Hawai‘i Companies Attend 2017 Tokyo International Gift Show
Seventy-three companies represented Hawai‘i at the 2017 Tokyo International Gift Show (TIGS). This year marks the sixth consecutive year that the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT) organized a Hawai‘i Pavilion at TIGS, which was held Sept. 6 through 8, 2017, at the Tokyo International Exhibition Center.
This year, the Hawai‘i pavilion filled 32 booths and featured a café section. Last year’s gift show resulted in $11 million in export sales by Hawai‘i’s participating vendors. This year’s exhibitors are expected to top $13 million in export sales.
“The Tokyo International Gift Show is huge and it’s the perfect opportunity to showcase small and medium-sized businesses from Hawai‘i to the rest of the world,” said DBEDT Director Luis P. Salaveria. “Each exhibitor walks away with new exposure to the international market and a global perspective on how to do business outside of Hawai‘i.”
“The Hawai‘i Pavilion grows each year in size and number of local companies exhibiting,” said Dennis T. Ling, administrator for DBEDT’s Business Development and Support Division. “The Hawai‘i brand is established and recognized for quality and authenticity, which is reflected in the dramatic increase in our sales in the Japan market.”
As a result of dollar amount of exports achieved at TIGS, the U.S. Small Business Administration announced this week an award of $400,000 to continue the Hawai‘i State Trade Export Program. Under the tag Buy Hawai‘i, Give Aloha, this program provides training, grants and tradeshows for companies looking to start exporting or increasing their exports.
“The Tokyo International Gift Fair is an important show that I look forward to each year,” said Angie Higa, owner of Sky Dreams LLC. As a designer and having the opportunity to expand my collection to Japan, where they love Hawai‘i and Hawai‘i-made products, is absolutely amazing.”
Keoki Tavares, owner of Aloha Elixir said, “This was a great experience. The Tokyo International Gift Show has really opened the door for us to make important business connections in Japan. Our products were well-received and it was exciting to participate for the first time this year.”
TIGS is the largest international trade show in Japan, drawing 200,000 buyers, distributors, wholesalers and retailers to meet exhibitors at more than 4,500 booths spread out over the exhibition area.