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Russia set to gamble on new economic initiative for Crimea region    < 2014-05-15 >

Just weeks into its controversial 'change of ownership', is Russia set to restore casinos to Crimea in a bid to boost its leisure economy? Such a move could inevitably provide huge opportunities for experienced gambling companies. Port in a storm: will casinos now return to Crimea? While international and local opinion may be divided over the reunification/annexation of the Crimean peninsula, the situation has already spurred a rethink of the region's economic future. This ha

Rumours of new route into China cinemas enthrall FILMART attendees    < 2014-05-03 >

With Asia-Pacific now the world's second largest film market, more global players than ever before headed for this year's FILMART, where news began to circulate of possible new access routes into the lucrative Chinese cinema circuit. Big on entertainment: FILMART 2014. Entering its 18th edition in 2014, the Hong Kong FILMART has grown to become the largest film and TV contents market in Asia. On a global level, only the American Film Market (AFM) and the markets at the Cannes

Taiwan food proves recipe for success at home and abroad    < 2013-05-03 >

    Taiwanese beef noodle, a popular choice among discerning diners. (Photo courtesy of Xinhua News Agency) Taiwan is enjoying dual success on the food and beverage front, with a number of its domestic restaurant chains making inroads into the Chinese mainland market, while a Western-style fast food chain has opened its first outlet in Taipei. The two developments were among those highlighted at last month's 2013 Taipei Venture Franchise Exhibition. The four-day exhibition at

Government austerity takes toll on mainland fine dining    < 2014-02-11 >

Beijing hospitality and fine dining sector most hard hit by official directive to reduce ostentatious public spending, although a number of commentators blame wider social and logistical issues for the industry's woes. Cuts of meat: half-price hot pots. Just over a year ago, the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee introduced an eight-point public sector austerity initiative. This was primarily intended to put an end to several overly-indulgent work practices, while

Ice city guarantees warm reception for external investors    < 2014-02-17 >

Harbin has become one of the mainland's most successful tourist centres, but the city's businesses are now keen to secure external backing – particularly in the hospitality and entertainment sectors – to take them to the next level. Cool customers: Harbin is open for business backers. While the mainland is home to many coastal cities, a variety of river cities and any number of hillside cities, it has only one true Ice City. It is a title that the northern city of Harbin, the

Can Hong Kong find a starring role in the mainland movie business?    < 2014-05-13 >

With just two weeks to go before the opening of the 2014 HKTDC FILMART, one of Asia's leading film and television events, Liz Shackleton, Asia editor of Screen, assesses Hong Kong's ever-changing role in the global movie industry. Rise Of The Legend : Hong Kong's high hope for 2014 box office glory. With the eyes of the global film industry currently fixed on the explosive growth in the mainland market, Hong Kong producers and filmmakers find themselves in a unique position.

Cape Town marks its year as World Design Capital with pan-African showcase, as exhibitors gear up to face the challenge of going global    < 2014-05-03 >

Eclipsed by innovations from the West and the East, Africa is finally ready to move to the forefront of global design, at least according to exhibitors at the 19th Design Indaba, South Africa's annual celebration of all things creative. The 2014 Indaba: can African innovation woo Asian consumers? 'African solutions for African problems' is a call increasingly being heard from leaders of the Southern African Development Community (SADC). While South Africa may still be looking

Return to apartment-living sees space saving a priority in US houseware market, while retro styles still secure admirers    < 2014-05-27 >

Compact multi-function items, retro-stylings, eco-responsibility and the need for beauty were all keenly sought by buyers at this year's International Home + Housewares Show in Chicago, one of America's leading home furnishing events. Home and away: 60,000 visitors attended this year's show. Stepping onto the floor of the International Home + Housewares Show in Chicago is like walking into a dream store full of all things "home". From brooms in leopard print to smart coffeema

Mainland gift sector refocusses on corporate clients as government prohibition measures end high-end, public-sector spending    < 2014-05-14 >

With public sector officials all but banned from receiving or giving gifts, mainland manufacturers have seized the opportunity to rethink their strategies, putting a new emphasis on private companies and the mass market. Can novelty and innovation save the mainland gift sector? With the mainland gift market still reeling from government legislation banning expensive presents for public officials, the sector is desperately turning to corporate clients to make up the shortfall.

