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Ms Sindy Wong, Head of Tourism and Hospitality at Invest Hong Kong, gave ACBC members and guests a detailed presentation on Wednesday 11 May in International Chamber House about opportunities in Hong Kong in those sectors.
Sindy began her briefing by providing an overview of the market. She identified a number of key characteristics of Hong Kong which make it an ideal place to do business and capitalise on opportunities both there and in mainland China. These include Hong Kong’s common law system, respect for contracts and IP, low and simple tax system, and high rate of smartphone penetration and speed of internet connectivity. Hong Kong is also a ‘global super connector’ given its proximity to the Greater Pearl River Delta and place on the One Belt One Road map. It is also home to the world’s busiest air cargo airport, handling around 4.4 million tonnes of cargo in 2015.
Hong Kong is therefore an ideal launching pad into China, allowing businesses to experience the market, monitor Chinese consumer trends and gain first-hand market information, increasing opportunities and allowing companies to service their clients better.
The social media environment in Hong Kong is another positive element, meaning businesses have access to Western channels such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Google, while also being able to utilise Chinese social media platforms such as Weibo and WeChat. An important thing to note in this space however, are the subtle differences between Hong Kong and mainland China, such as traditional vs simplified Chinese and variations in terminology and local colloquialisms.
Sindy also spoke of the more specific opportunities in Tourism and Hospitality, particularly around food trading. Demand for food and beverage in Hong Kong is tremendous, with F&B imports rising 40% and F&B retail sales rising 37% over 2010-15. More health conscious and discerning Hong Kong consumers are demanding meat, vegetables and fruit, seafood and dairy products. This demand combined with simple regulations for F&B trading, present many prospects for Australian businesses.
We kindly thank Sindy for her informative and engaging presentation, as well as Luca De Leonardis from InvestHK for facilitating the event. We also extend our thanks to all who attended.