HKTDC Welcomes Measures to Ease Quarantine Restrictions

The HKTDC has been supporting Hong Kong's small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) and with the latest easing of quarantine measures, has set five key strategies to help SMEs capture business opportunities.

SMEStreet Edit Desk
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Sophia Chong, HKTDC

The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) welcomes the Hong Kong SAR (HKSAR) Government's relaxation of entry quarantine measures, which will have a positive impact on Hong Kong's economic recovery and strengthen the city's international competitiveness. The HKTDC has been supporting Hong Kong's small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) and with the latest easing of quarantine measures, has set five key strategies to help SMEs capture business opportunities.

Dr Peter KN Lam, Chairman, Hong Kong Trade Development Council, said, "The new HKSAR Government brings new hope to the people of Hong Kong. We welcome the HKSAR Government's announcement to ease quarantine measures which strike a balance between public health and economic recovery. I believe this latest development sends a positive signal to the global community and will help drive Hong Kong's economic momentum and strengthen the city's international competitiveness.

"As President Xi Jinping had said, Hong Kong should ride on its unique advantage as an international connector with the support of the mainland behind it. I am grateful for the support of the Central Government for Hong Kong. By aligning the HKTDC's five key strategies with the mainland's 14th Five-Year Plan and the HKSAR Government's policies, we can help our SMEs and start-ups turn crisis into opportunity and create prospects for our young people."

HKTDC's five key strategies for 2022/23 are as follows:

1. Promote sustainable development, innovation & technology and wellness - The HKTDC will organise industry fairs and conferences to promote Hong Kong's achievements and strengths in sustainability, innovation and technology, as well as medical and wellness industries. These elements will be featured across our major international industry events, with matchmaking for projects from the above sectors to promote commercialisation and investment opportunities for global business as well as SMEs. Relevant conferences and exhibitions include the Asia Summit on Global Health (10-11 November, 2022) the Asian Financial Forum, Asian Logistics, Maritime and Aviation Conference, Hong Kong Electronics Fair (Autumn Edition), and Eco Expo Asia, among others.

2. Promote emerging industries and create synergy with traditional industries - The HKTDC will promote Hong Kong's strengths in emerging industries, including medicine and healthcare, innovation and technology, creative and cultural industries and environmental industries, while creating synergy with the city's core pillar industries, such as finance, logistics, intellectual property and manufacturing. For example, these platforms can match R&D technology with enterprises or match creative sectors with traditional manufacturers. The newly launched "Exhibition Plus" digital service also enables buyers and sellers worldwide source effectively through seamless online and offline connection and matching, and ample opportunity for interaction before and after trade fairs.

3. Facilitate Hong Kong businesses in exploring markets - The Mainland China market, especially the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area (GBA) is our key focus. The HKTDC launched the GoGBA one-stop platform in 2021 and the "Support Scheme for Pursuing Development in the Mainland" in April 2022 to help Hong Kong businesses address pain points when entering or operating in Mainland China respectively. For companies tapping into overseas markets, we support them with a focus on Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) markets (covering Hong Kong's major trading partners, such as ASEAN, Japan and Korea) and mature markets, such as Australia and New Zealand, with whom Hong Kong has established Free Trade Agreements. Through events, such as the Belt and Road Summit in August and through the HKTDC's network of 50 offices around the world, we actively work with governments, business communities and enterprises to promote and reinforce Hong Kong's position as an international business hub.

4. Strengthen support for SMEs and start-ups in Hong Kong, including making use of government funding - We support SMEs and start-ups by providing information, large-scale online and offline events and promotion platforms, as well as training programmes, such as Start-up Express for start-ups, Transformation Sandbox (T-Box) for SMEs and GoGBA for companies entering the GBA. The HKTDC also works closely with the HKSAR Government to enhance government funding schemes, including the SME Export Marketing Fund (EMF), Convention and Exhibitions Subsidy Scheme (C&E), the Branding, Upgrading and Domestic Sales (BUD Fund) and the Technology Voucher Programme (TVP).

5. Align with two priorities of the new HKSAR Government: (i) promote Hong Kong as a platform for cultural exchange and (ii) enable development opportunities for youth - (i) The HKTDC will promote Hong Kong as a hub for cultural exchange between Mainland China and the world and create business opportunities for the cultural and creative industries through our exhibitions and promotions. (ii) The HKTDC will also focus on promoting collaboration between business and youth organisations by using our industry platforms. Our Trade Ambassador Programme (TAP) offers Hong Kong young people opportunities for exchange, learning and participation at international events, such as the Belt and Summit (August 2022), which will include a thematic forum focusing on young entrepreneurs to promote entrepreneurship. By creating opportunities, the HKTDC hopes to create opportunities for young people to contribute to Hong Kong and the mainland.

Since the beginning of 2022, the HKTDC has held 13 exhibitions and conferences. The Hong Kong Book Fair in July was a highlight, recording 850,000 visitors. This was followed by two jewellery fairs and the new Simply Shopping Fest, which opened up local retail opportunities for exhibitors. This Thursday (11-15 August) will see the Food Expo and concurrent tea, home and beauty and wellness fairs generating more opportunities. In 2021/2022, the HKTDC organised 37 physical, online and mixed mode events, including trade fairs and conferences and public fairs. More than 8,800 local and overseas exhibitors, 488,000 trade buyers and conference participants and over 1.6 million members of the public joined these events.