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HKTDC and Standard Chartered Join Hands to Support SMEs
“Powering SMEs Development Programme 2009” Launched Today


The HKTDC and the SCBHK today launched the "Powering SMEs Development Programme 2009" to help local SMEs tap new business opportunities in the challenging global market. Officiating at the launch ceremony are (left to right): SCBHK Regional Head, Greater China, SME Banking, Betty Ku; HKTDC Assistant Executive Director Benjamin Chau; and SCBHK Head of Consumer Banking Mary Huen


Speaking at the programme launch, HKTDC Assistant Executive Director Benjamin Chau said that helping SMEs succeed is at the heart of the HKTDC's mandate 


16 July 2009 – The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) and Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong) Ltd (SCBHK) today launched the "Powering SMEs Development Programme 2009." This marked the second year of the strategic alliance of the two organizations. The programme is designed to help Hong Kong's small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) sharpen their competitive edge and tap new business opportunities amid the global downturn. 

SMEs are the lifeblood of Hong Kong economy, counting more than 95 per cent of the local business establishments. The HKTDC and SCBHK have long promoted the development of local SMEs. To continue the overwhelming responses of the programme last year, the new programme will further empower local SMEs for better development and business opportunities through a full range of activities. 

"The global economic downturn and shrinking of exports over the past year show how fast markets can change and how challenging the business environment is today," said HKTDC Assistant Executive Director Benjamin Chau at the launch ceremony. "The programme is specially designed to help SMEs create business opportunities in the current economic circumstances." 

"Standard Chartered is strongly committed to the SME segment," said Mary Huen, Head of Consumer Banking at SCBHK. "Through the strength of our global network in more than 70 countries, we have established dedicated SME teams across more than 25 locations. In Hong Kong, SME Banking is also a key growth engine. We will further invest our resources in SME Banking, providing one-stop total financial solutions to meet our customers' specialised needs." 

"Being the right partner for SMEs, Standard Chartered strives to provide support measures for SMEs. This year's Powering SMEs Development Programme is more comprehensive, with seminars, business matching events and trade missions. These will help SMEs explore new markets and equip them with the right gears for capturing the opportunities in economic recovery," said Betty Ku, SCBHK Regional Head, Greater China, SME Banking. 

The new programme, which began last month and runs to March 2010, includes eight seminars and workshops, each designed to bring the latest new market opportunities to SMEs. The workshops cover marketing strategies and business opportunities in the Chinese mainland and other emerging markets, including the Asia, Africa, Middle East, Central Europe, and Latin America. 

Besides, business matching and networking events are also part of the programme mix to leverage on the strength of both parties. A networking luncheon earlier this month at Hong Kong Fashion Week for Spring/Summer was held to help SMEs expand their contacts and search for business partners. Networking activities will also be arranged at the Hong Kong Watch & Clock Fair in September. 

Nevertheless, programme activities beyond Hong Kong include business missions, allowing participating SMEs to explore business opportunities in high potential markets such as Mainland China and India. These significant events will enable SMEs to gain valuable experience as well as expand their businesses footprint internationally. 

Media Enquiries
Please contact the HKTDC's Media and Public Affairs Department:

Sam Ho        Tel: (852) 2584 4569   Email: sam.sy.ho@hktdc.org

Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong) Ltd:

Gabriel Kwan       Tel: (852) 2820 3036   Email: gabriel.kwan@sc.com

Cathy Kwong      Tel: (852) 2820 3083   Email: cathy.kwong@sc.com

About the HKTDC
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 offices worldwide, including 11 in the Chinese mainland, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a platform for doing business with China and Asia. The HKTDC also organises trade fairs and business missions to connect companies with opportunities in Hong Kong and the mainland, while providing information via trade publications, research reports and online. For more information, http://www.hktdc.com/

Standard Chartered - leading the way in Asia, Africa and the Middle East
The history of Standard Chartered in Hong Kong dates back to 1859. It is currently one of the SAR's three note-issuing banks. Standard Chartered incorporated its Hong Kong business on 1 July 2004, and now operates as a licensed bank in Hong Kong under the name of Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong) Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Standard Chartered PLC. 

Standard Chartered PLC, listed on both London and Hong Kong stock exchanges, ranks among the top 25 companies in the FTSE-100 by market capitalisation. 

The London-headquartered Group has operated for over 150 years in some of the world's most dynamic markets, leading the way in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. 

Standard Chartered aspires to be the best international bank in its markets through leading by example to be the right partner for its stakeholders. The group now employs 70,000 people, representing 125 nationalities, in more than 1,600 branches and outlets located in over 70 countries. 

Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong) Limited was named the "Employer of Choice" at the prestigious Hong Kong HR Awards 2008, and also named by The Gallup Organisation as a winner of the Gallup Great Workplace Award for two consecutive years in 2008 and 2009.For more information, please visit: www.standardchartered.com

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