|2021/03/18||Meeting with Belt and Road Office|
Denis Yip, Commissioner for Belt and Road, paid a courtesy call on Chamber CEO George Leung and Belt & Road Working Group Co-Convenors Edmond Yue and Nicholas Ho on 18 March to discuss ways to help more businesses in Hong Kong and overseas get on the BRI train. He was accompanied by Deputy Commissioner Kesson Lee and his team from the Belt and Road Office.
Yip said his office had been organizing webinars to promote trade and investment between Hong Kong and Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia. He added that the Belt and Road Summit 2021, planned to take place in September, will feature a new emphasis on the Greater Bay Area (GBA), RCEP, ASEAN and their connection to the BRI. He explained that the his office’s work had been geared towards promoting Hong Kong as a top-class service provider to BRI countries, and leveraging Hong Kong’s advantages in sectors such as I&T, finance, startups, medical, construction and engineering.
Leung said the Chamber and its BRI Working Group keeps members abreast of the latest developments of the BRI, and, through its connections with overseas chambers, connects members with potential partners in emerging markets in ASEAN and beyond.
|2021/03/10||Expanding Ties with Japan|
Tomohiro Takashima, Director General of JETRO Hong Kong, paid a courtesy visit on the Chamber’s CEO George Leung on 10 March to present the findings of JETRO’s recent survey on Japanese companies’ confidence in Hong Kong’s business environment, and to discuss ways to collaborate and promote Japan-Hong Kong business. He was accompanied by Deputy Director General Yutaka Hashimoto and Officer Yusuke Kobayashi.
Takashima noted Hong Kong has been Japan’s largest export market for food products for many years. The export value of Japan’s farm and food products reached US$1.9 billion in 2020. Interestingly, Hong Kong has also become Japan’s largest importer of sake as local consumption rose by 16% in 2020, surpassing both China and the United States.
The two sides also discussed ways to win back the confidence of Japanese businesses and improve their perception of Hong Kong as a business destination. The Greater Bay Area, with a population of 730 million, presents a huge market and will bring about vast opportunities for foreign businesses looking to invest, with Hong Kong at the centre of all the action as an international business hub and world-class services provider.
|2021/03/09||Exploring Pakistan’s Untapped Potential|
Bilal Ahmad Butt, Consul General of Pakistan, spoke at the Chamber’s Asia & Africa Committee meeting on 9 March on Pakistan’s latest economic developments and business opportunities. As the fifth most populous country in the world, with 60% of its population between 16-30 years old, Pakistan possesses a young workforce and rising consumer market, the Consul General explained. It also presents many business opportunities for investors in sectors including textiles, tourism and hospitality, food processing, housing and construction, and IT.
China has already pledged US$60 billion of investment via the China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which aims to upgrade Pakistan's infrastructure and strengthen its economy by the construction of modern transportation networks, energy projects, and special economic zones. While China remains Pakistan’s leading FDI source by a wide margin, accounting for one-third of the country’s inflows in 2020, investment from Hong Kong is not to be underestimated either. Hong Kong ranks fourth, and contributes 7% of the country’s total FDI.
One of these major Hong Kong investors is port operator Hutchison Port, which is leading the way in the development of Pakistan's Karachi port, having committed investment of US$240 million to the project.