LOCAL NEWS BITES
HONG KONG Exhibits held
Representatives from the garment and fashion industries gathered here last week to open the first twin-exhibition for the industries since the implementation of the Hong Kong/Mainland Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA).
The arrangement took effect on January 1.
"Hong Kong Fashion Week and World Boutique offer a niche market for importers, distributors, leading store buyers and potential licensees,?said Christopher Cheng, chairman of Hong Kong's Trade Development Council's (TDC) Garment Advisory Committee.
He made the remarks last Tuesday during opening ceremonies for the two fairs.
"The events also provide a special opportunity for international buyers, fashion houses and brand owners, who will benefit from CEPA through doing business with Hong Kong companies.?
World Boutique, Hong Kong, was launched for the first time, with great success, last year. Its purpose is to showcase collections of established and up-and-coming fashion designers.
It also features a kaleidoscope of fashion accessories ?including jewellery, bags, watches and various other lifestyle-related products.
This year, the fair drew 190 exhibitors, who offered more than 300 brand names and designers?collections from Hong Kong, Australia, Canada, the Chinese mainland, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Macao, Malaysia, South Korea, Singapore, China's Taiwan Province, Thailand and the United States.
Meanwhile, Hong Kong Fashion Week featured 983 exhibitors from 14 countries and regions. They offered a wide array of mass-market garments, fabrics and accessories.
Cyber farming arrives
China will use computerized farming technologies to modernize its farming industry and raise grain output in Northeast China's Heilongjiang Province.
Bayi Agricultural Cultivation University of Heilongjiang (BACUH) and Heilongjiang Provincial Academy of Agricultural Cultivation Sciences will apply precision farming technologies and protective cultivation to 660 hectares of farmland this year.
The programme will be expanded to more than 6,600 hectares within three years.
Wang Chun, BACUH's vice-president, said precision farming is an agricultural operation under which information on the soil, the environment in which crops grow, and how well crops grow are processed by special computer software.
Information collection and processing also involves high-technologies, such as GPS (global positioning system), RS (remote sensing) and GIS (geographical information system).
Based on this computer-processed information, precision irrigation, fertilization and crop-dusting can be carried out, Wang said.
Foreign trade rises
Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region last year registered US$4.77 billion in foreign trade, up 77.3 per cent on a yearly basis.
That was the largest growth rate in China, indicate customs figures.
The figure included US$2.54 billion in exports, up more than 90 per cent from 2002, and US$2.23 billion in imports, up 60 per cent.
The increase in the region's foreign trade was due largely to a new system to expedite cargo transport through customs and improved examination and quarantine services.
(Business Weekly 01/20/2004 page1)
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