|Thursday, 19 November 2015, 19:45 HKT/SGT|
|Opportunities from Belt and Road Collaboration Highlighted|
HONG KONG, Nov 19, 2015 - (ACN Newswire) - The eighth Mainland-Hong Kong Service Industries Symposium opened today at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC) and continues through tomorrow. Co-organised by the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), the event is focused on the opportunities for Hong Kong and the mainland arising from China's Belt and Road Initiative. The symposium is also exploring ways to deepen collaboration between Hong Kong and the mainland in various services sectors. It is believed that the Belt and Road Initiative will help to establish services as a new growth engine for economy.
|Mainland-Hong Kong Service Industries Symposium Opens|
Belt and Road Summit to launch next year
Speaking at the opening session, HKTDC Deputy Executive Director Raymond Yip said the mainland is the largest market for Hong Kong's services exports, accounting for over 40 per cent of the total. In recent years, the amount of Hong Kong's services exports to the mainland has recorded annual double digit growth, and reached HK$300 billion in 2014. This is expected to continue growing as the Belt and Road Initiative develops.
Mr Yip pointed out that Hong Kong's services industry is thriving, with an abundance of professional talent. He said Hong Kong acts as a hub and bridge, helping mainland services providers to raise the bar and expand into overseas markets.
He also spoke about the inaugural Belt and Road Summit to be organised by the HKTDC on 18 May 2016. "We will stage the first Belt and Road Summit in Hong Kong, inviting the Belt and Road countries' principal officials, representatives from international corporations and industry leaders to explore the business opportunities," he said. "The Summit aims to help Hong Kong services providers grasp the new opportunities and expand a broader market with their mainland counterparts."
Creative industries to lead the way
Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development of the HKSAR Gregory So said cooperation between creative industries in Hong Kong and the mainland can promote and extend the influence of Chinese culture and strengthen China's "soft power". He hopes Hong Kong can find its future key growth engine along the Belt and Road markets, particularly for IT and creative industries.
He added that Hong Kong and the mainland can strengthen partnerships in the areas of design and film. "As an important design centre in the Asia Pacific, Hong Kong is sophisticated in the areas of product design, digital design and graphic design. Design management and consultancy services are also mature. There are enormous opportunities for Hong Kong's design and advertising industries under the Belt and Road Initiative."
Mr So said Hong Kong's film industry can assist mainland counterparts to tap into overseas markets, while films can also boost cultural exchange along the Belt and Road countries. "In fact, our film industry has been providing post-production services to the countries along the Belt and Road route, and many of the films have won international awards," he added.
Sun Chenghai, Director General of Foreign Trade Development, Ministry of Commerce, said the services industry has become a new driving force for the mainland's economy, stimulating both domestic demand and foreign investment. He added that the mainland will open up further and have closer cooperation with services providers across the border. He cited renminbi lending services and legal firms in the Guangdong Free Trade Zone as examples of cross-border cooperation.
Yang Yi, Deputy Director-General of the Economic Affairs Department and Head of the Commerce Office of the Central People's Government Liaison Office (CPGLO) in Hong Kong said mainland and Hong Kong services providers should "look inwards, outwards and forward" for the opportunities brought by the Belt and Road. "As it advocates success through cooperation, Hong Kong businessmen should participate fully," he said.
He added that the 13th Five Year Plan advocates elevating the status and roles of both Hong Kong and Macau through their respective advantages as Special Administrative Regions. He said that, with their exclusive advantage in such sectors as accounting, legal, finance, project management and risk management, Hong Kong services providers and mainland enterprises can complement each other to expand business in new markets.
CIFTIS promotes Hong Kong's services advantages
Deng Hongbo, Committee Member, Beijing Municipal Commission of Commerce, said the Central Government highly appreciates the importance of services in trade. "We organise the China Beijing International Fair For Trade In Services (CIFTIS) annually. Largest of its kind in the world, CIFTIS is an integrated trading platform for services." He added that the HKTDC set up a Hong Kong Pavilion at the event, showcasing the advantages of Hong Kong's financial, logistics and design services, and how the services providers can help mainland enterprises to go global.
Strengthening Hong Kong-mainland cooperation
Jiang Zhengxin, Vice President of China United Network Communications Group Co., said the Belt and Road indicates the "Five Connections" among countries involved, and his company will support this national strategy by providing communications services targeting China and Asia Pacific regions.
The Group is building a modern communication network along the route, starting from China and connecting Central Asia, Western Asia, North Africa, Southeast Asia and Oceania, with a plan to extend to West Africa and the United States. The Group is also planning to provide cloud services and content delivery network (CDN) services in Hong Kong, hoping to create an innovative business platform of cloud computing and International Data Corporation (IDC).
Alex Kwan, Chief Executive, Greater China, AECOM said Hong Kong infrastructure and real estate services providers are excellent in developing new towns, ports, railway and waste-water treatment. In recent years, the company helped mainland enterprises to expand businesses overseas. AECOM has participated in a wide range of projects, including a bridge in Penang, Malaysia; a new zone development in Sri Lanka; ports in Saudi Arabia as well as reservoirs in Qatar.
The event continues with seminars and thematic sessions focused on specific aspects of collaboration. Discussions on commercial factoring and the Shenzhen Service Trade Promotion Project took place this afternoon, while tomorrow morning's focus will be on the opportunities for mainland and Hong Kong investment and development projects overseas as well as Chinese medicine and health services.
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