Director of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office (Toronto) (HKETO), Ms Emily Mo, spoke at the "Green Opportunities Abound in Hong Kong and The Greater Bay Area" webinar hosted by the Hong Kong-Canada Business Association (HKCBA) (Montreal Section), Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) in Canada, HKETO and other organisations on July 22. The webinar discussed how Canadian cleantech companies can make use of the Hong Kong platform to diversify their business to Asia.
In delivering welcome remarks at the webinar, Ms Mo first introduced the unique business advantages of Hong Kong, including the city’s prime location in Asia, bilingual common law system, rule of law, free flow of information and capital, low and simple tax system, strong government and global professional support, as well as the free trade agreements signed between Hong Kong and the Mainland of China, and between Hong Kong and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
Hong Kong's environmental industry is widely recognised as a new growth sector. "The value added of Hong Kong’s environmental industry grew by 5.8% year-on-year to approximately CAD$1.7 billion (HK$9.9 billion) in 2018," Ms Mo said.
Both Hong Kong and Canada share a common goal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. In this regard, Hong Kong has been exploring various solutions to combat climate change including seeking more zero-carbon energy, adopting energy-saving technologies, promoting the wider use of e-vehicles and enhancing waste reduction and recycling.
According to the World Energy Investment Report 2020 by the International Energy Agency, China is the largest destination for energy investment in the world. "Hong Kong is always the springboard for companies to access the fast-growing markets in Mainland China and Asia," Ms Mo added.
Ms Mo also highlighted the vast opportunities offered by the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) development. The GBA is a mega city cluster comprising the Hong Kong and Macao Special Administrative Regions and nine cities in the Guangdong Province with a population of 71 million and a GDP of more than US$1.6 trillion, which is similar to the GDP size of Canada. “GBA is designed to become a clean energy and low-carbon region and it presented a lot of golden opportunities. As a strong innovator and producer of clean technology solutions, Canada is well positioned to seize these opportunities," Ms Mo said.
Before closing, Ms Mo highlighted that under the “one country, two systems” principle, Hong Kong enjoys the dual advantages of being part of China, while maintaining its global outlook and institutional advantages. She encouraged Canadian companies that are thinking to expand to China or Asia to explore the favourable business environment offered by the city.
Chaired by the Vice President of the Montreal Section of HKCBA Mr Jamie Kerr, the webinar was joined by other speakers including Acting Consul General of the Consulate General of Canada in Hong Kong Ms Patricia Elliott, President and CEO of Écotech Québec Mr Denis Leclerc, General Manager of ORCA Asia Dr. Dawn Chui, and Marketing Manager of HKTDC Toronto office Ms Adrienne Ho.