25 Nov 2005
Hong Kong - United Kingdom forge closer business ties
Hong Kong and UK business leaders met on 22 November to exchange views and discuss business opportunities under the auspices of the second plenary session of the Hong Kong-UK Business Partnership. The meeting coincided with the start of the World SME Expo, and Innovation and Design Expo, both organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (TDC).
"This is a valuable working platform to encourage closer economic and business co-operation between the two sides," said Dr. Allan Wong, Chairman of the Hong Kong side of the Partnership. "It is clear from our discussion that there are both challenges and opportunities in China for UK companies, and Hong Kong is the best partner and route for a safe strategy."
The Hong Kong-UK Business Partnership was set up jointly by TDC and UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) in October 2004 to offer practical information and support to SMEs in the UK and Hong Kong through a programme of sector-specific business development activities.
"Hong Kong provides an excellent platform for UK companies looking to do business in mainland China and the region, as well as being a very good market in its own right," said Peter Sullivan, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer, Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong), who chaired the UK side of the meeting.
The Partnership's two working groups that focus on the Creative Industries and the Information and Communication Technology Industry, reported on their activities over the past year, that involved almost 1000 companies, and announced plans for further exciting initiatives for the forthcoming year.
At the second plenary session, the UK guest of honour was Sir Stephen Brown, Group Chief Executive of UKTI. Coinciding with his visit to Hong Kong, were two UK trade missions: the first, a considerable Design delegation to the Hong Kong Innovation and Design Expo; the second, a group from Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce attending the World SME Expo.
"The UK is delighted to have been able to bring some of our leading edge creative and design companies to take part in these events," Sir Stephen said. "Like Hong Kong, the UK is constantly moving up the value added curve, transforming itself into an economy based ever more increasingly on knowledge-intensive, high-technology manufacturing and service sectors. The considerable UK presence at various events in Hong Kong this week is a demonstration of the way in which we are achieving practical results from the Business Partnership."
The UK side of the Partnership is chaired by Mervyn Davies, Group Chief Executive of Standard Chartered Bank and the Hong Kong side by Dr. Allan Wong, Chairman of VTech Holdings Ltd. The inaugural meeting of the Hong Kong - UK Business Partnership was held in London, in October 2004.
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