HKETO Newsroom

May 28, 2020

HKETO Director joins “Think Asia Think Hong Kong in New Normal” business webinar

Director of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office (Toronto) (HKETO), Ms Emily Mo, joined the “Think Asia, Think Hong Kong in the New Normal” webinar hosted by the Hong Kong-Canada Business Association (Greater Toronto Area Section) (HKCBA) as a panellist on May 28.

Ms Mo first updated participants on the COVID-19 situation in Hong Kong. “While the disease has infected over 5.6 million people worldwide, in the very densely populated Hong Kong, it recorded only a total of 1,066 cases so far,” Ms Mo said. “Unlike many other cities, Hong Kong did not adopt a complete lock-down approach and most of the restaurants and commercial outlets are in operation with anti-pandemic measures. In early May, businesses re-opened with social distancing measures.  Further opening up of the city is being planned, including the gradual resumption of airport transit services in Hong Kong with effect from June 1,” Ms Mo continued.

Ms Mo pointed out that the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government has deployed a comprehensive and co-ordinated approach to contain the spread of COVID-19 while maintaining Hong Kong’s position as an international city. The measures adopted included early screening at ports, a robust health care system, extended school closures and society-wide adoption of face masks and personal hygiene practices.

Noting the HKSAR Government is currently distributing free reusable facemasks (CuMask+) to all citizens, Ms Mo highlighted that the mask is a local invention developed by the Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel, and its design was awarded a Gold Medal at the International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva 2018.

On the business front, the HKSAR Government has launched a package of measures which costs over CAD48 billion to preserve the vitality of the economy. Measures included wage subsidies to employer and self-employed persons, labour skills upgrading grants,; subsidies for enterprises to apply technology, and  one-off grants and low-interest loans, etc..  “Canadian companies registered in Hong Kong can receive the same level of support as their local counterparts,” Ms Mo said.

Though COVID-19 has imposed pressure on economies and financial markets worldwide, Hong Kong’s fundamental strengths remain intact. Examples include its world-class financial and common law systems, free economy, low and simple tax system, as well as easy access to the Asian and Mainland Chinese markets.  

Ms Mo highlighted that Hong Kong’s resilience and innovation have been helping the city to withstand the COVID-19 challenges and mitigate risks brought by the pandemic. “The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology has developed a new geo-fencing technology specifically for individuals under home quarantine. The Hong Kong International Airport is the world’s first airport featuring full-body disinfection channels, which rapidly zap viruses and bacteria on people passing through. The MTR deploys robots for disinfection of the trains which is a great way to protect its staff and passengers,” Ms Mo said.

Before closing, Ms Mo encouraged Canadian companies to get prepared to expand their businesses to Asia through Hong Kong, and to contact HKETO which offers free consultancy service and tailor-made advice to companies that are interested to set foot in the city.

The webinar, moderated by HKCBA Board Director Mr Zoheir Hasanbhai, was also joined by other speakers including HKCBA National Chair, Mr Arthur Chan, Vice President of C4P Inc., Ms Jenny Lo, and Director (Canada) of Hong Kong Trade Development Council, Mr Andrew Yui.

May 28, 2020

香港經貿處處長參與「在新常態下邁向亞洲首選香港」商業網上研討會

香港駐多倫多經濟貿易辦事處(香港經貿處)處長巫菀菁於五月二十八日參與由港加商會(大多倫多地區)舉辦的「在新常態下邁向亞洲首選香港」網上研討會,擔任其中一位講者。

巫菀菁在研討會上首先向與會者介紹香港就2019冠狀病毒病的最新抗疫情況。巫菀菁表示:「疫情影響全球超過五百六十萬人,而在人口密集的香港,到現時為止只錄得共1,066宗病例。香港與許多城市不同,並沒有採取全面封城措施,大部份餐館和商舖均在抗疫措施下照常營業。由五月初起,商業活動在實施社交距離措施下重開,香港現正計劃進一步恢復各項服務,包括於六月一日起適度允許航空旅客經香港過境。」

巫菀菁指出,香港特別行政區(香港特區)政府實行全面及緊密協調管制措施,遏制2019冠狀病毒病擴散,並保持香港的國際城市地位。這些管制包括實施港口早期檢疫措施、提供健全醫護系統、延長學校停課時間、和市民全面佩戴口罩及保持個人衛生習慣。

就香港特區政府向全港市民免費派發可重用「銅芯抗疫口罩+」,巫菀菁指出口罩是由香港紡織及成衣研發中心本地開發,其設計在二O一八年榮獲日內瓦國際發明展金獎。

在商業方面,香港特區政府推出了一系列維持經濟活力的措施,耗資超過480億加元。措施包括為僱主和自僱人士提供工資補貼、勞動技能提升補助金、為企業應用技術給予補貼和一次性提供補助金及低息貸款等。巫菀菁表示:「在香港註冊的加拿大公司亦可以獲得與其本地夥伴公司相同的支援。」

雖然2019冠狀病毒病為全球經濟及金融市場帶來壓力,但香港的基本優勢仍然保持不變,例如香港的世界級金融及普通法制度、自由經濟體、簡單低稅制和通往亞洲及中國內地市場的便利。

巫菀菁續說,香港的應變及創新能力亦有助香港抗疫和減輕疫情帶來的風險。她說:「香港科技大學研發了地理圍欄技術,特別監察接受居家隔離令的檢疫人士。香港國際機場是全球首個機場採用全身消毒通道,為往來通道的人士快速消滅身上的病毒和細菌。此外,香港鐵路使用機械裝置消毒車廂,大大保障員工和乘客的安全。」

最後,巫菀菁鼓勵加拿大企業做好準備,通過香港擴展業務到亞洲。她表示香港經貿處可以為有意踏足香港的公司提供免費諮詢服務和專業意見,歡迎有興趣的公司與香港經貿處聯絡。

網上研討會是由港加商會董事夏曦亮主持,其他參與的講者包括港加商會全國主席陳文灝、C4P Inc. 副總裁羅秀貞及香港貿易發展局駐加拿大代表芮紹能。