E-commerce in Southeast Asia has been growing rapidly in recent years. Michelle Leung, Senior Vice President, Head of Fung Omni Services, and Corrie Ren, Vice President - Business Development, Global Supply BD&KA, LazGlobal, shared their insights on the latest developments at a seminar on 6 October.
Across the Southeast Asia region, retail e-commerce sales have grown by 14.3% in 2021. The widespread adoption of mobile devices and the convenience of online shopping – particularly as the pandemic has changed working and living habits – mean that this trend is likely to continue.
This is creating new opportunities and opening new markets for retailers. The speakers said that retailers should make use of social media, particularly to reach the younger generation of consumers, who are accustomed to using online platforms to express themselves and share content.
Joanna Wan, Digital Sales Director, BB Beauty also joined the panel discussion and shared some tips for new sellers. She explained that the Southeast Asia markets are very different from Hong Kong, so sellers should research their target markets thoroughly in advance. Businesses should also ensure that they adhere to all the relevant countries laws and regulations as well as the customs and tax duties when doing business in other jurisdictions.
With the easing of the Covid-19 threat in Hong Kong and the stimulation provided by the Consumption Voucher Scheme, the retail market both online and offline have enjoyed a boost in recent months. Nicole Chow, Large Account Lead, Travel, Ecommerce & Logistics at Google, spoke at a Chamber webinar on 5 October on the latest retail trends. She said that the pandemic had accelerated changes in consumers’ shopping behavior including mobile-first, online and offline integrated experience, and had also had an impact on long-term loyalty.
By helping to eliminate human errors and omissions, blockchain in cross-border trade can help improve the efficiency of the trading process, resulting in lower costs. For financial institutions, the use of blockchain technology can help data analysis and reduce risk and provide their customers with more favorable financing solutions.
At a webinar on 28 September, Jacky Tsai, Technology Lead for Trusple, and Carmen Chan, Managing Director, Head of Trade and Working Capital, Greater China & North Asia, Transaction Banking, Standard Chartered Bank, shared their insights on the use of blockchain in cross-border trade, as well as how SMEs can capitalize on the growth of blockchain applications. They said that to optimize their business operations, members should keep abreast of the market developments and new services available.
Lester Ip, Chief Inspector, Cyber Security Section 2, Cyber Security & Technology Crime Bureau, Hong Kong Police Force, spoke at the SME Committee Meeting on 24 September. He shared with members the latest developments in cybersecurity and cybercrimes, as well as tips on how businesses can prevent the occurrence of such crimes.
Sophia Chong, Assistant Executive Director, Hong Kong Trade Development Council, also joined the meeting and introduced members to the TDC’s 3-in-1 “Exhibition+” hybrid marketplace.
Green financing and ESG can play an important role in helping SMEs to grow. To help members learn more about the uses and benefits of green finance, a panel of experts shared their insights and experience at a seminar on 20 July.
Frank Heung, Head of Structured Finance, Commercial Real Estate and Corporate Advisory, Hang Seng Bank, and Dicky Lo, Advisor, ESG Matters, discussed how SMEs can capitalize on the growing green finance and ESG opportunities in the Greater Bay Area. Heung introduced the principles, applications and conditions that banks use when approving green loans. Lo suggested that SMEs should consider a clustering strategy to obtain more resources from the government or banks when implementing green projects.
The Government’s Consumption Voucher Scheme will open for registration from 4 July, and is expected to give a strong boost to many businesses that have been struggling amid the coronavirus pandemic. Jessie Wong, Head, Budget and Tax Policy Unit, Financial Secretary's Office, explained the implementation details of the scheme including the registration procedure, disbursement dates as well as the validity periods at a Chamber webinar on 29 June.
R&D is essential for enterprises that want to develop innovative solutions for their businesses, and can also bring numerous opportunities to grow and evolve.
At a webinar on 21 June, Indiana Wong, Assistant Commissioner for Innovation and Technology (Funding Schemes), and Kevin Li, Senior Manager (Innovation and Technology Fund), from the Innovation and Technology Commission provided an overview of the current R&D funding support available under the Innovation and Technology Fund.
At the same webinar, Ada Chow, Senior Consultant, and Carmel Nip, Consultant Intellectual Property Management, SME Funding Division, from the Hong Kong Productivity Council discussed the Patent Application Grant and HKPC’s intellectual property services.
Stanley Lee, President, E-Commerce Association of Hong Kong, shared how to make use of international e-commerce platforms to expand their presence in the global market at the SME Committee meeting on 11 June.
At the same meeting, Norman Yeung, Angela Lee and Thomas Su were re-elected as Chairman and Vice Chairmen respectively.
The Government’s e-voucher scheme to boost consumer spending is expected to be launched this summer. At a webinar on 28 May, a panel of speakers looked at ways that members can make the most of this opportunity to attract customers and also to open up new sales channels.
Dora Kit, Manager, Digital Services, and Chloe Lam, Manager, Business Development, from GS1 Hong Kong introduced the latest trends in e-commerce and some useful anti-counterfeiting tools.
Digital marketing also plays an important role in e-commence. At the same webinar, Koey Lee, Senior Business Development Manager, Posify; Barry Yeung, Digital Media Manager, Mediaon Ltd; and Keith Ma, Account Director, Monster App (Mshop App) shared some online marketing tips as well as digitalization strategies to help members attract more sales.
The webinar was co-organized by the Chambers SME Committee and Retail & Tourism Committee, and GS1 Hong Kong.
Eligible citizens will receive HK$5,000 in electronic consumption vouchers this summer. Representatives from four selected operators -- Alipay HK, Octopus, Tap&Go, and WeChat Pay HK -- gave a presentation at a webinar on 25 May where they explained their services, including their special offers for SMEs. The speakers also demonstrated how businesses can set up an electronic payment system to attract consumers who want to spend their e-vouchers.
Representatives (from left to right) Ringo Lee, Business Development Director, AlipayHK; Nicholas Chan, Senior Manager, Partnership and Business Development, Financial Services, HKT; Andy Yip, Senior Marketing Manager, Commercial Group, HKT; Adrian Tam, General Manager, Sales and Marketing, Octopus Holdings Ltd; Serin Ko, Associate Director of Strategic Partnership, WeChat Pay HK.