GS1 Hong Kong Partners with GXS to Deliver GS1 HK Data Pool, Solidifying Hong Kong as Primary Trading Hub in Asia

Hong Kong and Gaithersburg, Md. – Feb. 16, 2006 — GS1 Hong Kong and GXS™ today announced the official worldwide launch of the GS1 HK Data Pool. The Global Data Synchronisation Network (GDSN)-certified Data Pool, powered by GXS Data Pool Manager (DPM), will enable enterprises in Hong Kong and the Pan Pearl River Delta (PPRD) region to exchange accurate, GS1 standards-compliant product information with their global trading partners. GS1 Hong Kong (formerly known as the Hong Kong Article Numbering Association or HKANA) is a not-for-profit industry support organisation that helps Hong Kong enterprises optimise business efficiency through the provision of global supply chain standards and enabling technologies.

The GS1 HK Data Pool is one of 26 GDSN-certified data pools worldwide, and serves as a global gateway for enabling more efficient international collabouration between manufacturers and their retailer trading partners, leading to improved business processes for globally sourced goods and services. The Data Pool allows trading partners to exchange consistent data, based on common global standards of Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) and Global Location Number (GLN) with trading partners around the globe. GXS technology enables the GS1 HK Data Pool to interoperate within the GDSN to synchronise information about products with other global data pools in conjunction with the GS1 Global RegistryTM, a global data directory managed by GS1. Serving as both a source and recipient data pool, the GS1 HK Data Pool provides enterprises with a platform to efficiently exchange accurate and up-to-date product information compliant with GS1 System standards. Companies connecting to GS1 data pools benefit from fewer out-of-stocks, increased speed-to-market for new product introductions and reduced logistics costs.

“The impact of this global initiative on global e-commerce will be profound. The GS1 HK Data Pool enables trading partners to collabouratively achieve increased efficiency, improved productivity and superior economic benefit within and across sectors electronically,” said Anna Lin, chief executive of GS1 Hong Kong. “Through Global Data Synchronisation (GDS), we are helping enterprises improve supply-chain efficiency and bring products to market faster and more effectively, making end-to-end supply chain data accuracy a reality. This seamless and integrated business process will help position Hong Kong as the premier hub for logistics and trading operations in Asia.”

GS1 Hong Kong partnered with GXS, a leading global business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce provider, to initiate and create the GS1 HK Data Pool. GXS is the leader in providing international data pool services for many GS1 member organisations. The Company is developing and deploying data pools in 22 countries around the world, including Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Korea, New Zealand, Russia, Slovakia, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, and a regional data pool spanning the Middle East and Mediterranean (MEMA) region. The MEMA data pool supports retailers and suppliers in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Malta, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

“The launch of the GS1 HK Data Pool represents a significant milestone in the advancement of Asia’s retail market and its ability to comply with global standards,” said Ross Curtis, senior vice president, worldwide field operations at GXS. “GXS is working with GS1 Hong Kong to give retailers and suppliers alike an easy, cost-effective method to join the GS1 HK Data Pool, enabling global data synchronisation to soar in Hong Kong. GXS’ unmatched leadership experience in B2B e-commerce enablement has helped put small companies on the global stage, while giving large retailers access to clean, consistent and accurate product data, thus reducing costs and boosting operational efficiency.”

A research study conducted by leading global management consulting firm, A.T. Kearney, revealed that widespread adoption of the GDSN could help companies achieve cost savings of up to US$25 million a year. Several leading international retailers already have realised these gains. For example, Japanese retailer AEON reduced management costs by US$2 million, while Dutch retailer Albert Hejin improved productivity nearly 30 percent by adopting GDS.

In Hong Kong, The Dairy Farm Company Limited, an established pan-Asian retailer is taking the lead in deploying GDS to improve customer satisfaction. “We believe that we can achieve continuous business growth and be distinct in our field by enhancing supply chain efficiencies. To achieve this, we need to effectively collabourate with international partners and align product data according to globally accepted standards,” said Mr. John Shelton, North Asia IT director of The Dairy Farm Company Limited. “GDS will further ensure end-to-end supply chain data accuracy, thus enabling trading partners, including our organisation, to effect smooth collabourative commerce and faster roll out of new products to meet market demands.”

At present, 26 GDSN certified data pools worldwide, including the GS1 HK Data Pool and the GS1 Global Registry have successfully passed the GDSN Interoperability Certification Test. The number of certified data pools has increased three-fold since 2004. With more than 3,700 trading partners participating in the GDSN and over 450,000 items registered, the GDSN is making a truly global, standards-compliant supply chain a reality.

About Dairy Farm
Dairy Farm is a leading pan-Asian retailer. At 30th June 2005, the Group and its associates operated more than 3,000 outlets – including supermarkets, hypermarkets, health and beauty stores, convenience stores, home furnishings stores and restaurants; employed some 60,000 people in the region; and had 2004 total sales of US$5.1 billion. Dairy Farm is a member of the Jardine Matheson Group.

About GS1 Hong Kong
GS1 Hong Kong (formerly known as Hong Kong Article Numbering Association), founded in 1989, is a not-for-profit, industry support organisation committed to optimising business efficiency for Hong Kong enterprises through the provision of global supply chain standards and enabling technologies. GS1 Hong Kong is the ONLY organisation authorised to issue and administer GS1 identification numbers in Hong Kong. The organisation offers standards and solutions including bar coding services, B2B e-commerce services, training and education, Electronic Product Code™/Radio Frequency Identification (EPC/RFID) and Global data Synchronisation (GDS) that fundamentally improve efficiency and visibility of supply and demand chains.

GS1 Hong Kong is the local chapter of GS1, a leading global organisation dedicated to the design and implementation of global standards and solutions to improve the efficiency and visibility of supply and demand chains globally and across sectors. The GS1 community has over one million corporate members spanning across 155 countries and economies and 23 industries in the world.

GS1 System, formerly known as EAN.UCC System, is the specifications, standards and guidelines issued and administered by GS1. For more information about GS1 Hong Kong, please visit: www.gs1hk.org.

About GXS
GXS is a leading global provider of B2B e-commerce solutions that simplify and enhance business process integration and collabouration. Organisations worldwide, including more than 75 percent of the Fortune 500, leverage GXS Trading Grid® to achieve balance between supply and demand. Active in the global standards arena, GXS solutions enable customers both large and small, to connect with global partners, synchronise product information, optimise inventory levels and demand forecasts, and accelerate the execution of supply chains.

Headquartered in Gaithersburg, Md., GXS provides sales and support to businesses and their partners worldwide. For more information about GXS visit www.gxs.co.uk.