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When It Comes to Quality, Hong Kong’s the Place

Attracted by Hong Kong’s strategic location, Japan Recreation and Miscellaneous Goods Safety Laboratory (MGSL) has established a fully-serviced testing laboratory with both Japanese and Hong Kong accreditations

With 55 years of experience in product safety testing, Tokyo-based MGSL decided in 2014 to expand to the international market from Hong Kong. Located in Tai Po, New Territories, the laboratory employed five people on opening in September 2014 and has since expanded to 35 including five Japanese staff. Offering a whole range of testing and inspection services covering nine areas of products, MGSL’s main business in Hong Kong is toy safety inspection and chemical analysis for consumer goods.

When It Comes to Quality, Hong Kong’s the Place

The city’s proximity to the Pearl River Delta (PRD) region, a manufacturing base of the world, and its central location in Asia, are the main considerations behind MGSL’s expansion to Hong Kong.

“The value chain of toy manufacturing has shifted to this part of the world. Many Japanese manufacturers have moved their operation base to Mainland China or other Asian countries. Quality checks are now taking place in Shenzhen, with inspection done in Hong Kong and goods exported to Japan. The Japanese market is more focused on product design at the moment,” Takayoshi Watanabe, Executive Director, MGSL, explained. “The young and growing population in neighbouring countries such as Indonesia and India provides a huge market for testing services, this together with proximity to the PRD and cost effectiveness from a logistics point of view make setting up in Hong Kong a logical step.”

Worldwide Recognition

Hong Kong is undoubtedly the region’s testing and certification hub. According to Watanabe, having a Hong Kong accredited laboratory status is beneficial to the company’s overseas business, as markets like Europe tend to accept the Hong Kong accreditation which complies with international rules and regulations. MGSL’s Hong Kong office not only provides comprehensive laboratory testing services, but also serves as a regional headquarters to support clients from southern China and southeast Asia.

“We enjoy the business friendliness in Hong Kong including its free port status, and free flow of information and capital,” he said. “We started our business from scratch and we are very appreciative of our Hong Kong staff whom we recruited from top universities. We also send them regularly to our Tokyo headquarters for further training.”

Looking ahead, Watanabe said the company sees a doubling of revenue for its Hong Kong operation in five years and plans to recruit up to 80 staff by 2016, especially more experienced ones. “With an increasing Asian demand and worldwide recognition for Hong Kong accreditation, this is definitely the place to be for Japan’s testing companies,” Watanabe concluded.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

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Fast Facts

  • Headquartered in Tokyo, with laboratories in Osaka, Hong Kong and Taipei
  • Employs 150 staff in Japan and 35 in Hong Kong

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