Fresh opportunities for financial, logistics and Infrastructure sectors
18 September 2016 – Financial Secretary of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government, John Tsang and Deputy City Mayor of Almaty, Yerlan Aukenov met at the Hong Kong Business Luncheon on 16 September in Almaty to promote closer economic ties between Hong Kong and Kazakhstan, in light of the potential opportunities from the Belt and Road Initiative. Attended by 250 members of Almaty’s business community, the event was the second stop, after the capital Astana, for Hong Kong’s first high-level official delegation to the country, organised by the HKSAR Government and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC).
Leaders in Hong Kong’s finance, logistics and infrastructure sectors such as Octopus Holdings Limited, PCCW Global Limited, as well as organisations such the Financial Services Development Council, Hong Kong Monetary Authority, and Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Limited formed the 30-plus strong delegation.
Hong Kong is an international gateway to and from the Chinese mainland for finance, logistics and trading. The delegation visited Kazakhstan’s key financial, logistics and infrastructural facilities and met leading local companies to explore business and investment partnership opportunities between Hong Kong and Kazakhstan, including DAMU Logistics, Halyk Bank, the National Bank of Kazakhstan and the KASE Stock Exchange.
The Hong Kong Advantage: turnkey solutions
Kazakhstan, being a key hub in Central Asia, can play a crucial role in linking markets along the routes covered by the Belt and Road Initiative and, in turn, accelerate its own development programme. To support this growth, Hong Kong offers an ideal platform to provide turnkey solutions in international financing, logistics and infrastructure services.
Addressing Almaty business leaders at a luncheon, Mr Tsang highlighted that both places share a promising future under the Belt and Road Initiative. He said that there is a clear synergy and benefits for both places to enhance cooperation in finance, trade as well as logistics, to achieve more under the Initiative. He suggested that Kazakh companies make good use of Hong Kong’s unique strengths to expand their business and venture further into the vast Chinese mainland and global markets.
HKTDC is ready to help
Also speaking at the luncheon were Mr Aukenov and HKTDC Assistant Executive Director Stephen Liang.
Commenting on the mission, Mr Liang said, “This was a rewarding mission. As the Belt and Road Initiative, which was first announced by President Xi Jinping here in Kazakhstan in 2013, opens up more opportunities, we look forward to bringing the business communities of Hong Kong and Kazakhstan closer together.”
A highlight of this trip was a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between the HKTDC and Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC) on 14 September. Under the agreement, the HKTDC will further promote investment projects in Kazakhstan through its Belt and Road Portal (www.beltandroad.hk). Both organisations will also mutually support delegations visiting Hong Kong and Kazakhstan. In addition, the Hong Kong Securities Association also entered into a MOU with AIFC, aimed at establishing a platform for long term communication and organising activities to stimulate projects for mutual interest and benefit of both parties.
He added that there are many opportunities for closer ties between Hong Kong and Kazakhstan. “After all, both places have borders with the Chinese mainland, and both have strategic locations along the Belt and Road – Kazakhstan as a link between China and Europe, and Hong Kong as a gateway to Southeast Asia and beyond.” He said the HKTDC stands ready to support companies from Kazakhstan and around the world to access the Belt and Road opportunities through Hong Kong with its wide range of services including legal, financial, logistics, infrastructure and real estate services.
In June 2013, an MOU was signed between the HKTDC and the National Export & Investment Agency (KAZNEX Invest) to enhance bilateral trade and foster closer business ties between Hong Kong and Kazakhstan. Since then, the HKTDC has organised four business missions, leading more than 70 delegates to Kazakhstan and arranged more than 500 business matching meetings.
In the past two years, more than 700 trade buyers form Central Asia, most of them from Kazakhstan, visited the HKTDC’s trade fairs to source quality products.
As well as the business luncheon in Almaty, the HKTDC also hosted a luncheon in Astana on Wednesday (14 September) which attracted more than 200 business and government leaders. During the Astana leg of the visit, the delegation attended briefings from KAZNEX Invest and Astana Innovation. They also visited KTZ Express and Astana International Financial Centre.
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