Director of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office (Toronto) (HKETO), Ms Emily Mo, joined the “Your 2021 Think Asia, Think Hong Kong Business Strategies” webinar to promote Hong Kong as an ideal gateway for Canadian companies to access to the huge and fast-growing markets of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area development (GBA) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). This webinar was hosted by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) in Canada on January 27.
In delivering the welcome remarks, Ms Mo updated the participants on the COVID-19 situation in Hong Kong and the government’s response. “The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government has tightened up measures on social distancing and imposed more stringent entry restrictions for returning residents from certain places, including Canada. With these measures in place, the number of confirmed cases has come down from the peak of over a hundred per day to a few dozens per day,” Ms Mo said. She added that the situation in Hong Kong is expect to improve gradually with the epidemic prevention and control work at different levels yielding effects and mass vaccination to be carried out in phases.
On the economic front, despite the public health and social challenges in the past two years, Hong Kong’s financial system also demonstrated its strengths and resilience. The city evidenced the confidence displayed by international business in its Asian Financial Forum held virtually in mid-January 2021. Over 63 000 international viewers from over 70 nations and regions had joined the event.
Ms Mo also highlighted the GBA development, a national development strategy to promote coordinated regional economic development through various facilitation measures for business and people flow. “Under the ‘one country, two systems’ principle, Hong Kong is the most international city in the GBA; and the city has been offering a favourable business environment, including its bi-lingual common law system, low and simple tax regime, great support from the government and international professional services,” Ms Mo said.
Ms Mo pointed out that among the latest GBA facilitation measure is Wealth Management Connect in which Canadian financial institutions set up in Hong Kong will be able to assess to the huge potential investor base in the GBA under the measure.
In addition, ASEAN is another fast-growing economic bloc on the Asian Pacific region that international businesses would not miss. “ASEAN is Hong Kong’s second biggest trading partner in goods, and fourth largest in services. Hong Kong has already in place the Free Trade Agreement and related Investment Agreement with ASEAN,” Ms Mo said.
Ms Mo also highlighted the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP), the world’s largest trade agreement so far. “Last year, Hong Kong’s bilateral trade on goods with the 15 RCEP members amounted to over 760 billion USD, accounting for 71% of the total trade on goods, and the city looks forward to be the first batch of new members of RCEP in future,” Ms Mo said.
Besides, Ms Mo addressed concern on the new national security law’s implications for the long-term stability and prosperity of Hong Kong. “The law has no impact on the normal functioning of the financial markets, nor the normal conduct of businesses in Hong Kong. The way in which market participants handle their proprietary data, access or transmit information, conduct commercial analysis or express opinion are not affected,” Ms Mo said.
Looking forward, Ms Mo is confident that Hong Kong’s economy will continue to prosper with the unique advantages and maintain its status as an international financial centre.
Before closing, Ms Mo encouraged Canadian companies to set up or work with a partner in Hong Kong to grasp the huge opportunities in the massive and fast-growing markets of the GBA and ASEAN.
The webinar, moderated by Hong Kong-Canada Business Association (Toronto GTA section) First Vice-President Ms Teresa Tazumi, was also joined by other panelists including HKTDC Director for Canada Mr Andrew Yui, C4P Inc President Mr Joseph Chaung and Head of InvestHK Canada Mr Christopher Chen.
香港駐多倫多經濟貿易辦事處（香港經貿處）處長巫菀菁於一月二十七日參與由香港貿易發展局（貿發局）加拿大辦事處舉辦的「2021邁向亞洲 首選香港商務策略」 網上研討會，推廣香港作為加拿大企業進軍粵港澳大灣區及東南亞國家聯盟（東盟）兩個龐大並急速發展市場的理想門戶。
網上研討會由港加商會（大多倫多地區）第一副會長Teresa Tazumi 主持，其他講者包括香港貿易發展局加拿大代表芮紹能、C4P Inc總裁莊桂華及投資推廣署多倫多辦事處總監陳立智。