Director of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office (Toronto) (HKETO), Ms Emily Mo, spoke at the webinar organised by the Association of Chinese Canadian Entrepreneurs (ACCE) Young Entrepreneur Group on March 24. The webinar aims to discuss how Canadian businesses can access the fast-growing markets in Asia with practical lessons from entrepreneurs who have leveraged support from diversified resources towards entering the region.
In delivering the opening remarks, Ms Mo said that the business culture between Hong Kong and Canada are very similar, including that both places have a common law system, rule of law, robust IP protection, strong professional support in a bi-lingual business environment, and free flow of information and capital.
In particular, Hong Kong has a simple and low tax system. "Due to its business advantages and favourable business environment, Hong Kong is Asia’s business hub serving as an operational base for over 9 000 overseas and Mainland companies, including 200 from Canada," Ms Mo added.
Ms Mo also updated participants on the latest developments of Hong Kong, including its role in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area which has a GDP similar to Canada’s and offers new and exciting opportunities for companies from around the world. "Beyond Mainland China, ASEAN is Hong Kong’s 2nd biggest trading partner in goods, and 4th largest in services," Ms Mo said.
As a world-leading global banking and financial hub, a wide variety of industries are thriving in Hong Kong. "In 2020, fintech, e-commerce, supply chain management, logistics technology and professional or consultancy services had the largest numbers of startups in Hong Kong," Ms Mo continued.
Ms Mo noted that despite the economic challenges brought about by the pandemic in 2020, there were over 3 300 startups in Hong Kong, representing an increase of 6% from the previous year. To this end, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government (HKSAR) is committed to offering a fertile start-up environment that is supported by various public and private initiatives, helping entrepreneurs turn great ideas into reality.
Before closing, Ms Mo invited participants of the webinar to obtain more first-hand experience on the range of support and resources offered by the HKSAR Government to the business community by taking part in a discussion panel moderated by Ms Grace Lau, Deputy Head of Investment Promotion, Invest Hong Kong (Canada).