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European industrial designer tells his compelling Hong Kong success story in Brussels (English only) (with photo)

     Hong Kong-based industrial designer Michael Young told an audience of international designers, architects and design enthusiasts at an international design event in Brussels about the creative opportunities he had found in Hong Kong after settling in the city 10 years ago.

     Mr Young was speaking at a lecture organised on September 21 (Brussels time) as part of Brussels Design September, which encompasses over 100 cultural and commercial events in Belgium's capital city. For a month, Brussels becomes the international meeting platform for designers, who can follow a route through the city, visiting shops, pop-up stores, arts and craft workshops, galleries and cultural venues along the way, and attend conferences, exhibitions, the Commerce Design Awards and the Brussels Design Market.

     The event, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, received the support of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Brussels (HKETO, Brussels) and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council to showcase business opportunities in Hong Kong for European designers.

     Cultural and creative industries are important economic drivers for Hong Kong and are growing rapidly. They employ around 200 000 people and contribute over EUR 11.5 billion to the economy, almost 5 per cent of Hong Kong's GDP. International designers find no better place than Hong Kong to turn their creativity into business. A relatively small city of seven million people, Hong Kong is a showcase in Asia for the latest local and international fashion and design. Hong Kong received 60.8 million visitors in 2014, of which 47 million tourists from the Mainland of China. All these avid shoppers make Hong Kong the best place for brands to advertise products to the Mainland market and the rest of Asia.

     Mr Young set up his studio in Hong Kong in 2006 with the assistance of Invest Hong Kong. From Hong Kong, Mr Young had set up a distribution network around the world. He created some iconic designs, ranging from headphones and furniture to glassware, watches, bicycles and lighting, and won many awards.

     He said that unlike in Europe, where the design business was more tightly structured and predictable because it was already so long-established, "what's beautiful about being in Hong Kong is that you never know what is around the corner", serendipity often providing inspiration for new projects.

     This is the second time Hong Kong is featured at Brussels Design September. In 2013, HKETO, Brussels and the Hong Kong Ambassadors of Design brought a delegation of Hong Kong designers to stage a fashion show under the same campaign, to celebrate Belgium as the partner country of the Business of Design Week in Hong Kong that year.

Ends/Wednesday, September 23, 2015
Issued at HKT 01:42


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