CHICAGO — A delegation of 64 Hong Kong companies exhibited products ranging from plastic tableware to kitchen appliances and Christmas decorations at the International Housewares Show.
The large presence was noteworthy given China's sensitivity to Western economic concerns over Hong Kong's future, and Asia's present financial crisis.
The delegation at the event, held Jan. 11-14 in Chicago, was sponsored by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council. The delegation is the largest from Hong Kong to participate in the Chicago show, according to a prepared statement from the council.
Another 21 companies exhibited as members of an adjacent China pavilion.
China has designated Hong Kong a special administrative zone and pledged not to invoke economic change for 50 years. But the former British colony depends heavily on China for production of its export products.
Taiwan, a political adversary of China, registered the largest international delegation at the show, with 74 companies. An Asian market specialist attending the show who did not want to be identified said the presence of both China and Taiwan at the exhibition reflected a telling political refinement of China's international attitude.
``Previously, China would not exhibit at the same show as Taiwan,'' he said.
The United States is Hong Kong's largest export market for household goods, according to the trade council's news release, accounting for $5 billion in household goods during the first nine months of 1997.