31 Jan 2008
New Hong Kong – Japan Air Services Agreement to Boost
Economic Benefits for Both Destinations
January 31, 2008 - The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (TDC) today welcomed a new air services agreement that removes all capacity restrictions between the Hong Kong SAR and most Japanese cities.
The new agreement was concluded today in Hong Kong and will facilitate more convenient air services between Hong Kong and major Japanese economic regions. Hong Kong's airlines will be able to respond to market demand by increasing services to Osaka, Nagoya, Fukuoka, Sapporo, Sendai and Okinawa, while launching new services to Kagoshima, Okayama and other destinations.
Tokyo is not included in today's agreement, although the local government will seek to increase air services between Hong Kong and Tokyo in the next round of air service talks with Japan.
"Today's agreement strongly reinforces Hong Kong's role as an international aviation hub," said Shigemi Furuta, the TDC's director in Japan. "This new arrangement will encourage the establishment of a closer economic and trade relationship between Hong Kong and Japan."
Japan is Hong Kong's third largest trading partner. In 2007, the total volume of trade between Hong Kong and Japan reached HK$406.9 billion. In particular, the volume of re-exports amounted to HK$326.1 billion in the same year.
Beyond its strong demand for Japanese food and electronic products, Hong Kong also serves as an efficient platform for Japanese companies to expand their business in the Chinese mainland, especially in the Pearl River Delta (PRD) region.
"At present, most flights from Japan connecting to Hong Kong are going through Tokyo," said Ms Furuta. "Other areas of Japan are looking for more liberal arrangements for air services between the two destinations. They want to forward their goods to other markets via Hong Kong."
There are currently six Hong Kong business associations in major Japanese cities, including Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Fukuoka, Sendai and Sapporo. Their daily operations are supported by the TDC.
Fukuoka's emerging automobile industry is spawning an auto-part business, which is creating opportunities for partnerships in the PRD in areas such as sales and R&D. Sendai's research capability in science and technology means a high potential for partnerships with Hong Kong biotechnology venture firms.
Given this backdrop, Ms Furuta expects closer bilateral trade relationships in the future, adding that both Hong Kong and Japan should benefit from air service agreements between the two locations.
Established in 1966, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (TDC) 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 TDC promotes Hong Kong as a platform for doing business with China and Asia. The TDC 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, visit www.tdctrade.com
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