HONG KONG – Feb 11, 2016 – Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region CY Leung and Minister of Industries, Ports, Employment & Self Employment, Government of Maharashtra, Subhash Desai, were the guests of honour at a business luncheon hosted by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) in Mumbai, India today (3 Feb). The luncheon is a highlight event of the ongoing Hong Kong business mission to India, which includes a delegation of 40 businesspeople representing the city’s leading industries, such as financial services, professional services, logistics, shipping, telecommunications, construction and engineering.
Among the delegation members are John Slosar, Chairman, Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd, Laura Cha, Chairman of Hong Kong’s Financial Services Development Council, Yue Yi, Vice Chairman and Chief Executive, Bank of China (Hong Kong) Ltd, Ivy Cheung, President, Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and Lau Ping-cheung, Chairman, Hong Kong Coalition of Professional Services. The delegation members are in India to explore business and investment partnership opportunities and to foster closer bilateral ties between Hong Kong and India.
Speaking at the luncheon, attended by more than 120 guests, Mr Leung highlighted Hong Kong’s advantages under the “one country, two systems” formula, adding that Hong Kong is the ideal gateway to markets in the Chinese mainland. “In short, Hong Kong is the global economy’s undisputed super-connector, bringing together the rest of China and the rest of the world, and that definitely includes India,” said Mr Leung.
Minister Desai also highlighted the importance of bilateral cooperation to create business opportunities. “I invite you all, from both Hong Kong and India, to join hands with my government, see what we have to offer, and together we can take our common path forward,” he said.
Margaret Fong, Executive Director of the HKTDC, said the Council had a proven track record in helping Indian businesses expand into new markets using the Hong Kong platform, including more than 30 major international trade fairs and conferences in Hong Kong organised by the HKTDC each year.
Key sectors spotlighted
Immediately before the luncheon in Mumbai, Laura Cha (financial services), Chairman of Hong Kong’s Financial Services Development Council, Joseph Phi (logistics services), Chairman of GS1 Hong Kong Limited and Ian Chung (infrastructural development services), Chairman of The Association of Consulting Engineers of Hong Kong gave presentations to the Indian business community.
A key theme of the presentations was exploring new opportunities emerging for stronger business links between India and Hong Kong, and Hong Kong’s role as a bridge connecting India to the Chinese mainland market, especially in light of the Belt and Road Initiative spearheaded by the Chinese government.
The Belt and Road Initiative aims to connect Asia and Europe via the Middle East and Africa by a series of transport and infrastructure developments to facilitate trade and cross-border connectivity. By improving infrastructure and facilities in Central Asia and Eastern Europe, South Asia and Southeast Asia, and the Middle East, the Belt and Road Initiative will boost financial integration, trade and cultural bonds. India, being a key country along the Belt and Road, can play a crucial role in linking markets together.
On a mission to build ties
Since arriving in India this week, the Hong Kong delegation has attended briefings from leading Indian conglomerates including the Mahindra Group and the Tata Group and visited the Bharat Diamond Bourse and The Capital Building. Earlier today, Chief Executive Mr Leung was given the honour of taking part in the Bell Ringing Ceremony of the BSE. Later today, the delegation will travel to Delhi to continue the business mission in India’s capital city. The HKTDC will also host a business dinner in Delhi tomorrow evening as a concluding event of the business mission to India.
Long and strong business links
Hong Kong and India enjoy close and strong bilateral ties formed over more than 150 years of business and cultural links. In 2015, India was Hong Kong’s fourth-largest export market with total exports to India expanding 8.1 per cent year-on-year to US$13.1 billion. Major export items included telecom equipment & parts (US$5.1 billion, 39.3% share) and pearls, precious & semi-precious stones (US$4.7 billion, 36.3%). On the other hand, India was Hong Kong’s ninth-largest source of imports in 2015, amounting to US$10.6 billion. India is Hong Kong’s seventh-largest trading partner globally with bilateral trade of US$23.7 billion last year.
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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 services providers. With more than 40 offices globally, including 13 on the Chinese mainland, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a platform for doing business with China and throughout Asia. The HKTDC also organises international exhibitions, conferences and business missions to provide companies, particularly SMEs, with business opportunities on the mainland and in overseas markets, while providing information via trade publications, research reports and digital channels including the media room.
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