“Think Global, Think Hong Kong” to Run in Tokyo on 1 November

Raymond Yip, Deputy Executive Director of HKTDC

The largest business promotion of Hong Kong in Japan, “Think Global, Think Hong Kong”, is returning to Tokyo after its successful debut in 2012. To be held on 1 November, the mega promotion is organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), a statutory body that creates opportunities for Hong Kong businesses and connects them with partners all around the world. Co-organisers include the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), the Organization for Small and Medium Enterprises and Regional Innovation Japan (SMRJ), KEIDANREN, the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI), the Tokyo Chamber of Commerce and Industry (TCCI) and Keizai Doyukai.

Raymond Yip, Deputy Executive Director of HKTDC, announced the event at a press conference in Tokyo today. Senior representatives from co-organisers and supporting organisations attended to show their support and share their insights on Japan-Hong Kong business collaboration. More than 2,500 business leaders and government officials from Japan and Hong Kong are expected to participate in “Think Global, Think Hong Kong” 2018, the key business programme of Hong Kong Week in Japan comprising a main symposium, seven thematic sessions, business matching sessions, networking events and a gala dinner.

High-level Business Symposium on Variety of Industries

With the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government attaching great importance to the “Think Global, Think Hong Kong” campaign, HKSAR Chief Executive Carrie Lam will give a keynote speech at the event’s opening session as a highlight of her first official visit to Japan in her current capacity. At the main symposium, renowned business leaders from Hong Kong and Japan will examine Hong Kong’s advantages as an international business hub and how Japanese companies can use Hong Kong as a springboard to expand into overseas markets.

At the thematic sessions, experts and elites from different sectors will address a variety of topics including finance and investment, opportunities in the Chinese mainland and Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) markets, technology and living, smart city, healthy ageing, design and creative industries, as well as legal risk management in deal making. All these are possible areas for further Japan-Hong Kong collaboration.

Japan’s Needs and Hong Kong Advantages a Perfect Match: Survey

In conjunction with “Think Global, Think Hong Kong”, the HKTDC recently conducted a survey to find out why some Japanese companies – especially small- and medium-sized enterprises – hesitate to reach out to overseas markets, and their perceptions of Hong Kong services providers as business partners. Nearly 300 Japanese firms were polled.

More than 70% of respondents reported insufficient knowledge of overseas markets as their major concern when expanding overseas. Lack of funding or financial resources (62%) and trade barriers such as tariffs and import licenses (44%) were also found to be concerns for Japanese businesses.

“Hong Kong has been ranked among the top performers globally in ‘international experience’. The city is gathering top-tier talents in finance, science and technology, creative industries and legal sectors from around the world. Our services providers enjoy a strong global network and can work out complementary development and win-win collaboration strategies with Japanese businesses,” said Mr Yip.

The survey also shows the key advantages of Hong Kong that are recognised by Japan’s business community, such as English-Chinese bilingualism, the “one country, two systems” principle, well-developed infrastructure and a free trade and investment policy. As a professional services platform, Hong Kong also received a high rating on English proficiency, access to international financial and commercial markets and tax regime. Most respondents agreed Hong Kong has a good geographical location, is easy to do business with and has a strong institutional structure as a regional business hub.

“While more than 40% of respondents would like to increase the use of Hong Kong as a platform for international business because of the Hong Kong-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement, their awareness of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) advocated by the mainland government and the Guangzhou-Hong Kong-Macau Bay Area Development has to be expanded,” said Mr Yip.

Business Missions to Explore Opportunities in Japan

Coinciding with “Think Global, Think Hong Kong”, the HKTDC will lead several business missions from Hong Kong to Japan, covering finance and investment, design and creative industries, technology, professional services and the food industry, with about 200 delegates expected. They will participate in the business matching sessions held during “Think Global, Think Hong Kong”. One-to-one meetings will be set up for Hong Kong and Japanese firms with mutual interests and similar business directions to explore collaboration opportunities.

“Think Global, Think Hong Kong” will also feature the InnoVenture Salon, a mini-exhibition gathering 15 high-potential start-ups, including those from the Hong Kong Cyberport, Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks (HKSTP) and the HKTDC’s “Start-up Express” programme. They will showcase their innovative business ideas and entrepreneurship. The Hong Kong Private Equity and Venture Capital Association, Cyberport and HKSTP will offer mentoring services on-site to attract more Japanese start-ups to come to Hong Kong.

Hong Kong Dinner in Tokyo

Wrapping up “Think Global, Think Hong Kong” will be a high-level Hong Kong Dinner at the Happo-en. More than 400 business and government leaders from Hong Kong and Japan are expected to attend.

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