14 Sept 2011
“Think Asia, Think Hong Kong” Draws 1,000 in London
“Go East, Young Person,” says UK Minister of Trade Lord Green
“Think Asia, Think Hong Kong” was the largest Hong Kong promotional campaign to take place in the United Kingdom. Organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), the event featured more than 50 Hong Kong partners and British organisations. High-level speakers included Donald Tsang, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong SAR Government, Lord Sassoon, British Commercial Secretary to the Treasury, and Lord Green, British Minister of State for Trade and Investment.
“Hong Kong’s strengths as a trading partner are clear,” Lord Green told the standing-room only audience. “There used to be the saying, ‘Go West, young man.’ Now it is ‘Go East, young person.’” (An HKTDC webcast report, “Calling on London: Think Asia, Think Hong Kong,” is available at: http://youtu.be/yL_GroU2Rj8.)
Other high-profile speakers participating in the symposium included Douglas Flint, Group Chairman of HSBC Holdings, Dr Victor Fung, Group Chairman of the Li & Fung Group, Michael Miles, Chairman of Schroders plc, Anthony Nightingale, Managing Director of the Jardine Matheson Group, and Levin Zhu, President of China International Capital Corporation Ltd.
Mr Flint said that Hong Kong “is in an enviable position of being highly developed and highly sophisticated,” adding that the city is key to HSBC’s future growth. Lord Sassoon cited Hong Kong’s free-flowing economy as a fundamental attraction: “Hong Kong’s strengths as a trading partner are apparent; for the 17th straight year the Heritage Foundation named it the world’s freest economy,” he said. (Mr Flint, Dr Fung and others spotlight Hong Kong’s strengths in the HKTDC video, “Think Asia, Think Hong Kong,” available at: http://youtu.be/gJgmvw7W-r4.)
“Natural Second Home”
HKTDC Chairman Jack So said the Hong Kong contingent was very pleased with the strong response to the symposium. “As the global economy shifts to Asia, Hong Kong, with its central location and free-market economy, offers the best business opportunities in the region.” Hong Kong, he added, is the “natural second home for British companies seeking a gateway to the mainland market, given our close ties with the UK and deepening economic integration with the mainland.”
Hong Kong-based Trade Commissioner of UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) Stephen Cartwright said that the large turnout for the symposium represented a “tipping point” for UK businesses contemplating opportunities in Asia. “The numbers tell the story,” said Mr Cartwright. That more than 1,000 people attended an event centred on Hong Kong “is simply brilliant.”
The day-long event featured a morning symposium followed by a variety of thematic sessions focused on eight areas: logistics, technology, accountancy, consulting, financing, design, legal services and infrastructure development. In all more than 60 speakers showcased Hong Kong’s role as Asia’s services centre.
In the evening, HKTDC Chairman Jack So hosted the 28th Hong Kong Dinner in London, at the London Hilton on Park Lane Hotel. More than 550 guests attended the signature event, which brings together political and business leaders from Hong Kong and the UK. Dr Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, and President of the Board of Trade of the UK, was the UK guest of honour. Mr Tsang attended as the Hong Kong guest of honour.
Technology, Film and More
Think Asia, Think Hong Kong events are also scheduled in Leeds and Cambridge, and InvestHK will hold a promotion in Edinburgh. The HKTDC is also organising Hong Kong Film Week in London, 12-16 September, and will send a technology mission to London, Cambridge and Stockholm, Sweden, later this year. The Hong Kong Tourism Board is hosting a street carnival and a food-and-wine promotion as part of its “Hong Kong‧Live in London!” festival, 12-25 September.
“We believe this large-scale campaign will work effectively to promote Hong Kong’s services industry,” said Mr So. “And we will continue to organise similar events in mature markets, where entrepreneurs are eagerly looking to tap into Asia.”
Please contact the HKTDC's Corporate Communication Department:
Victor George Paddy
Tel: (852) 2584 4517
About the HKTDC
A statutory body 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 global offices, including 11 on the Chinese mainland, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a platform for doing business with China and throughout Asia. The HKTDC also organises trade fairs and business missions to connect companies with opportunities in Hong Kong and on the mainland, while providing information via trade publications, research reports and online. For more information, please visit: www.hktdc.com
The 18 Hong Kong Partners
The British Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong, CreateHK, the Hong Kong Government’s Development Bureau, Hong Kong Design Centre, Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, London, Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited, Hong Kong Film Development Council, Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre, Hong Kong Logistics Development Council, Hong Kong Maritime Industry Council, Hong Kong Monetary Authority, Hong Kong Port Development Council, Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation, Hong Kong Tourism Board, Information Services Department, The Innovation and Technology Commission, InvestHK and The Law Society of Hong Kong.
The 33 UK Supporting Organisations
The 48 Group Club, Asia House, The Bar Council of England and Wales, BioIndustry Association, British Chambers of Commerce, British Design Innovation, British Expertise, Cambridge Network, Chamber International, China-Britain Business Council, City of London Corporation, Confederation of British Industry, Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, Design Business Association, ecoConnect, Federation of Small Businesses, Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, Hong Kong Association, Hong Kong Institution of Engineers, UK Chapter, Hong Kong-UK Business Forum, The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, The Institute of Export, Institution of Civil Engineers, International Federation of Warehousing and Logistics Associations, The Law Society of England & Wales, London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, London Chamber of Commerce Chinese Business Association, One Nucleus, PSL, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, Scottish Council for Development & Industry, Transport Intelligence and UK Trade & Investment.