among the industry that Hong Kong should stage its own exhibition to enhance the public's understanding about local industrial products. Together with the YWCA of Hong Kong, an industrial products exhibition was held from February 4 to 8, 1938 at St Paul's College in Central, at which 40 industrial enterprises displayed 200 types of products in a total of 86 booths. This marked the beginning of the HKBPE era.
From 1939 onwards, the Exhibition was solely sponsored by the Association and the 2nd Exhibition was held at Wah Nam Middle School, Kowloon. However, because of the Japanese occupation during the Second World War, the Exhibition was temporarily suspended for seven years as of 1941, until it was resumed in 1948.
In 1957, window display was introduced to the Exhibition for the first time. The 'Consume Hong Kong Products' Campaign advocated in this Expo received enthusiastic response from the community, which remains an interesting anecdote on many elderly people's lips even in today.
The year 1967 marked the 25th anniversary of the Hong Kong Industrial Products Exhibition, which was named "Silver Jubilee Exhibition of Hong Kong Products'. The Exhibition venue was a newly reclaimed site in Hung Hom, with an area of more than 600,000 square feet. The Hong Kong Government also began to participate in the Exhibition.
Unfortunately, due to the lack of a proper venue, the CMA had to give up staging HKBPE since 1974. There were 31 exhibitions organized from 1938 to 1974. The number of exhibitors increased from 40 in the first exhibition to about 2,000 in later ones, and the count of visitors rocketed from 30,000 to about 2 million.
The 32nd HKBPE was staged again in 1994 to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the CMA. The 4-day Expo received overwhelming response and recorded 200,000 visitors. Four years later, the 33rd to 37th HKBPE were successfully held from 1998 to 2002 annually at Tamar Site, Central, and the number of visitors per expo was increased to more than million visitors. For the continued success, HKBPE was relocated to Victoria Park in 2003. The highest attendance record was rewritten year by year. Last year (the 56th HKBPE), the total sales turnover of the 24-day Expo is almost HK$1 billion.