Hong Kong Geotextiles
Permeable fabrics used for landslip prevention and road maintenance are in high demand.
In Hong Kong’s densely populated city built on hilly terrain, geotextiles, which are permeable fabrics used for landslip prevention and road maintenance, are always in high demand. Construction projects in Hong Kong continue to move forward with geotextiles used for many projects. Over the next year, the Hong Kong Civil Engineering and Development Department will award 24 tenders to different contractors, while the Highways Department will award six more.
Interested companies should also keep their eyes on the Lantau Tomorrow Vision, a massive reclamation and infrastructure development project with an estimated cost of US$63.8 billion. The Hong Kong legislature is expected to approve this project soon, and the city should see a sharp rise in demand for geotextiles and other construction materials as a result.
What is the competitive landscape? Local distributors of geotextiles have close connections with suppliers in Canada, Europe, Taiwan, and the U.S., and some regularly visit trade shows such as Geosynthetics in America to source new suppliers. While none of the international brands have a dominant presence in the city, two are noteworthy: Bontec Geotextiles, a Belgium-based company that has price-competitive products used extensively by the Hong Kong Airport Authority; and Terram Geotextiles, a U.K. based company.
What challenges might U.S. geotextile producers encounter in Hong Kong? For this report, the U.S. Commercial Service in Hong Kong contacted several local distributors of geotextiles. Although they have a high opinion of the quality of U.S.-made geotextiles, some told us that many Hong Kong government departments follow British standards, as opposed to ASTM standards, when approving geotextile products in a project. As such, local distributors may hesitate to buy U.S.-made products for fear of additional paperwork if their test reports are only in ASTM standards. U.S. bidders should provide both British and ASTM standard reports up front to improve their chances of success. In addition, local distributors say long shipment times and the higher prices of U.S. geotextiles may be deterrents, albeit to a much smaller extent than the issue of standards. Given Hong Kong’s ideal location, U.S. companies should view Hong Kong as part of a regional Asia-wide business development strategy.
The U.S. Commercial Service office in Hong Kong can offer consultations with U.S. manufacturers of geotextiles about market entry strategies, actionable intelligence on bidding and tendering processes, and introductions to key players. For details, please email Office.HongKong@trade.gov .