Director of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office (Toronto) (HKETO), Ms Emily Mo, joined the “Think Asia, think Hong Kong: Team HKCBA Virtual Delegation to Hong Kong Forum 2021" webinar hosted by the Hong Kong-Canada Business Association (HKCBA) and Hong Kong Trade Development Council on October 21. This webinar aims to share with participants on how participants have benefited from the past Hong Kong Forum, to explore opportunities in Asia and most importantly, and how they can take advantage of the Forum to be held virtually from November 30 to December 1 this year.
In delivering a speech entitled "Hong Kong in the New Normal", Ms Mo was delighted to share with participants on the latest global economic development. She noted when the world was hit by COVID-19 last year, China was the only major economy recording a positive GDP growth and Hong Kong’s real GDP also grew 7.8% year-on-year in the first half of 2021.
“Recently Hong Kong climbed back to third place in the Global Financial Centres Index, behind only New York and London. The Fraser Institute once again ranked Hong Kong as the world’s freest economy. The World Investment Report 2021, published by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, ranked Hong Kong the world’s third-largest recipient of foreign direct investment last year,” Ms Mo continued.
She moved on to share with participants on some recent findings. “The number of business operations in Hong Kong with parent companies overseas or in the Mainland China has risen to 9 049 and the number of start-ups in Hong Kong has increased to 3 755 in 2021, both reaching record highs. The number of start-ups increased by almost 70% from the 2017 figure,” she added.
Ms Mo highlighted that the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government also published a “Report on Hong Kong’s Business Environment” which reviews and sets out Hong Kong’s current business environment and advantages and describes the development opportunities available to Hong Kong.
In addition, Ms Mo remarked that the developments of Hong Kong and the mainland China are closely related. With the National 14th Five-Year Plan and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area bringing unlimited business opportunities, Hong Kong will be provided with new impetus for economic development.
Before closing, Ms Mo noted many Canadian companies and professionals have been seizing the business opportunities via the Hong Kong platform. “Last year, Canadian direct investment flows to Hong Kong more than tripled to CAD 4.6 billion, making the city the second-largest destination worldwide for Canadian direct investment abroad, behind only the US. The total stock of Canada’s FDI in Hong Kong was valued at CAD 18 billion in 2020,” Ms Mo said. She encouraged Canadian companies to seize the business opportunities and consider Hong Kong as a business destination or platform.
The webinar was chaired by Ms Cindy Ho, HKCBA National Chair, with a panel discussion to let participants interact with four panel speakers on their experience in participating the Hong Kong Forum as well as their insights of developing Canada-Hong Kong initiatives.
此外，巫菀菁向與會者分享一些新數據。她說：「在二○二一年，海外及中國內地的駐港公司數目增加至9 049間，而香港的初創企業數目亦增加至3 755間，兩項數字均創新高。香港的初創企業數目亦較二○一七年增加接近七成。」
最後，巫菀菁表示，許多加拿大企業及專業人士一直通過香港平台把握商機。她說：「去年，加拿大對香港的直接投資增加逾三倍，達到 46 億加元，使香港成為加拿大外來直接投資的全球第二大目的地，僅次於美國。在二○二○年，加拿大對香港的外來直接投資累計總額達180 億加元。」巫菀菁鼓勵加拿大企業把握商機，考慮以香港為營商目的地或平台。