The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) Chairman and Executive Director together with the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) recently introduced measures to support local businesses, especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), to tackle challenges resulting from current economic uncertainties and the Sino-US trade conflict.
It was noted that there will be long drawn-out trade technology rivalry and continued trade conflicts between the United States and Mainland China, creating a fundamental change in the global economic order in terms of production and trade patterns. Hong Kong businesses must be prepared to make changes.
The further opening up in the mainland, Asia and other emerging economies will provide fresh opportunities for Hong Kong companies.
The HKTDC has been supporting the development of local SMEs for more than 50 years. It will utilise its international network of 50 offices to comprehensively assist Hong Kong businesses to diversify and find new opportunities amid the challenges.
Seizing new opportunities for HK SMEs
The HKTDC’s priority in the coming year is to help Hong Kong businesses explore new markets and seek out new manufacturing investment partnerships and different supply chain models that can enhance their capabilities and competitiveness.
The Council will adopt a multifaceted strategy to equip local companies to capture opportunities arising from the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and Belt and Road countries.
The HKTDC will:
- Step up its provision of market intelligence to help SMEs make informed decisions – the HKTDC organises free seminars and training workshops for Hong Kong businesses, and provides essential information such as trade updates, market studies and funding schemes;
- Help Hong Kong manufacturers explore sourcing and production options, such as alternative supply chains and developing production lines in industrial parks in Belt and Road countries;
- Support Hong Kong companies to tap into new markets and expand existing markets around the world, and to use the Greater Bay Area as an entry point to further penetrate the mainland domestic market and access a vast market of almost 70 million people;
- Raise the profile of Hong Kong products and brands at leading international trade events in developed markets;
- Enhance the internationality of HKTDC fairs and sourcing platforms by stepping up the recruitment of global buyers to take part in trade fairs in Hong Kong.
Promoting opportunities through global flagship events
The HKTDC will continue to promote Hong Kong’s advantages in connecting the Greater Bay Area with global business communities, as well as exploring the potential of the region’s consumer market and technology sector.
The Council will feature the Greater Bay Area in its flagship events including “Think Asia, Think Hong Kong” in Los Angeles in the US (20 September 2019) and “In Style • Hong Kong” in Manila, the Philippines (5-6 March 2020), encouraging overseas companies to leverage Hong Kong’s advantages to expand into the Greater Bay Area and beyond.
Other major initiatives include:
- The SmartHK event in Guangzhou on 27 August 2019 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 at the event, helping them to raise funds, attract partners and facilitate business connections;
- The mega consumer promotion ChicHK, to be held in Guangzhou from 9-13 January 2020, will promote Hong Kong designers and branded products;
- The retail network of the Design Gallery will continue to be expanded in the Greater Bay Area. Currently, there are a total of 19 outlets in Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Foshan, Jiangmen, Zhaoqing and Zhuhai;
- Organising business missions to Greater Bay Area cities, covering a wide range of industries, to help Hong Kong businesses explore new market opportunities.
The Outline Development Plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area highlights Hong Kong’s role in developing a high-end convention and exhibition business.
To consolidate the city’s competitive edge in this area, the HKTDC will further internationalise its trade fairs by recruiting quality exhibitors, as well as global importers, buyers from department stores and chain stores, and e-tailers, to create new opportunities for Hong Kong businesses.
The HKTDC will also enrich the exhibition content and introduce new product zones to further elevate sourcing efficiency and enhance the overall attractiveness and competitiveness of the fairs.