6 December 2011 – Exports from the United States to the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong should increase significantly in 2012, a senior Hong Kong trade official told 300 business and financial services professionals at a seminar in New York City, 2 December.
“We see growing demand for US products and services,” said Fred Lam, Executive Director of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), speaking at the seminar, “Hong Kong: America’s Bridge to Asian Growth.”
“For example, in the first 10 months of 2011, the Chinese mainland’s consumer goods imports grew 57 per cent, year-on-year. We believe this trend can only continue in the foreseeable future, given that domestic consumption and urbanisation are now two major priorities of the mainland’s Central Government.”
Mainland Technology Needs
Mr Lam also noted that the shifting of the mainland’s manufacturing industry from low-end processing to the higher end of the value chain will require a wide variety of technology. “Most of it will have to be imported,” he said. “This means opportunity for everyone, especially US companies.”
American companies’ goods and services are in high demand in Asia because of their innovation and quality, said Mr Lam. He added that US exports would be helped by the Pacific Bridge Initiative (PBI). A trade collaboration between the HKTDC and the US Department of Commerce, the PBI was created to help US companies boost their trade with the mainland and other Asian markets through Hong Kong. Over the past year, the PBI, said Mr Lam, has helped triple the number of export transactions done by new-to-market US firms in Hong Kong.
To view video highlights of PBI-related events over the past year, please visit: http://bit.ly/u1P33g.
American firms are also expanding their presence in Hong Kong. Some 1,330 US companies currently have regional headquarters and offices in Hong Kong, up five per cent over last year.
Listing in Hong Kong
Lawrence Fok, Chief Marketing Officer of the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd, focused on Hong Kong’s advantages as an International financial centre, highlighting a major new technology upgrade at the Exchange. The improvements, which took effect this week, will make the Hong Kong Exchange even more attractive to US companies considering listing there, according to Mr Fok. This month, American luxury label Coach became the first US company to be listed on the Hong Kong Exchange, through a secondary listing.
The Hong Kong Exchange, added Mr Fok, has agreed to enter into discussions with the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges, with a view to establishing a joint venture in Hong Kong. With these new developments, said Mr Fok, “our best days are ahead of us.”
Other seminar speakers included Professor A Michael Spence, the 2001 Nobel Laureate in Economics. Professor Spence, the William R Berkley Professor in Economics & Business, Stern School of Business, New York University, addressed “Challenges, Risks and Opportunities in China” in his keynote luncheon address.
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About the HKTDC
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 service providers. With more than 40 global offices, including 11 on the Chinese mainland, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a platform for doing business with China and throughout Asia. The HKTDC also organises trade fairs and business missions to connect companies with opportunities in Hong Kong and on the mainland, while providing information via trade publications, research reports and online. For more information, please visit: www.hktdc.com
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