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World Electronics Forum (WEF) 2017 。Angers, France

The 22th World Electronics Forum (WEF) was successfully held in Angers, France from 24 to 28 October 2017. Located in the western part of France, Angers has the greatest concentration of electronics manufacturing facilities, representing 50,000 jobs (25% of the French jobs in electronics industry). Birthplace of the French electronics industry in the 1960’s, the Greater Angers is still at the center of this unique electronics ecosystem in Europe. WEF in conjunction with Angers French Tech from 21st to 28th October, dedicated to the IoT gathering technical conferences, visits of companies and exhibitions, in the Angers area. Led by Dr C.H. Ng, Chairman, Dr Humphrey Leung, JP, Vice-Chairman, Mr. Basil Wai, CEO and several members of the Hong Kong Electronic Industries Association (HKEIA), visited Angers, France for the WEF 2017.

WEF brought together over 300 high level decision makers of electronics industry associations from many different countries and regions such as Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Hong Kong China, Japan, India, Philippines, Vietnam, Israel, Switzerland, the USA, Romania and Africa, etc. to discuss economic growth, talk about the future and cooperation together.

The delegation of the HKEIA departed on 23 October 2017 in order to attend the CES Unveiled and cocktail reception in Paris on 24 October 2017. More than 70 tech companies, including budding startups and global brands, from throughout France will showcase the latest transformative technologies including smart home, IoT, 3D printing, virtual reality and robotics etc. at the 5th edition of CES Unveiled Paris.

In the evening, we visited the largest start-up campus in Paris – Station F. Based on a former railway deport, the 34,000 square meters can accommodate over 1,000 start-up enterprises. The French Government and the 26 founding partners companies such as Facebook and Microsoft collaborate to change the station and become a new landmark in Paris. Mr. Christophe Bechu, Mayor of Angers, France delivered speech during the visit.

On the second day (Wednesday, October 25, 2017), we took train to Angers in western France to attend the WEF. The WEF meeting venue was in Europe’s largest Abbey: the Royal Abbey of Fontevraud. Three major topics, namely Digital Life, Industry 4.0 and Digital Ecosystem were being discussed. Mr. Christophe Bechu, Mayor of Angers, France was invited to deliver an opening speech and provide a brief introduction to the WEF. On behalf of the Asian countries and regions, Dr C.H. Ng, Chairman of the HKEIA delivered keynote speech to welcome all organising parties in WEF. He represented the HKEIA to introduce the strengths and opportunities of Hong Kong for innovation. For example, exports of electronics products amounted to US$301 billion, accounting for 65.5% of its total merchandise exports in 2016, of which telecommunications equipment, semiconductors and computer items accounted for 57%, coupled with the collaboration of different professional organizations, including the HKEIA, to cultivate start-ups and technology development in Hong Kong. In addition, Dr Ng provided some examples of successful innovative enterprises, including technologies on smart agriculture and smart pet to showcase the trends and advantages of Hong Kong's innovation.

After the WEF, the organiser hosted a welcoming dinner in the Royal Abbey of Fontevraud,

The third day activities, namely Leaning Expeditions (Thursday, October 26, 2017) which focus on smart agriculture, smart security, smart energy, smart health, smart home, smart mobility, and smart wear. WEF delegation were arranged to different groups to have technical exchange and networking with local enterprises. The HKEIA was scheduled to explore and visit to local enterprises in fields of smart home and smart mobility. There are some findings and highlights on these two themes. On the fields of smart home, most of the enterprises shared their product devices with smart technology such as sensors, wireless, antenna applications. Some of them shown the application on health, control devices, energy, social media, safety and security, food and vehicles etc.

In smart mobility, most of local enterprises presented their products related to smart driving and IoT. During the visit, Dr C.H. Ng was interviewed by Le Courrier, France's best-selling newspaper. He mentioned the importance of cultivating start-ups and how Hong Kong to learn from FrenchTech in France. For example, the government encouraged private enterprises to establish industry accelerator for start-ups. These privately-funded hub provides all the equipment and expertise for creating a smart device and all under one roof: electronic hardware, software, plastic manufacturing, mechanical and design know-how. Learnt by the FrenchTech, Dr Ng would like to share the experiences to Hong Kong SAR Government in particularly techniques for accelerating start-ups in future.

Benjamin Griveaux, Minister of State, attached to the Minister of Economy and Finance joined the Gala reception and speech in The Saint-Jean Granaries and the Jean-Lur?at Museum, Angers, France.

In October 27, 2017 could be regarded as the peak of the overall WEF. The Decision Makers Forum took place in Le Quai Theater, which invited more than 40 enterprises to speak in the conference. Workshops, keynotes, showroom and business meeting link between start-up, leaders, companies and school together. The mayor invited the French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe to visit the exhibition booth and make a speech at the summit in the Forum.After the whole day activities, the Mayor invited the WEF delegations to one of the famous local castle, The Chateau of Brissac for a warm and special dinner.

The last day of the WEF (Saturday, October 28, 2017), a Media Forum was organised to discuss the future industry development. Media were invited to receive keynotes and public debates under the theme of IoT and Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon.

In the afternoon, the WEF delegation were arranged for the visit to the Chateau of Angers and the Cointreau Winery. In the evening, an Award Ceremony, organised by “CMAI Association of India and TEMA” and association with several industry associations and government agencies which attributes every year receiving awards to recognize the upcoming talent and to honor great achievement made in the field of IT and Electronics. As one of the Award winners, the HKEIA represented the Hong Kong Electronic industries to receive the prize and Dr Ng, Chairman of the HKEIA gave warm regards and thank you to the host.