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Visa and HKTDC Enhance Services to Support SMEs and Hong Kong MICE Industry
Visa Commercial Directory smartphone app provides flexibility to procure supplies on the go


Visa and the HKTDC have signed a new agreement to enhance their collaboration and bring benefits to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) during the busy trade show season


Clare Wong, Assistant Executive Director, HKTDC


Corbin Sun, Acting Country Manager of Visa Hong Kong and Macau 


Philip Lim, Head of Commercial Solutions, Greater China, Visa

27 October 2011 – Visa and Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) have signed a new 12-month agreement to further enhance their collaboration and bring benefits to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) during the busy trade show season.

The first fruit of the enhanced collaboration is a new Visa Commercial Directory smartphone payment application for SMEs released by Visa at the HKTDC Hong Kong International Lighting Fair, which allows SME Visa cardholders to conveniently purchase goods and services from more than 2,900 Hong Kong-based suppliers while on the move. 

Visa and HKTDC have worked together since 2008 to offer 280,000 SMEs[1] in Hong Kong integrated marketing services and efficient electronic payment solutions to help businesses build their visibility and connect with customers at trade fairs. Together, these services have helped local businesses grow, and supported Hong Kong as a key regional hub and one of the top choices for MICE (meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions) events. 

As one of the world's major trade fair organisers, the HKTDC holds more than 30 international trade fairs annually in Hong Kong. Ten of these are the biggest of their kind in Asia, and three are the largest in the world. 

The HKTDC fairs welcomed 657,000 buyers in 2010/11, an increase of eight per cent over the previous year, while some 31,000 exhibitors took part in HKTDC fairs, up nearly seven per cent over the previous year.   

Hong Kong Tourism Board figures show overnight MICE arrivals in 2010 leapt 22.8 percent year-on-year to 1,429,941[2]. Over the first six months of this year, overnight MICE arrivals increased 10.3 percent to 725,799[3]

“Along with our world class exhibition facilities, the availability of tools and services that make it easier for both local companies and international visitors to do business contributes significantly to our growing trade show attendance figures and building Hong Kong’s competitiveness as a hub for the MICE industry,” said Clare Wong, Assistant Executive Director of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council.  

“Amidst the current global economic challenges, buyers from mature markets are increasingly looking for suppliers with greater flexibility in terms of accepting smaller quantity orders and flexible payment terms,” said Ms Wong. 

Corbin Sun, Acting Country Manager, Hong Kong and Macau, Visa, said: “Both international and local executives will value the Visa Commercial Directory app as a simple palm-top solution that enables them to find the right suppliers in Hong Kong and buy the goods they need while on the move, especially at trade shows where they have to operate without back-office support. The app resolves the hassles of using wire transfers or cheques, since all that’s needed for the payment to be made instantly is the Visa card number.” 

The new Directory app’s utility has already been recognized by the Hong Kong Wireless Technology Industry Association, which has awarded it the Certificate of Merit for the Finance industry category at their recent Marketing Smartphones Apps Industry Excellence Awards in August. 

Available from the iTunes App Store and Android Market to Visa cardholders around the world, the Visa Commercial Directory app is the mobile-friendly version of the Visa Commercial Directory, a popular one-stop procurement solution for SMEs available online at www.visacommercial.com.hk

Like the online edition, the Visa Commercial Directory app contains a searchable database of thousands of Hong Kong-based business-to-business merchants that accept Visa cards, allowing SME Visa cardholders to make payments conveniently and for suppliers to receive payments promptly. Also listed on the Directory are supplier discounts and offers, as well as bonus points and cash rebates offered by participating banks, which help improve cardholders’ purchasing power. 

The Visa Commercial Directory includes merchant partners across six industry sectors[4]:

  1. Business Services
  2. Business Travel
  3. Dining
  4. Manufacturing, Trading, Wholesale and Retail
  5. Meeting, Incentive, Convention and Exhibition (MICE)
  6. Office Maintenance and Supply 

The directory is backed by Visa Commercial Solutions, a portfolio of products and tools that give SMEs the ability to simplify their financial management, manage their cash flow and business operations more efficiently, as well as improve their business networking and new business opportunities.  

[1] Support to Small and Medium Sized Enterprises. Trade and Industry Department, The Government of the Hong Kong SAR. July 2010. http://www.tid.gov.hk/english/smes_industry/smes/smes_content.html

[2] Hong Kong Tourism Board, February 2011.

[3] Meetings and Exhibitions Hong Kong, Hong Kong Tourism Board, July 2011.

[4] The merchants listed on the Visa Commercial Directory accept all Visa cards.  Special discounts and offers listed on the Directory apply only to Hong Kong and selected Greater China Visa Commercial cards.  Terms and conditions apply.

Media Contacts
Ketchum Hong Kong
Portia Cheuk
Tel: +852 3141 8080
Email: portia.cheuk@knprhk.com

Ketchum Hong Kong
Stephanie Kong
Tel: +852 3141 8063
Email: stephanie.kong@knprhk.com

HKTDC's Corporate Communication Department 
Joe Kainz
Tel: (852) 2584 4216
Email: joe.kainz@hktdc.org

About Visa Inc.
Visa is a global payments technology company that connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions and governments in more than 200 countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable digital currency. Underpinning digital currency is one of the world’s most advanced processing networks—VisaNet—that is capable of handling more than 20,000 transaction messages a second, with fraud protection for consumers and guaranteed payment for merchants. Visa is not a bank, and does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers. Visa’s innovations, however, enable its financial institution customers to offer consumers more choices: Pay now with debit, ahead of time with prepaid or later with credit products. For more information, visit www.corporate.visa.com.

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 

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