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HKTDC unveils plans to drive new business opportunities

The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) unveiled highlights of its activities for the new financial year 2019/20 which leverages opportunities arising from the Guangdong - Hong Kong - Macao Greater Bay Area (Greater Bay Area), the Belt and Road Initiative and the global drive towards technology and innovation. The Council will also help Hong Kong companies navigate the challenges faced by businesses by identifying new export and sourcing markets, new sectors with clear growth potential, and ways to access different markets.

"Businesses are facing a number of challenges, including uncertainties in global trade. Meanwhile, a decline in productivity and demand, coupled with a rise in protectionism, is also hampering economic development. Against this backdrop, the Belt and Road Initiative and Greater Bay Area will provide growth opportunities for Hong Kong and international businesses," said HKTDC Chairman Vincent HS Lo.

Mr Lo said the Greater Bay Area reinforces Hong Kong's advantages in areas including finance, trade, innovation and technology, adding that the city can play an important role in international asset management, risk management and technology commercialisation.

Finding opportunities from the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area

The HKTDC has already signed memorandums of understanding (MOUs) with the 10 other Greater Bay Area cities, and will further cooperate with the Guangdong provincial government to organise overseas missions to "go out" and explore investment opportunities in both mature and emerging markets, including countries along the Belt and Road. A mission to Georgia and Hungary, and another to France, Germany and Israel, are scheduled.



The HKTDC will also promote Hong Kong's edge in connecting the Greater Bay Area with global business communities, as well as exploring the potential of the consumer market and technology sector in the region. The Council will feature the Greater Bay Area in its flagship events including "Think Asia, Think Hong Kong" in Los Angeles (19-20 Sept 2019) and "In Style, Hong Kong in Manila" (March 2020), encouraging overseas companies to leverage Hong Kong's advantages to expand into the Greater Bay Area and beyond. Other major initiatives by the HKTDC include:

- Organising the SmartHK event in Guangzhou to promote Hong Kong's financial services, professional services and innovative technologies, incorporating Industry 4.0, advanced manufacturing technologies, automation and robotics as new elements. The HKTDC will also cooperate with Cyberport and the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation to encourage Hong Kong tech start-ups to exhibit in the event, helping them to raise funds, attract partners and facilitate business connections;

- Mounting the Building for the Future event in Guangzhou, with urbanisation as a theme to showcase Hong Kong's capabilities and expertise in infrastructure development;

- Expanding the HKTDC's Hong Kong brand promotion platform, Design Gallery, in the Greater Bay Area and staging a Hong Kong consumer promotion in Guangzhou;

- Organising business missions to Greater Bay Area cities covering a wide range of industries to help Hong Kong businesses expand market opportunities.

Supporting start-ups

With technological advancement, another key focus in the Greater Bay Area is to nurture start-ups and a new generation of entrepreneurs. The HKTDC currently offers start-up zones at eight of its local events to showcase Hong Kong innovation and creativity to global buyers, helping start-ups attract new investors and markets. A total of 412 start-ups exhibited in the start-up zones of various HKTDC trade fairs and conferences last year, representing 30% growth over 2017.

In the coming year, HKTDC will set up start-up zones at more large scale-events, enhancing the scale and internationality of the zones by recruiting more start-ups, including those from the Greater Bay Area. The Council will organise networking and business-matching activities for Hong Kong start-ups with their counterparts in the Greater Bay Area at the Entrepreneur Day and SmartBiz Expo events. It will also organise the second "IPHatch Hong Kong", an open-innovation competition encouraging start-ups to make use of their existing intellectual properties to develop new products and services.

Continuing to promote Hong Kong as the Belt and Road's commercial hub

Mr Lo also said 2018 was a fruitful year in promoting the Belt and Road, with many Hong Kong companies finding new business in green construction, smart city development, power generation, real estate, marketing services and more. The HKTDC Belt and Road Committee and its six working groups organised various activities.

"Looking forward, we will continue to encourage wider participation in the Belt and Road through the Belt and Road Global Forum and the six working groups. In particular, we will enhance our business-matching services to help more companies leverage the Hong Kong platform and professional services, and help to raise funds for projects via multiple channels," said Mr Lo.

In addition, the HKTDC will launch a "Belt and Road Week" with an extended Belt and Road Summit (11-12 Sept 2019) as the anchor Belt and Road event with enhanced cultural elements. It will also enrich its Belt and Road Portal with "SME Corner" and "Professional Toolkit" sections, offering more practical information and an expanded resource that will highlight Hong Kong's advantages, including its professional services, to reinforce the city's role as an international commercial hub for the Belt and Road. The Council will also organise missions to ASEAN, the Middle East, Africa and Eastern Europe.

Developing new markets

The HKTDC has various strategies to help local companies tackle challenges arising from the changing trade landscape. The Council will lead Hong Kong companies to participate in large-scale exhibitions outside the United States, including Japan, Germany and Spain, to promote Hong Kong brands, products and services. It will also set up a "Hong Kong Pavilion" in major trade fairs in Mainland China and overseas markets, providing enhanced business-matching services to help Hong Kong traders find new partners and access new markets. The HKTDC is also stepping up publicity in emerging markets, including organising its "In Style, Hong Kong" and "Lifestyle Expo" events in Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries. It will also organise business missions to Kenya and Mexico to expand companies' networks, and partner with multipliers such as the Hong Kong Productivity Council and Hong Kong Federation of Industries to organise sector-specific manufacturing partnership and investment missions to explore alternative manufacturing locations in ASEAN.

In the past year, the Council set up a new feature webpage to introduce changes in the United States trade policy and details support measures offered by the HKSAR Government. The Council also organised several seminars to provide practical tips and the enhanced services for the SMEs, attracting 1,000 local companies to take part.

About HKTDC

Established in 1966, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is a statutory body dedicated to creating opportunities for Hong Kong's businesses. With 50 offices globally, including 13 on the Chinese mainland, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a platform for doing business with China, Asia and the world. With more than 50 years of experience, the HKTDC organises international exhibitions, conferences and business missions to provide companies, particularly SMEs, with business opportunities on the mainland and in international markets, while providing business insights and information via trade publications, research reports and digital channels including the media room. For more information, please visit:www.hktdc.com/aboutus. Follow us on Google+, Twitter@hktdc, LinkedIn.

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