Director of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office (Toronto) (HKETO), Ms Emily Mo, joined the “Canadian Virtual Mission to Asia Summit on Global Health (ASGH)” pre-mission networking meeting jointly organised by HKETO, Hong Kong Trade Development Council, Invest Hong Kong (Canada) and the Hong Kong-Canada Business Association (HKCBA) on October 27.
This virtual pre-mission networking meeting aimed to provide Canadian delegates with an overview of the ASGH programme, and how they can take advantage of this trade mission to diversify their businesses to Asia through the Hong Kong platform. The first ASGH will be held in Hong Kong on November 24, 2021.
In delivering the welcome remarks, Ms Mo was delighted to share with participants that Hong Kong has the highest expectancy in the world, and according to the Economist’s research, the city ranked number 1 in returning to life normalcy during the global pandemic in the past summer.
“While the pandemic has reminded the world about the importance of investing in healthcare, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government has set up two ‘InnoHK research clusters’ at the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks with an aim to pool together talents from around the world to establish Hong Kong as the hub for global research collaboration,” Ms Mo said.
“So far, the clusters have focused on two major areas, namely healthcare technologies and artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics technologies. This project has since attracted many top-notch universities, research institutions and partners including the University of Waterloo,” Ms Mo added.
On business front, Hong Kong has become the world’s second largest fundraising hub for biotechnology companies, and since mid-2018 there have been 43 companies listed under the pre-revenue biotech companies regime raising a total of over 50 billion USD, which accounts for about 40% of the total IPO funds raised in the period.
Indeed, Hong Kong is an important gateway for foreign manufacturers of medicine products, medical devices or drugs to tap into the Mainland Chinese market. The Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area development bearing an economic cluster of nine Guangdong cities plus Hong Kong and Macao offered huge opportunities for healthcare businesses using Hong Kong as a platform.
Beyond China, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) also presents abundant business opportunities in the Asia’s healthcare industry. “Research shows that the over65s group will account for 21% of ASEAN’s total population by 2050, compared with over 9% in 2016. Healthcare spending is projected to rise correspondingly by more than 70% over the next two decades, from 420 billion USD in 2017 to 740 billion USD in 2025. With the Free Trade Agreement between Hong Kong and ASEAN in effect, you will be able to connect to the Asian market through Hong Kong easily,” Ms Mo said.
Before closing, Ms Mo introduced a new policy in Hong Kong to cope with the health manpower shortage in the city by creating a new pathway to allow non-locally trained doctors to apply for full registration in Hong Kong after fulfilling a set of criteria. She hoped that the participants could spread the news to interested parties.
The virtual meeting was chaired by Board Director of HKCBA (Ottawa Section) Ms Sandra Wu. Two business leaders, President and CEO of IWEUS Capital, Mr James Clarke, and President of Keiretsu Forum Canada, Mr Ozan Isinak, shared their insights on tapping into the healthcare technology and investment opportunities in Asia via Hong Kong at the event.
網上會議由港加商會（渥太華分會）董事Sandra Wu主持，兩位商界領袖包括IWEUS Capital主席暨總裁James Clarke及Keiretsu Forum Canada主席Ozan Isinak分享他們通過香港在亞洲投資醫療保健技術業的商機。