Trade and Investment between GBA and ASEAN and the Roles of Hong Kong
Greater Bay Area
We had useful seminar today on trade and investment between GBA and ASEAN and Hong Kong’s role. Irina Fan, Director of Research at HKTDC, said China’s trade and investment relations with ASEAN had been growing at a remarkable pace over the past two decades, with China surpassing the U.S., E.U. , U.K. and Japan in 2009 to become the region’s largest trading partner. She added that Hong Kong was an important platform for GBA-based businesses expanding into the ASEAN market as Hong Kong was the bloc’s second largest source of FDI, only after the U.S. GBA businesses were drawn to ASEAN by its cost-effectiveness for business, huge consumer market, abundant resources, and attractive government incentives.
Ricky Ng, Head of Wholesale Banking at UOB Hong Kong, said each ASEAN market had its own charm. Indonesia and Vietnam, for example, were great destinations for manufacturing as costs were relatively low. He pointed out that internet access, advanced manufacturing, and sustainable city solutions were the region’s most promising emerging opportunities, and projected a potential boost of US$1 trillion to the region’s economy by 2025. He added Hong Kong was an ideal stepping stone for Chinese enterprises entering ASEAN, as it possessed a state-of-the-art professional services sector, offered lower costs of financing and more flexible cash flows.
Also speaking at the event, Eva Tsang, Executive Director at Opal Cosmetics (Hong Kong) Limited, shared her experience expanding her company’s personal care and beauty products to the ASEAN market. She suggested that the first thing members should pay attention to when entering the market was to find a reliable partner and take good care of trademark registration and taxation. She also recommended companies make sure they take into consideration local needs, such as getting Halal Certification so that their products are permissible under Islamic law.
Thanks also go to the Chamber’s GBA Working Group Convenor Petrina Tam and Asia & Africa Committee Chairman Jonathan Lamport for moderating the event.
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