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Hong Kong, Dec 3, 2013 – (ACN Newswire) – Close to 400 business leaders from 22 countries and regions are taking part in the 14th Hong Kong Forum, which opened this morning and continues through 4 December at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC).
The two-day Forum is the annual gathering of the Federation of Hong Kong Business Associations Worldwide, which counts some 11,000 members in 35 associations around the world.
Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) Chairman Jack So opened the Forum, noting that “Asia is the world’s economic engine, led by mainland China and ASEAN, and their fast-expanding consumer markets.” Hong Kong, he added, “has emerged as the region’s central business district.”
Mr So said that 2014 offered considerable opportunity for business. “Early next year, Hong Kong will begin negotiating a free-trade agreement with ASEAN, our second-largest trading partner.” He said that there was also optimism globally, with the United States, the European Union and Japan poised to “see their first synchronised recovery since the global financial crisis,” and the mainland focused on reform measures announced following the Third Plenum in November. “Together, they promise a less protectionist global trade landscape.”
Special Status Attraction
BASF SE Vice Chairman, Board of Executive Directors, Martin Brudermuller also spoke this morning, at the “Hong Kong: Asia’s Central Business District” plenary session. He said that BASF expects to double its sales, to 25 billion euros, by 2020, adding that by then “half of the global chemical market will be in Asia. But even more importantly: almost two-thirds of the Asian chemical market will be in China.”
Mr Brudermuller added that Hong Kong was the company’s Asia-Pacific headquarters because of its special status as much as its proximity to mainland China. “For me, the one country/two systems aspect is very important when dealing with customers or officials across Asia.
Speaking of Tomorrow
Today’s luncheon dialogue, “Speaking of Tomorrow,” presents three young Hong Kong businesspeople, including Oscar Chow, Executive Director of Chevalier International Holdings Ltd, and Brian Li, Deputy Executive Director, The Bank of East Asia Ltd.
This afternoon, the Forum features two “China Today” sessions. Speakers include Fang Fang, CEO China, JP Morgan Securities (Asia Pacific) Ltd, and Ji Defa, Chairman, Shanghai Step Electric Corporation.
Chief Executive to Speak
Tomorrow, Hong Kong SAR Chief Executive CY Leung will be the Forum’s keynote luncheon speaker. While Mr Leung has participated before, this will be the first time he has addressed the Forum since taking office.
The Young Executive Programme will take place the day after the Forum. The half-day programme, 5 December, will offer Federation members under 40 the opportunity to gain a better appreciation of Hong Kong’s business environment. A three-day side trip to Nanjing has been organised as well, leaving 5 December for the Jiangsu provincial capital.
IP and Design
Several major events are also taking place in Hong Kong this week. They include the Business of Intellectual Property Asia Forum, 5-6 December, HKTDC World SME Expo and HKTDC Inno Design Tech Expo, both running 5-7 December, and the Business of Design Week, 2-7 December. The HKCEC is the venue in each case.
– Forum Website: http://www.hkfederation.org.hk/forum/forum2013/
– Photo Download: http://filesharing.tdc.org.hk/hktdc/download.php?fid=_phpHrMaEB
A statutory body established in 1966, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is the international marketing arm for Hong Kong-based traders, manufacturers and service providers. With more than 40 global offices, including 12 on the Chinese mainland, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a platform for doing business with China and throughout Asia. The HKTDC also organises trade fairs and business missions to connect companies with opportunities in Hong Kong and on the mainland, while providing information via trade publications, research reports and online. For more information, please visit:www.hktdc.com. Follow us on Google+, Twitter @hktdc, LinkedIn.
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