Director of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office (Toronto) (HKETO), Ms Emily Mo, attended the 2019 National Conference entitled " Think Asia, Think Hong Kong 2.0" organised by the GTA Section of the Hong Kong-Canada Business Association (HKCBA) in Markham on June 21.
In delivering the welcome address at the National Conference, Ms Mo congratulated HKCBA on its 35th anniversary and applauded the Association for partnering with HKETO to promote Canada-Hong Kong trade relations over the years.
Ms Mo updated participants on the positive economic growth in Asia in 2019 and noted that it is also a year of uncertainties and challenges for the global economy. "The World Bank forecasts that the growth in developing East Asia and the Pacific will be about 6% in 2019," she said.
"For Canadian businesses seeking market diversification and opportunities in the East, Hong Kong serves as the perfect business platform to tap into the world’s fastest-growing Asian market," she continued.
Ms Mo moved on to introduced the unique advantages of doing business in Hong Kong including an open and free market, a bilingual common law system, an independent judiciary, a simple and competitive tax system, a level playing field for all businesses and a rich pool of multilingual professionals.
In particular, Ms Mo remarked that Hong Kong has provides a perfect environment for start-ups. " According to InvestHK’s 2018 survey reports on start-up presence in Hong Kong, there was a significant increase over 2017 on all key parameters, with a total of over 2 600 start-ups (+18%), employing more than 9 500 employees (+51%) across 13 800 workstations (+120%)," she added.
Besides, Hong Kong is an excellent gateway to explore the Asian markets. "With the Free Trade and related Investment Agreements between Hong Kong and part of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Members coming into force on June 11, business opportunities for Hong Kong and Canadian companies have been greatly enhanced," she said.
Apart from the Asian markets, Hong Kong also benefits from the Belt and Road Initiative and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (Greater Bay Area) development. "The Belt and Road Initiative with strong emphasis on connectivity and international cooperation covering countries across Asia, Europe and Africa, involves trade facilitation, which is the key to the business development of Canadian companies," Ms Mo added.
The Greater Bay Area development also offers promising prospects for Canadian enterprises. "The Greater Bay Area comprises Hong Kong, Macao and nine cities in the Guangdong Province with a combined GDP $1.6 trillion US dollars. The development is about coordination and synergy between the eleven cities in the area, and also an open market offering chances and opportunities to international service and trade providers," Ms Mo said.
With the commissioning of two mega infrastructural projects in Hong Kong last year, namely the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge and the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link, Hong Kong's connectivity with other parts of the Greater Bay Area has been significantly enhanced, and Canadian companies can capture the huge business potential with better access.
The HKCBA’s National Conference themed “Think Asia, Think Hong Kong 2.0” aims to showcase business opportunities in the Greater Bay Area and Belt and Road region, and explore strategies that Canadian companies can use to further trade with Asia through the Hong Kong platform. It is one of the programmes of the “Hong Kong Week” event organised by HKETO.
巫菀菁更指出，香港為初創企業提供理想環境。她補充說：「香港投資推廣署的二○一八調查報告顯示，初創企業在各主要領域均較二○一七年有顯著增長，初創公司共超過2 600間 （+18%），涉及超過9 500名員工（+51%）和13 800個工作點（+120%）。」