4 Nov 2009
Hong Kong Dinner in London Attracts Business Leaders
Opportunities on the Table for UK Creative and Environmental Services
The Hong Kong guest of honour, Chief Secretary for Administration Henry Tang, told guests about Hong Kong’s enterprise and creativity and described the city’s development as a cultural hub in Asia. Mr Tang also said UK firms will find opportunities in Hong Kong’s ambitious plans for the West Kowloon Cultural District (WKCD) which will be almost five times the size of London’s Southbank Centre – the largest such facility in Europe.
“The potential is enormous. The WKCD is a 40-hectare site along the Kowloon waterfront overlooking Victoria Harbour. It's our very own West End but with a Broadway skyline,” said Mr Tang. “In the same way that the West End is a must-see attraction for visitors to London, the WKCD will become a magnet for our tourists from around the world. Last year we received almost 30 million visitors; that's more than even London.”
The UK guest of honour was Bill Rammell, Minister of State for the Armed Forces since June 2009. Prior to that, he was Minister of State for the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, where his responsibilities included UK relations with Hong Kong. He said he notices increased interest in Hong Kong from British business seeking to develop new markets overseas.
“Last October only two UK companies made the journey to participate in Eco Expo Asia. This year 20 UK companies participated,” Mr Rammell pointed out, adding that creative industries, environmental services, technology, infrastructure and transport are also sectors which hold particular promise for British companies. Mr Rammell also commented on Hong Kong’s efforts to create a more environmentally friendly economy.
”Building a low-carbon global economy demands a worldwide commitment. It requires billions of pounds of new investment in clean energy. And it means there will be extensive opportunities for expanding cooperation in the near future,” he said, noting that the UK is a leading supplier of electric cars and that several British companies are developing hybrid buses.
Other guests at the dinner included Institute of Export National Chairman Lesley Batchelor; Li & Fung Europe Senior Vice President Ulf Brettschneider; British Chambers of Commerce Director General David Frost; Haymarket Media Group Chairman The Rt Hon Lord Heseltine; John Swire & Sons Ltd Chairman James Hughes-Hallett; Standard Chartered Bank (HK) Ltd Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer Benjamin Hung; British Standards Institution Executive Chairman Sir David John; Matheson & Co Ltd Chairman Sir Henry Keswick; Giftware Association Chief Executive Isabel Martinson; British Consul-General in Hong Kong Andrew Seaton; China Netcom (Europe) Operations Ltd President William So; British Fashion Council Chairman Harold Tillman; The Hong Kong Association Honorary President Lord Wilson of Tillyorn and W Wing Yip plc Chairman Wing Yip.
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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, www.hktdc.com