23 May 2012
Advantage Hong Kong
More than 3,000 Japanese participated in “Think Global,
The Japanese business community got a first-hand introduction to the benefits of doing business in Hong Kong through a major promotional event staged in Japan last week. “Think Global, Think Hong Kong (TGTHK),” held in Tokyo and Osaka, 13-19 May, featured more than 130 Hong Kong government officials and business leaders from 15 sectors, who underscored Hong Kong’s strengths.
Tokyo and Osaka Symposiums
Organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), TGTHK’s two main events were high-profile symposiums in Tokyo and Osaka. More than 3,000 Japanese corporate leaders, government representatives, heads of small and medium-sized enterprises and services providers took part in the symposiums and a Hong Kong Dinner that followed the Tokyo symposium.
“Through the symposiums, we aim to foster even stronger ties between Hong Kong and Japan, highlighting how our city’s unique strengths can assist Japanese firms in spreading their wings to reach markets on the Chinese mainland, across Asia and all over the world,” said Hong Kong SAR Government Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Gregory So, who led the TGTHK delegation in Japan.
Japanese officials welcomed the Hong Kong initiative. “Osaka’s economy has been suffering for some 20 years now, so we hope that we can harness Hong Kong’s potential as a global economic centre,” said Osaka Prefecture Governor Ichiro Matsui, speaking at the Osaka symposium.
“Hong Kong and Osaka are two cities that very much resemble each other, but Hong Kong is really a much larger international financial centre. So we in Japan’s Kansai region would very much like to utilise Hong Kong’s strengths,” Mr Matsui added.
Doing Business in Asia
Hong Kong Secretary for
“We believe we are an excellent partner for Japanese business, from design and the creative industries to technology specialists, financial services and other companies interested in taking advantage of all that the mainland Chinese market has to offer,” said HKTDC Executive Director Fred Lam.
Breakout sessions included such topics as selling consumer brands, creating and distributing digital content, partnership opportunities in environmental and manufacturing technology, setting up business on the mainland’s Pearl River Delta, professional legal advice for doing business on the mainland, and opportunities from Hong Kong’s expanding renminbi business.
|The Hong Kong Dinner, held in Tokyo, 15 May, attracted nearly 700 business and political leaders from Japan and Hong kong|
Mitsuyoshi Yanagisawa, Japan’s Senior Vice Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, urged the Hong Kong business community to continue to partner with Japanese SMEs and “serve as their gateway to international markets”
With Hong Kong the largest offshore renminbi banking centre, Mr So noted that 187 banks, including 12 branches and subsidiaries of Japanese banks, participated in Hong Kong’s renminbi clearing platform. “Our efficient and reliable clearing platform provides an ideal opportunity for Japanese enterprises to settle trade transaction payments with their business partners in Mainland China using renminbi,” he said.
Partnering with Hong Kong
According to figures from the Hong Kong Census and Statistics Department, more Japanese companies are using Hong Kong to support their regional business operations. Some 1,150 Japanese companies have set up a business in Hong Kong, an increase of six per cent over last year. Among those, about 650 maintain regional operations in Hong Kong.
A recent survey by the Japan External Trade Organisation shows that more than 70 per cent of Japanese SMEs would like to boost their business overseas, with 50 per cent planning to expand exports within the next three years. Out of those, nearly 69 per cent are considering China as their destination. Japan’s outward foreign investment flow jumped significantly, to US$115.7 billion last year, double that of 2010.
During TGTHK, professional services providers from Hong Kong’s financial, corporate, accounting and legal sector offered free business consultations to participants throughout the events. Business-matching sessions were organised in Tokyo and Osaka, with about 250 Japanese companies taking part in Tokyo.
“Japanese SMEs would hope Hong Kong will continue to be their partner for globalisation and serve as their gateway to international markets,” said Mitsuyoshi Yanagisawa, Japan’s Senior Vice Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry.
The HKTDC’s Mr Lam emphasised the promise of partnership that the two economies can offer each other. “Whatever your product, service or business idea, partner with Hong Kong,” he said. “Together, we can create opportunity that rewards us all.”
Think Global, Think Hong Kong