27 September 2016 – The United Kingdom and Hong Kong should work together to seize business opportunities in the current fast-changing economic environment, according to speakers at this year’s Hong Kong Dinner in London hosted yesterday (26 September) by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC).
Carrie Lam, Chief Secretary for Administration of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government, was the guest of honour at the dinner, which welcomed some 450 business leaders from the UK and Hong Kong. It was the first such event hosted by the HKTDC since the Brexit referendum vote in June.
In his opening remarks Vincent HS Lo, chairman of the HKTDC, urged UK companies to deepen their engagement in Asia using the Hong Kong platform. “I think that because the process of Brexit will take some time to complete, now is the time for you to look for new opportunities and markets, it is time to look further and deeper into Asia and China,” he said.
Mr Lo also highlighted the potential benefits arising from the Belt and Road Initiative announced by China’s President Xi Jinping in 2013. “Given the strong business and cultural links between Hong Kong and the UK, and our roles as leading global financial centres, I see huge potential in us working together for a first-mover advantage in the Belt and Road Initiative. We can package large cross-border projects into commercially viable ventures, plan and advise on infrastructure projects and provide international expertise,” said Mr Lo.
Guests at the dinner included HE Dame Barbara Woodward, British Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China; Lord Paul of Marylebone, Chairman of Caparo Group Ltd; Sir David Tang, Chairman of DWC Tang Development Ltd; Sir Henry Keswick, Chairman of Jardine Matheson Holdings Ltd; Lady Keswick, Deputy Chairman, Centre for Policy Studies; Lady Judge, Chairman, Institute of Directors; Lord Wilson of Tillyorn, former Governor of Hong Kong; Lord Powell of Bayswater; Councillor Steve Summers, Lord Mayor of Westminster; Barnaby Swire, Chairman, Swire Group; Merlin Swire, Chief Executive, Swire Group; Gregory Hodkinson, Group Chairman, Arup Ltd; Graham Cartledge, Chairman, Benoy; Keith Howells, Chairman, Mott MacDonald; Christian Salbaing, Deputy Chairman, Hutchison Whampoa Europe; and internationally renowned sculptor Sir Antony Gormley.
This year is the 33nd annual Hong Kong dinner in London, which celebrates the long and close relationship between Hong Kong and the UK and promotes bilateral trade ties between the two economies.
About the HKTDC
The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. The 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. For more information, please visit: www.hktdc.com/aboutus