Myanmar's "truly massive growth" a prime target for Hong Kong SMEs    < 2014-05-11 >

As one of Asia's fastest-growing economies, Myanmar is a fertile ground for Hong Kong investors and traders. With an ever more open financial and legislative climate, it offers huge opportunities for those who can negotiate its challenges. Yangon: epic office costs, but boundless opportunities. Myanmar should be a prime target for Hong Kong's small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), according to several speakers at a recent HKTDC seminar. The seminar, part of a series of e

There's place like HOMI, as exhibitors welcome rebranded Milan show    < 2014-02-12 >

After 50 years as Macef, Milan's leading home and lifestyle show has taken on a dramatic new lease of life as HOMI, but is the re-boot more than just a re-badging? Buyers and sellers have their say on this European mega-expo. New products brewing at HOMI: Romero Britto 's tea-for-one teapot. People – their styles, their diverse tastes and the way they inhabit their personal spaces – were at the very heart of the first edition of HOMI, the newly re-branded Macef, Milan's 50-

Online florists in bloom across the mainland for virtual Valentine's Day    < 2014-02-14 >

Price no object when it comes to sending flowers, say proprietors of China ' s latest digital phenomenon – the e-florist. Business is blooming: e-florists on the rise. With e-commerce becoming ever more de rigueur, it is hardly surprising that online florists are in bloom. The growth of this sector has also nurtured a lively marketing and logistics industry in support of this flourishing business. In truth, this new digital dawn has transformed the sector, with high-end impo

European homeware market still proving overly-cautious and risk averse, say Hong Kong exhibitors at Frankfurt's Ambiente expo    < 2014-02-26 >

While new orders were thin on the ground and new brands a little unwelcome, buyers at Ambiente, Europe's largest houseware expo, were more receptive to higher-quality Asian products and still keen to find innovative items. A real presence in Europe: Hong Kong on show. Sprawling through 12 halls of Frankfurt's giant Messe exhibition centre, Ambiente is one of the largest consumer goods trade fairs in the world – and is only set to grow still further. Given its focus on the hou

Tokyo Gift Show exhibitors left jittery by two years of 'Abenomics'    < 2014-02-27 >

Japanese SMEs prove a little disenchanted with the wonders of Abenomics and the on-going uncertainties in the commercial sector as the 2014 Tokyo International Gift Show highlights another challenging year for the industry. TIGS 2014: Even its solar-powered penguins looked a tad concerned. Whether Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's famed "Abenomics" economic strategy ultimately succeeds or not, it seems clear that it prioritises the interests of big Japanese export firms over those

Driverless cars, printable food and wearable health tech: today the talk of the Consumer Electronics Show, tomorrow a global reality    < 2014-02-03 >

This year's CES in Las Vegas was brimming with innovation and was best viewed via the medium of Google Glass. CES 2014: where consumers meet electronics… Perhaps reassuringly, this year's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) – the largest trade show in the US – teemed with innovation. Tellingly, much of it stemmed from small startups, with a number of them now, seemingly, the de facto research and development departments for several large brands. US consumer technology revenues

Beijing smog drives record air purifier sales in 2013    < 2014-02-03 >

Overseas units prove top consumer choice, though lack of legislation prompts effectiveness concerns. Air purifiers: one-stop pollution solutions? With the city's dense smog a source of increasing concern for many Beijing residents, it is no surprise that sales of air purifiers have surged. According to statistics from BSRIA Business Consulting (Beijing) Co Ltd , a specialist construction research consultancy, sales of domestic air purifiers increased by 35% a year in the per

Smartwatches: has their time finally come for mainland consumers?    < 2014-02-20 >

The technology to create viable smartwatches and other digital wearables has long been available, but its true potential is only now beginning to be commercially realised, particularly in the burgeoning fitness and elderly care sectors. First mover advantage: Samsung 's 2013 arrival in the smartwatch market. Compared with the relatively mature smartphone and smart TV market, the smart wearable devices sector is relatively undeveloped, despite the rich variety of products on

Smart TV turns on a new generation in mainland market    < 2014-02-24 >

With sales of traditional TVs dwindling, smart internet-enabled TVs are taking their place in living rooms across the mainland. With demand surging for these devices, a new alliance of hardware and software companies is now emerging. Get smart: mainland consumers have been wooed by internet TVs. Back in the 1980s, a TV set was one of the most aspirational electrical appliances for mainland consumers. As technology has subsequently evolved, many of the functions once primarily

Case studies keep mobile phone accessory makers ahead of the game    < 2014-02-25 >

The mainland mobile phone accessory market is now worth more than Rmb10 million, with manufacturers and distributors ever on the lookout for new trends and upgrades, with sector expecting windfall from impending G4 arrival. Despicably popular: The Minions phone case coasted on movie success. With the ubiquity of smartphones and the growing popularity of 4G technology across the mainland, a new wave of upgrades is creating fresh opportunities for the country's mobile phone acc

IFA 2014 set for expansion, digital focus and possible move into Asia    < 2014-05-30 >

The IFA, Europe's leading consumer electronics showcase, is 90-years-old this September. According to the show's 2014 pre-launch preview, it is hoping for a bumper year while its organisers mull over possibly introducing the event to Asia. The IFA: nonagenarian but not resting on its laurels. Organisers of this year's annual electronics showcase in Berlin – the Internationale Funkausstellung (or "IFA" as is it is more commonly known) – are confident that this September's even

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