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Tuesday, 1 December 2015, 18:30 HKT/SGT

Source: HKTDC
Over 420 Business Representatives Attend Hong Kong Forum
Hong Kong - A Belt and Road Integrator & Information hub, says HKTDC Chairman Vincent HS Lo

HONG KONG, Dec 1, 2015 - (ACN Newswire) - More than 420 business representatives from 26 countries and regions are taking part in the 16th Hong Kong Forum, which opened today at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC). The two-day event is co-organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) and the Federation of Hong Kong Business Associations Worldwide (FHKBAW).

Over 420 Business Representatives Attend Hong Kong Forum

Panel discussions, seminars and a variety of networking events are arranged during the forum, with a focus on business opportunities in Hong Kong and throughout Asia. Topics include company inheritance, lifestyle business, China's Belt and Road Initiative, Internet of Things (IoT) and start-up business in Hong Kong.

The forum welcomes first-time participants from Indonesia and the Philippines. Other participants are from the Chinese mainland, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, Australia, New Zealand, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States.

China: Key engine to drive the global economy

Speaking at the Hong Kong Forum this morning, HKTDC Chairman Vincent HS Lo said that weakening global demand and a slower pace of growth on the mainland and across Asia have affected Hong Kong's trade exports and GDP. He added that as Shanghai and Singapore are increasingly competitive global cities, they directly challenge Hong Kong's position as Asia's hub. "However, I am by nature optimistic, so I see these challenges as opportunities for change and impetus for growth," said Mr Lo.

Although the mainland's economic growth rate has slowed, Mr Lo pointed out that it is still ahead of most mature markets. "China is expected to grow by only 6.8 per cent and Asia by 5.4 per cent next year, but these growth rates are head and shoulders above the 2-to-3 per cent forecast for many developed economies," he said. "Clearly, China and Asia remain key derivers of the world economic engine." He added that if the outlook for the mainland and Asia is strong, then Hong Kong stands to gain from being the international gateway to the mainland and from its prime location in the heart of Asia.

Facilitating Belt and Road opportunities

Mr Lo said China's Belt and Road Initiative aims to foster policy, economic and cultural cooperation across 65 countries, which together account for about 60 per cent of the global population and over 30 per cent of global GDP. "Once connectivity is established, new markets will bring opportunities in manufacturing, trading and services. If successful, the Belt and Road Initiative could be a brilliant game-changer that shapes the global economic order for decades to come," he added.

He stressed that Hong Kong is the information hub and integrator for companies to access opportunities from the Belt and Road Initiative, adding that Hong Kong's advantages include a pool of professional talents and excellent global connections. "This huge Initiative needs a global city like Hong Kong, with a global network such as you - our Federation members - to facilitate between China and the many different cultures and economies in the Belt and Road footprint."

The HKTDC will launch a Belt and Road Portal soon to offer information, news and research on countries along the route, and encourage global companies to use Hong Kong services. The Council will also lead Hong Kong business delegations to Belt and Road countries, and organise a Belt and Road Summit on 18 May 2016, where government officials and top business leaders from the mainland and around the world will discuss the new opportunities.

Day 1 Hong Kong Forum highlights

Young business elites including Lau Ming-wai, Chairman, Chinese Estates Holdings Limited; Kenneth Fok, Vice-president, Fok Ying Tung Group; and Clarence Leung, Director, Sun Hing Knitting Factory Limited shared experiences of leading their family business and promoting youth development in Hong Kong. Meanwhile, Fiona Kotur, Creative Director and CEO of KOTUR and Tommy Li, Creative Director of Tommy Li Design Workshop Limited, discussed ways in which companies can leverage Hong Kong's advantage as Asia's trendsetter to expand their business.

