Hong Kong signed five MoUs (memoranda of understanding) with Thailand, in a commitment to forging “greater economic ties between various creative, technological and development agencies” in both countries.
The MoUs were signed by Hong Kong’s Chief Executive and Thailand’s Deputy PM and, as they co-chaired the 1st Thailand-Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Summit, held at the Government House in Bangkok, Thailand.
The talks between the leaders were centred on joint cooperation between the two countries in the following areas:
- Trade and investment: Both parties agreed to push the trade value to exceed US$20 billion by 2020 and discussed the possibility of drawing up a Thailand-Hong Kong free trade agreement, as well as adjusting the terms of investment protection for the private sector to suit the current situation.
- Production base migration: Both parties agreed to promote cooperation among private sectors to exchange technologies, facilities and activities that enhance the efficiency of both Thai and Hong Kong entrepreneurs.
- Finance: Both parties will work together to establish a firm connection between each other’s stock and capital markets via innovative investment products, regulatory mapping and green investment.
- Innovative economy: It was noted that both Thai and Hong-Kong citizens have strong creative powers especially in cinema, advertising and design and that these need support from the government as well as adding value to create related products and services.
- Digital and tech start-ups: Both parties acknowledge the importance of creating innovative and technological ecosystems and agreed to use Hong Kong Cyberport and Innospace Thailand as starting platforms to promote start-up enterprises through cooperative research and knowledge sharing.
HKSTP and NSTDA expand tech cooperation
In addition, the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Thailand’s National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA) to expand trade and investment relations in high technology areas in Hong Kong and Thailand.
Through the collaboration between HKSTP and NSTDA, both parties will foster technology business partnerships, technology transfer, venture incubation and investment, as well as innovation ecosystem development.
For the next three years, they will co-organise activities such as the InnoExpress Programme, which helps promising technology companies in the fields of Agri-tech, Biotech, AI and Fintech better understand the innovation landscape and market in Hong Kong, Greater Bay Area and Thailand.
HKSTP and NSTDA plan to launch joint incubation programmes before the end of 2020. The first cohort of the joint incubation programme will incorporate five to ten companies from both sides. The two parties will also explore co-investment opportunities and help technology companies raise funds through upcoming investment roadshows.
Boosting collaboration with Thailand
The signing of these MoUs signifies a new chapter of cooperation which will see an expansion in trade and investment links, enhanced capital market cooperation and relocation of some of Hong Kong’s production base into Thailand.
Hong Kong’s Chief Executive believes Hong Kong and Thailand will open up ground-breaking co-operation in areas such as finance, creative industries and youth exchanges.
The new agreements cover a wide range of co-operation areas including trade and investment, enterprise partnerships, creative industries, financial services, technology start-ups and enterprises, and human resource development.
The aim is to serve the communities of both economies not just confined to the business community, but also the wider society. That is why the MoU covers human resources, capacity building and also education.
Hong Kong could take advantage of Thailand as a gateway to the economic hinterland of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam, while Thailand could take advantage of Hong Kong as a gateway to the Greater Bay Area within Mainland China.