- Focus on finance, technology and sustainability
A delegation of business leaders from the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), led by the city’s Chief Executive and principal officials and organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), is in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) this week to strengthen existing business ties and develop new areas of collaboration in technology, sustainability and smart city development, in addition to traditional sectors of finance and trade.
With Hong Kong’s unrivalled access to China and Asia and the UAE’s role as a gateway to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and European markets, the relationship between the two commercial centres is already providing important benefits to a range of businesses.
The arrival of the high-level business delegation, which comprises senior executives from Hong Kong’s financial institutions, financial regulators as well as major players in innovation and technology (I&T), sustainability and smart city solutions, will help accelerate the commercial ties between the HKSAR and the Emirates, and support the strategic development of the UAE, Hong Kong and mainland China.
The important strategic relationships, which exist between China and the UAE, are based on a shared backing for liberal trade policies, investment in cutting-edge technology, low tax regimes and backing for pro-business regulation.
A press conference was held on 8 February in Dubai, followed by a business forum and dinner in the presence of H.E. Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, H.E. Mr Abdul-Aziz Abdulla Al Ghurair, Chairman of Dubai Chambers and H.E. Sultan Bin Sulayem, Chairman of Dubai International Chambers.
Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Mr John Lee said: “The UAE is Hong Kong’s largest trading partner in the Middle East region. We treasure this long-standing relationship, and I believe that we can now take it to a higher level. That’s why I’m here, together with these business leaders from Hong Kong – some 30 strong – to tell you that our business and investment doors are wide open and welcoming for UAE companies and investors. For a world of opportunities.”
“The commercial and political ties between Hong Kong and the UAE are growing ever stronger. It is clear we both approach business in the same way, backing innovation, investing in technology and looking for sustainable solutions. This business mission to the UAE shows the depth of existing commercial relationships and the potential to do a lot more.”
In response, H.E. Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al-Zeyoudi stressed the strength and durability of the strategic relations between the United Arab Emirates and the People’s Republic of China, which are witnessing continuous development, especially in the areas of economics and trade. The forward-looking and visionary leadership of the two countries is building a strong partnership, opening up new opportunities and broadening bilateral economic cooperation.
His Excellency added: “Strengthening investment and trade partnerships with Hong Kong supports the strategic cooperation between the UAE and China and contributes to opening new business fields, stimulating communication between the Emirati-Chinese business communities, especially in light of new economic opportunities”.
His Excellency continued: “The value of foreign trade between the UAE and Hong Kong amounted to about AED32 billion (US$8.7 billion) during the first 9 months of 2022, achieving a growth of 36% compared to the same period in 2021, while Hong Kong was among the top 10 trading partners for the UAE during 2021, with a contribution of more than 2% of the UAE’s total non-oil trade.”
His Excellency indicated that the forum represents an important step in supporting increased trade and enhancing prospects for bilateral cooperation in a wide range of sectors, especially shipping, logistics, the service sector and air transport. It maximises benefits for Emirati companies and their counterparts in Hong Kong.
HKTDC Chairman Dr Peter K N Lam mentioned in his opening remarks that “Dubai and Hong Kong are natural partners, when it comes to creating business opportunities. The signing of three MoUs* at our event tonight shows the tremendous potential for deeper collaboration. Creating business opportunities has been the work of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council for over 55 years, and I am pleased to be part of these exciting times.”
Representing the business community in Dubai, H.E. Abdul-Aziz Abdulla Al Ghurair, Chairman of Dubai Chambers, commented: “I am proud to say that the UAE is the largest trading partner for Hong Kong in the Middle East. Non-oil trade between the UAE and Hong Kong reached AED22.2 billion in the first half of 2022, registering 16.2% growth compared to the first half of 2021. With the presence of our new international office in Hong Kong, I look forward to seeing continued collaboration with our Hong Kong counterparts and seeing the relationship between our countries thrive and prosper even more.”
In the trade delegation, Chief Executive Mr Lee is joined by three principal officials: Deputy Secretary of Justice Mr Horace Cheung, Secretary for Financial Services and Treasury Mr Christopher Hui and Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Mr Algernon Yau.
Other business leaders from Hong Kong and the Emirates also exchanged views at a panel discussion yesterday. Chaired by Mr Yau, panel speakers included Mr Nicolas Aguzin, Chief Executive Officer of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd, Dr Sunny Chai, Chairman of the Federation of Hong Kong Industries and Chairman of the Hong Kong Science & Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP), Mr Horace Cheung, and H.E. Hussain Al Mahmoudi, Chief Executive Officer of Sharjah Research Technology & Innovation Park (SRTIP) and H.E. Faisal Juma Khalfan Belhoul, Vice Chairman of Dubai International Chamber.
* 3 MOUs have been signed between:
– HKTDC and Dubai Chamber
– Ho & Partners Architects, Negawatt, Masdar City, and The Catalyst
– HKSTP and Sharjah Research Technology & Innovation Park
Hong Kong: Ready for business
As a two-way platform between China and the world and as one of the world’s top financial centres, Hong Kong has been supporting businesses and investors worldwide to tap into the vast China and Asia market as well as playing a major role in the global financial system with special connectivity to the China market.
As part of China, but operating under an international system, Hong Kong provides special access to and from the mainland in the flow of capital, goods, technology and people, as defined in the country’s national 14th Five-Year Plan. Hong Kong is also a commercial hub for the Belt and Road Initiative, a global development plan initiated by China, and part of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) – an area in Southern China earmarked by the Chinese government as a powerhouse of capital, I&T and cultural exchange driving the country’s development.
With the city’s common law system, low tax regime, advanced infrastructure and connectivity and a long history as an international trade and business hub, Hong Kong is well-placed to support businesses from all over the world to invest and grow.
Recently, the HKSAR Chief Executive announced in his Policy Address 2022 the wide array of incentives and measures to attract international strategic enterprises and investments to Hong Kong, particularly in areas such as life sciences, health technology, artificial intelligence and data science, financial technology, advanced manufacturing and new energy technology.
Find out more about Hong Kong:
– Hong Kong: general facts https://tinyurl.com/Asias-world-city
– Hong Kong as a global financial centre https://tinyurl.com/Financial-Centre
– Hong Kong’s tech and innovation https://tinyurl.com/Tech-Innovation
– Hong Kong as the commercial hub for the Belt and Road Initiative https://tinyurl.com/Belt-and-Road
– Hong Kong as part of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area https://tinyurl.com/Greater-Bay-Area
– Photo Download: https://bit.ly/40LxYMu
The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is a statutory body established in 1966 to promote, assist and develop Hong Kong’s trade. With 50 offices globally, including 13 in Mainland China, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a two-way global investment and business hub. The HKTDC organises international exhibitions, conferences and business missions to create business opportunities for companies, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), in the mainland and international markets. The HKTDC also provides up-to-date market insights and product information via research reports and digital news channels. For more information, please visit: www.hktdc.com/aboutus. Follow us on Twitter @hktdc and LinkedIn.
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