Diana Cesar, CEO (Hong Kong), Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited and Poman Lo, CEO and founder, Century Innovative Technology Limited, shared their stories as outstanding women leaders at the Luncheon Dialogue. In the afternoon session, HKTDC Director of Research Nicholas Kwan; Bank of China (HK) Ltd Head of Economics & Policy Research Tse Kwok-leung; and Deutsche Bank (HK) Chief Economist & Head of Equity Strategy Zhiwei Zhang spoke about the implications of China's Belt and Road Initiative and related business opportunities.

Day 2 Hong Kong Forum highlights

Tomorrow, industry pioneers will explore how the application of IoT can benefit enterprises. Prominent speakers include Horace Chow, General Manager, Microsoft Hong Kong Limited; Sunny Cheung, CEO, Octopus Holdings Limited; and John Chai, Managing Director, Fook Tin Group Holdings Limited. With more local start-ups gaining international success, CEO of Nest Simon Squibb, Director of Scoutbots Cesar Harada, and Co-founder of 43 Ventures Leroy Yau will explain what makes Hong Kong a cradle for commercialising ideas and realising dreams.

This year's speaker at the Keynote Luncheon is Chief Secretary for Administration of the Hong Kong SAR Government Carrie Lam. She will brief attendees on the government's initiatives to strengthen the city's competitiveness. Hong Kong has also evolved as an international art market, and Sotheby's CEO (Asia) Kevin Ching; Art & Antique International Fair Ltd's Co-Chairman and Director Calvin Hui; and Rossi & Rossi Ltd's Director Fabio Rossi will explore the development of Hong Kong's art scene and reveal a new wave of art.

Mainland side visit

Wuhan, the capital of Hubei Province, is a major business and industrial city on the mainland, with a reputation for being a "commodity distribution centre". From 3-5 December, William Chui, Director, International and Mainland Relations, HKTDC, will lead 40 FHKBAW members to Wuhan, aiming to deepen understanding of the investment environment and growth prospects there. As well as meeting government officials, the group will also visit Wuhan Citizen's Home, Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Park, Wuhan Natural Gas Company Ltd, Wuhan Tiandi and Donghu New Technology Development Zone to explore tripartite cooperation among companies from Hong Kong, Hubei and overseas.

The two-day Hong Kong Forum is the annual gathering of the FHKBAW, which comprises 40 associations around the world representing a total of more than 12,000 members.

Website: http://www.hkfederation.org.hk/forum/forum2015

Photo Download: http://bit.ly/1OsSgkH

Media Registration: Media representatives wishing to cover the event may register on-site with their business cards and/or media identification.

To view press releases in Chinese, please visit http://mediaroom.hktdc.com/tc

About the Federation of Hong Kong Business Associations Worldwide

With the help of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), the Federation of Hong Kong Business Associations Worldwide was established in 2000. It is a unique network of 40 Hong Kong Business Associations in 29 countries and regions with over 11,000 individual associates. They are Hong Kong's closest allies and partners in the world market. The Chief Executives is the Federation's honorary patron and HKTDC serves as its secretariat. For details, please see http://www.hkfederation.org.hk

About the HKTDC

A statutory body established in 1966, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is the international marketing arm for Hong Kong-based traders, manufacturers and services providers. With more than 40 offices globally, including 13 on the Chinese mainland, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a platform for doing business with China and throughout Asia. The HKTDC also organises international exhibitions, conferences and business missions to provide companies, particularly SMEs, with business opportunities on the mainland and in overseas markets, while providing information via trade publications, research reports and digital channels including the media room. For more information, please visit: www.hktdc.com/aboutus. Follow us on Google+, Twitter @hktdc, LinkedIn.

Google+: http://plus.google.com/+hktdc
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/hktdc
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/company/hong-kong-trade-development-council

Communication and Public Affairs Department
Joe Kainz
Tel: +852 2584 4216
Email: joe.kainz@hktdc.org

Topic: Trade Show or Conference
Source: HKTDC

Sectors: Trade Shows, Retail & eCommerce, Consumer Electronics, Daily News, Advertising
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