The Emergence of Various Chambers of Plastic Factory Owners in the1950s and 60s as Venues for Information Exchange

The toy and plastic factory owners used to show solidarity in the old days, and they would always get together to share information. The first industrial association was the The Hong Kong Plastics Manufacturers Association (HKPMA). It composed of the more successful, larger factories. They organised mah-jong meetings and dinner gatherings every month. The smaller factories, which were not invited to join HKMPA, formed the Hong Kong and Kowloon Plastic Products Merchants United Association Limited (HKA) and The Chiu Chau Plastic Manufacturers Association Co., Ltd (CCA). Members of HKA shared a lot in common as they came from more grassroots background. The way larger and smaller factories received orders was different. Firstly, smaller factory owners went to the hong to meet clients collectively, and brought with them a range of product options. They coordinated with each other as to how the orders received for different products could be distributed among themselves. In those days, competition was not keen as the demand was sufficient enough to keep everyone afloat. On the other hand, larger factories went straight to the clients’ office or even invited the client to dine out to maintain customer relationship.
Secondly, some small factory owners ran around with samples of their products every day to introduce their products to potential customers. After meetings , the owners would meet up for tea. On the contrary, large factory owners sent sales representatives to visit their customers and seldom socialized with small factory owners. In this way, two different business circles were formed. Overseas buyers usually gave larger orders to larger factories. Sometimes, however, if the buyers intended to give a chance to certain small factory, they would place large orders as well. Small factories had lower production cost, and could offer more attractive prices to buyers. Lam was both the honorary chairman of HKPMA and HKA, while being a friend of CCA. That was why he was familiar with different styles of business operation. The leading companies in the HKA were Tai Nam, Shun Kwong, Sun Motor and Chun Yip. HKA had gatherings at Kin Kwok Restaurant in the Central. In 1996, Lam also joined the new Toys Manufacturers Association of Hong Kong.

Company Forward Winsome Industries Limited
Subject Industry
Duration 12m54s
Language Cantonese
Material Type
Source Hong Kong Memory Project Oral History Interview
Repository Hong Kong Memory Project
Note to Copyright Copyright owned by Hong Kong Memory Project
Accession No. LKF-LT-SEG-036
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