The Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office (Toronto) (HKETO), together with the Hong Kong-Canada Business Association (HKCBA), co-hosted the HKCBA National Conference and Keynote Luncheon entitled “A New Era: Succeeding in Asia and Beyond through Hong Kong” in Toronto, on September 23 to promote Hong Kong’s unique role as the gateway to Asia and beyond.
The business conference was HKETO’s major business event in Canada to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR). Over 200 people joined the hybrid conference, in which business elites, industry leaders and government representatives from across Canada and from Hong Kong shared their insights and experience on how Hong Kong can help Canadian companies to explore the vast Asian market.
Addressing the conference, the Director of HKETO, Ms Emily Mo, said that Hong Kong is poised to enter a new era of opportunities. “Hong Kong is the ideal location and partner for Canadian companies to access markets in Asia and beyond as the city further integrates into the national development, leveraging on its unique strengths such as the rule of law, a low and simple tax regime, free flow of information and capital, superb connectivity to all parts of the world and so forth,” Ms Mo said.
Ms Mo told the participants that Hong Kong has continued to grow and evolve in the past 25 years. “It was not always a smooth sailing, but with strong fundamentals and business advantages under ‘one country, two systems’, a very resilient and hard-working population and talents, and full support from the Central Government, Hong Kong has emerged stronger,” Ms Mo continued.
Looking forward, Ms Mo said Hong Kong is ready to partner with Canadian entrepreneurs to capture opportunities in Hong Kong and elsewhere in Asia, including those presented by China’s 14th Five-Year Plan, the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area development and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.
The conference comprised two panel discussions. The first panel discussed Hong Kong’s road to sustainability and the implications for Canadian companies. Moderated by Partner at Gowling WLG Mr Thomas Timmins, the session had three panellists, namely Partner of Radiant Ventures, Mr Hugh Chow; the President and CEO of the Canadian Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association, Ms Ivette Vera-Perez; and the Director for Canada, Hong Kong Trade Development Council, Mr Andrew Yui.
The second panel looked into the innovation and digital transformation in Asia and how Canadian companies can use the Hong Kong platform to grasp the business opportunities in Asia and beyond. Speakers included the CEO of Tappy Technologies, Mr Wayne Leung; Co-founder of the International IP Commercialization Council Hong Kong (Greater Bay Area) Chapter, Mr Pan Wong; and the Head of Investment Promotion at Invest Hong Kong (Canada), Mr Christopher Chen. Mr Yui was the moderator.
The Director-General of Investment Promotion of Invest Hong Kong of the HKSAR Government, Mr Stephen Phillips, gave a keynote speech via hologram technology at the opening of the conference to provide insights on Hong Kong’s advantages and interact with participants for a question-and-answer session.
The business conference was followed by a networking luncheon. The Chief Financial Officer of Manulife Canada, Mr Philip Witherington, gave a keynote luncheon speech. The whole event was supported by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, the Hong Kong Tourism Board and Invest Hong Kong.