The largest Hong Kong trade promotion ever staged in Germany is set to take place from 27 to 29 September to showcase the city’s business services advantages for German companies seeking opportunities in Asia, particularly on the Chinese mainland.
Organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), “Think Asia, Think Hong Kong” will include a series of events in Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg and Munich, and is expected to attract some 1,700 people with thematic seminars, on-site consultations and business matching sessions. Carrie Lam, Chief Secretary for Administration of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government will be the guest of honour.
“We are delighted to bring our flagship promotion, ‘Think Asia, Think Hong Kong’ to Germany for the first time,” said Margaret Fong, Executive Director, HKTDC. “Germany and Hong Kong are already close trading partners and we are seeing more German entrepreneurs coming to Hong Kong to do business or launch their start-ups in our city to capture the many opportunities in Asia, especially the Chinese mainland and ASEAN, via the Hong Kong platform.” During “Think Asia, Think Hong Kong”, which is supported by 16 key Hong Kong partners and 44 German organisations, German business people are invited to connect with Hong Kong services providers to explore partnership opportunities.
Aligning opportunities with competitive strengths
More than 30 speakers from Hong Kong and Germany will share their insights and experience of using the Hong Kong platform at a series of thematic seminars, which are matched with the respective business strengths of the four host cities.
Guests of honour at the 28 September seminar in Dusseldorf will include Mrs Lam as well as Vincent HS Lo, Chairman of the HKTDC, Thomas Geisel, Mayor of Dusseldorf and Gunther Horzetzky, State Secretary, Ministry of Economic Affairs, Energy and Industry State of North Rhine-Westphalia.
The Dusseldorf session will include a focus on selling to China and throughout Asia via Hong Kong, with insights shared by heavyweight speakers including Hans Michael Jebsen, Chairman, Jebsen & Co Ltd; Martin Brudermuller, Vice Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors and Chief Technology Officer, BASF SE; James Thompson, Chairman, Crown Worldwide Group; Sabine Stricker-Kellerer, Senior China Counsel, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP; Royce Yuen, CEO, MaLogic Holdings Ltd; Michael Hennig, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Aumund Asia (HK) Ltd; Hans Joachim Isler, Managing Director, H.D. Isler & Co Ltd; and Thomas So, President, The Law Society of Hong Kong.
In Frankfurt (28 September), a seminar jointly organised with the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), the city’s de facto central bank, will focus on offshore renminbi business and opportunities related to China’s Belt and Road Initiative. Prominent speakers at this session will include Norman Chan, Chief Executive, HKMA; Benjamin Hung, Regional Chief Executive Officer, Greater China and North Asia, Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong) Ltd; Li Jiuzhong, Executive Director and Chief Risk Officer, Bank of China (Hong Kong) Limited; Gerrit Schneider, Chief Financial Officer, Europe; Manager, Investor Relations, General Electric; Steve Gross, Senior Managing Director, Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets; and Lutz Raettig, Vice President, Frankfurt Chamber of Industry and Commerce.
On 29 September, a seminar in Hamburg is being jointly organised with the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce to examine ways to use Hong Kong’s logistics and maritime strengths to tap opportunities related to the Belt and Road Initiative. The guest of honour will be Frank Horch, Senator, Minister of Economy, Transportation and Innovation of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg. Other speakers include Jens Meier, Chief Executive Officer, Hamburg Port Authority; Corinna Nienstedt, Managing Director and Head of International Department, Hamburg Chamber of Commerce; Hans Michael Jebsen, Chairman, Jebsen & Co Ltd; Tim Smith, Chairman, Maersk China Limited and Chief Representative, North Asia of Maersk Group; Alan Yip, Executive Director – Regional Operations, Kerry Logistics (Hong Kong) Ltd; and Tommy Lui, Director & Group Chief Representative for Southern China, Li & Fung Development (China) Ltd.
In Munich (29 September), technology business partnership opportunities will be at the fore at a seminar jointly organised with the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation. Speakers include Nicholas Yang, Secretary for Innovation and Technology, HKSAR Government; Marian Gaultney, Head, International Collaboration & Business Development, Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation; Dietmar Vahldiek, Executive Vice President, ROHDE & SCHWARZ GmbH & Co. KG; Dirk Schlesinger, Chief Digital Officer, TUV SUD AG; Matthias Hiegl, Managing Director, Medical Valley Center GmbH, Erlangen; and Norman Tien, Dean, Faculty of Engineering, The University of Hong Kong.
Building connections between Hong Kong and Germany
In addition to the thematic seminars, Hong Kong services providers from the legal, accountancy and business consultancy sectors will be on hand in Dusseldorf, Munich and Hamburg to provide free on-site consultations.
“Think Asia, Think Hong Kong” will also include a Hong Kong-mainland Joint Investment & Partnership Mission organised with the Department of Commerce of China’s Jiangsu province. The mission will visit Dusseldorf, while a separate Technology Mission will visit Stuttgart, Frankfurt and Munich. More than 100 mission delegates and service providers from Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland will connect with their German counterparts through more than 320 business matching meetings.
A high-level dinner will be organised in Frankfurt on 27 September, with about 400 invitees expected to attend, including guests of honour Bernadette Weyland, State Secretary, Ministry of Finance, State of Hessen and Hong Kong’s Chief Secretary for Administration Mrs Lam. Prior to the dinner, a memorandum of understanding for cooperation between the HKTDC and Hessen Trade and Invest will be signed.
Hong Kong & Germany: close business partners
As an international trade and financial centre, Hong Kong is the ideal platform for German enterprises wishing to develop new markets in Asia, and especially on the Chinese mainland. German exports to Hong Kong have increased by 42 per cent in the past decade to US$6.8 billion in 2015. Germany is Hong Kong’s largest trading partner in Europe with total bilateral trade of US$15.9 billion last year.
Hong Kong, with its prime location in Asia and renowned business-friendly environment, is an important platform for German companies operating in Asia. More than 600 German businesses currently have operations in Hong Kong and more than 200 have their regional headquarters or regional offices in the city. An increasing number of start-ups from Germany have also pursued a variety of opportunities on the mainland via the Hong Kong platform.
The HKTDC has been promoting Hong Kong’s trade in goods and services for the past 50 years through its four-in-one platform of world-class trade fairs, online marketplace, trade publications and mobile channels, helping SMEs capture business opportunities effectively and efficiently.