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Hong Kong roadshow to UK and Ireland highlights the China opportunity

(From left to right) TDC's Executive Director, Mr Fred Lam, HKSAR's Chief Executive, Mr Donald Tsang and TDC's Chairman, Mr Peter Woo at the annual London dinner
TDC's Chairman, Mr Peter Woo addresses an audience of over 400 in London at the start of a roadshow to UK and Ireland

Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta represent the best entry point to China's vast markets, British companies were told today (November 2) as a major roadshow to the UK and Ireland got underway in London.

Addressing an audience of over 400 delegates at a seminar entitled Hong Kong and Shenzhen: Your Partners for Success in China, Chairman of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (TDC) Mr Peter Woo said that with the mainland's GDP set to double in less than 10 years "Wait and see" is no longer the right strategy.

He highlighted the rapid growth of the middle class in China and noted their huge spending power, with US$ 2 billion spent on luxury items last year.

Describing the region of greatest growth and potential, Mr Woo provided "A Tale of Three Cities" - Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Dongguan in China's Pearl River Delta. He outlined Shenzhen's expertise in IT and research & development, Dongguan's capacity for competitive and high quality manufacturing, and Hong Kong's unrivalled advantages as a platform for China business. Together these combined strengths create what Mr Woo called the "Hong Kong plus PRD powerhouse".

Other speakers at the seminar included Mr Chen Yutang, Deputy Secretary-General of Shenzhen Municipal Government; and Mr John Rutherford, Associate Director of Invest Hong Kong. Case studies were given by Mr Jim Haynes, Chief Operating Officer of Bookham Technology plc and Mr Peter Williams, Chairman of Conditionaire Ltd. Panel discussions featured Phil Spencer of HSBC; Mr Martin Harman, Chairman of law firm Pinsent Masons; and Dr Tim Moore, Chief Executive of SGAI Tech Ltd, a consultancy with offices in Cambridge, Hong Kong and Shenzhen. A delegation of service providers from Hong Kong provided delegates with one-to-one consultancy on doing business in China.

The seminar was organised by TDC with Shenzhen Municipal Government and Invest Hong Kong. It was moderated by Brigadier Christopher Hammerbeck, Executive Director of the British Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong.

In the evening Mr Woo hosted TDC's London dinner, which he said over the past 22 years had evolved into Hong Kong's flagship business event in London. The Guest of Honour was Mr Donald Tsang, Chief Executive of the HKSAR (Please refer to ISD's website for CE's speech).

"We are bringing more UK businesses, especially medium-sized and smaller firms, into the network of the Hong Kong business community," Mr Woo told the 350 dinner guests who comprised business leaders from the UK and Hong Kong, together with senior government officials.

Mr Woo described the Hong Kong-UK Business Partnership, which was launched a year ago by TDC and UK Trade & Investment.

"Our approach is focused and results driven. It is clear that business people have no time for talk shops. Business-to-business, sector-to-sector, this bilateral arrangement brings UK and Hong Kong businesses together in areas they jointly identify as ripe for development and collaboration."

"One such sector is the creative industry. We brought a Hong Kong Design Mission to the London Design Festival. That visit paved the way for partnerships between manufacturers and designers in both cities. A return UK Design Mission will travel to Hong Kong later this month for our new Innovation and Design Expo."

As the roadshow moves on further business seminars organised by TDC will be held in Manchester (3 November), Leeds (4 November) and Dublin (7 November). The keynote address at these events will be given by TDC's Executive Director, Mr Fred Lam. Meanwhile TDC will stage a seminar in Hamburg on 4 November at which TDC Deputy Executive Director Steve Alexander will speak, together with Mr Chen Yutang of Shenzhen Municipal Government.

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For media enquiries, please contact TDC's Corporate Communications Department at 2584 4333.

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Content provided by Hong Kong Trade Development Council