Hong Kong launched its annual Business of Design Week (BODW) on Thursday to promote itself as a "launching pad" for international design in the promising Asian market.
"Hong Kong could be a very good platform for Swedish design, and a launching pad for Swedish design in this part of the world," Yau Tang-wah, secretary for commerce and economic development of the government of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), said as he, together with Prince Carl Philip of Sweden, revealed the Swedish pavilion at the BODW.
The BODW, an annual international event held by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council since 2004, "demonstrates that Hong Kong is in fact very eager to present ourselves not just as a center of design but also as the marketplace and the international center for design ideas," Yau said.
"We need meeting of ideas and concepts in a conducive environment that could promote the crystalization of ideas, so nothing is better than having the international (design) community being present in Hong Kong."
About a dozen design companies exhibited their works or products at the Swedish pavilion, which was described by Prince Carl Philip as a showcase of "the very best that Sweden has to offer".
"Sweden has a long and proud tradition in design, in everything from daily products to industrial design. Hong Kong is one of the major design centers globally, with BODW being one of the world's foremost design events," the prince said, hoping "the pavilion would be the meeting place and starting point for further cooperation between Hong Kong and Sweden."
Besides Sweden, several more countries that are good at design, including Italy, Japan and Australia, were also present at the event, displaying their latest works and products.
Hong Kong is a "super good place for business (because) it's easy to connect here," one of the exhibitor, Jenny Myrberg Gip, told Xinhua.
The partner of Swedish company Soderberg Agentur, who moved to Hong Kong three years ago and expanded her business here, said she regards Asia as "the new future" for the design industry.
"The Scadinavian market has not yet understood that, because we have very much focused on the United States... but from now on I think we start to understand that Asia is the future. We have to focus more on that."
Ulrika Cederskog-Sundling, executive vice president of Business Sweden, also pointed out that Asia, with a population of over 4 billion, a fast-growing middle class and its GDP as a large portion of the global total, means huge business opportunities for the international design industry, while Hong Kong plays the role of a gateway to this promising area.