Europe CommitteeCommittee Activities


Joint Happy Hour with European Chamber of Commerce

Members from HKGCC and the European Chamber of Commerce had a fabulous evening at our first Happy Hour of the year. Europe Committee Chairman Davide De Rosa and European Chamber of Commerce Board Member Stratos Pourzitakis were the official host on 7 July.

Both chambers members had a wonderful networking evening with drinks and canapes. 


Exclusive Guided Tour at Recovery, Resilience, Resurgence Thirty Years of Hong Kong Photographs, 1940s – 1970s

Thank you to Edward Stokes, well known photographer and founder of The Photographic Heritage Foundation, for giving us a guided tour of a fascinating exhibition of photos showing Hong Kong’s Recovery, Resilience and Resurgence from the 1940s to ‘70s, at the Asia Society.

We saw life in Hong Kong through the eyes of three pioneering photographers -- Hedda Morrison, Lee Fook Chee, and Brian Brake. The photographs they took show Hong Kong during some very challenging times for the city as well as the true-grit spirit of its people which shaped Hong Kong’s world-renowned entrepreneurial and can-do spirit. Do to huge interest, the exhibition has been extended until 30 September. More details here

Massimo Sterpi and Alessandro Gai, both Partners at Italian law firm Gianni & Origoni spoke at the Europe Committee Meeting on 23 June.

NTFs in the E.U.

NFTs – or non-fungible tokens – have been a hot topic in the past year as the market value of these digital assets has rocketed, while many brands and businesses are also entering the NFT space. To help members of the Europe Committee understand the NFT phenomenon, particularly within the E.U., two experts in art law spoke at the Europe Committee Meeting on 23 June. 

Massimo Sterpi and Alessandro Gai, both Partners at Italian law firm Gianni & Origoni, introduced NFTs, and shared their insights on the rise of the digital art economy, how it has moved into the mainstream business world, and some of the legal implications for businesses. Gai gave a general overview of the current trends in the NFT market, while Sterpi explained the latest development in crypto assets and related E.U. regulations.

At the same meeting, Davide De Rosa was re-elected as the Chairman, while Alfonso Ballesteros, Wilhelm Brauner and CK Lee were re-elected as Vice Chairmen.


France’s Economic Reforms Reaping Rewards

The French economy has bounced back after the pandemic, partly due to the structural reforms the country has carried out over the last decade. At our webinar yesterday, Oliver Vigna from Paris Europlace and Francois Haas from Banque de Paris explained how the reforms had increased business efficiency and lowered corporate tax rates. Inflation has not risen as sharply in France as in other E.U. countries, thanks to a tariff shield which is protecting consumer spending, and strong household savings.

The economy does faces some challenges. Significant government debt dating back to the Global Financial Crisis remains a burden, and many businesses are struggling to find qualified manpower due to low unemployment. Going forward, they said the French economy is fast pivoting towards digitalization and sustainability, while continuing to pursue structural reforms.


Ukraine Crisis: Consequences and What It Means for Businesses

The war in Ukraine and sanctions on Russia are creating knock-on effects on global markets. At a webinar on 6 May, Alicia Garcia-Herrero, Chief Economist for Asia Pacific at Natixis; Stephen Olson, Senior Research Fellow at the Hinrich Foundation; and Thomas So, Partner at Grandall Zimmern Law Firm, shared their insights on the economic and geopolitical consequences arising from the conflict.

Besides looking at the conflict in context of the other shocks to the global economy as well as the repercussions for the multilateral trade system, the panel also discussed how the broad scope of sanctions against Russia could impact businesses in Hong Kong and around the world. 


New Business Matching Platform Connects Hong Kong and Italian Companies

Over 100 entrepreneurs interested in developing business with Italian firms joined the Chamber's webinar with the Italian National Promotional Institution (CDP - Cassa Depositi e Prestiti) and the Italian Consulate General in Hong Kong on 30 March to learn more about a new online business matching platform

Riccardo Honorati Bianchi, CDP Business Matching Platform Coordinator, speaking from Italy, introduced how companies could get the most out of the platform and demonstrated its key functions. Clemente Contestabile, Consul General of Italy in Hong Kong, and Gioia Morena Gatti, Trade Commissioner of Italy in Hong Kong, gave an overview of Hong Kong-Italy trade and growth and opportunities. 

To further encourage and reinforce cooperation with CDP, Davide De Rosa, Chairman of the Chamber's Europe Committee and Laurent Franciosi, Head of International Business Support, signed a Memorandum of Understanding, witnessed by Chamber CEO George Leung and participants. 

The Chamber would like to thank the Italian Consulate General of Hong Kong, Trade Commission of Italy in Hong Kong & Macau, and CDP for coordinating the webinar, and also the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong and Macao for supporting the event.

Event Playback


France’s Latest Economic Development and Business Opportunities

Consul General Alexandre Giorgini from Consulate General of France in Hong Kong and Macau, shared his insight on developments in France ranging from taxation, education, business/investment and the France 2030 strategy, at the Europe Committee Meeting on 24 March . He indicated that the tax rate had been reduced from 28% in 2020 to 25% in 2022, which is attracting investment. This is reflected in economic growth, as its unemployment rate is now 7.4%, lower than before the pandemic. The Consul General also touched upon the upcoming presidential elections in France and was confident that the leadership and commitment of France in Europe will remain unchanged.

David Baverez and Davide de Rosa speaking at HKGCC

Europe-China Relations: Creating Opportunities for Business Cooperation in 2022

Investor and author David Baverez led a fascinating webinar about the Europe-China relationship at the Chamber on 27 January. The two regions are highly complementary, Bavarez said, creating great opportunities for business cooperation -- so long as European investors think like businesspeople and not politicians. He is optimistic that Hong Kong can continue to thrive, but we will need to adapt and must accept that the next 20 years will be different from the past two decades.
This very thought-provoking and informative event was hosted by Europe Committee Chairman Davide De Rosa.


Discussing Israel’s Tech Success

Amir Lati, recently appointed Consul General of the State of Israel in Hong Kong and Macao, paid a courtesy visit to the Chamber on 12 January. He was welcomed by the Chamber’s CEO George Leung, Europe Committee Chairman Davide de Rosa and PR & Programs Director Malcolm Ainsworth.

They discussed the latest Covid-19 impacts on business communities in both regions including the current travel restrictions. Lati said that Israel was known as a start-up nation, and was now rapidly transforming into a scale-up nation following a very fruitful 2021 for the technology sector. He explained that the country’s tech industry had attracted an unprecedented US$26 billion in capital, and that the sectors that had attracted the most investment were IT including fintech, cyber security, data protection, cloud computing and healthcare.

While attracting capital was not a problem, Lati said that the Israeli tech industry was suffering from a shortage of skilled IT workers. However, the country is taking action to address this shortfall and aims to increase the proportion of IT professionals from 10% to 15% of the workforce in the coming five years.

During the discussion, both sides shared their optimism about future collaboration opportunities, particularly the potential for Israeli business in the Greater Bay Area. Lati also said he looked forward to bringing Chamber members to Israel to foster business ties once Covid-19 restrictions are lifted.


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