Representatives from the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office to the European Union in Brussels, the Honk Kong Trade and Development Council (HKTDC) and Invest Hong Kong (IHK) addressed local enterprises interested in doing business in the region during a business seminar organized by Malta Enterprise with the scope of increasing awareness about the business opportunities that Hong Kong has to offer.
The business seminar, which was supported by HSBC and attended by around 50 representatives from local companies, also served as a preparatory meeting for those companies who will be participating in the business delegation to Hong Kong and Shanghai being organized by Malta Enterprise between October 13th and 21st, 2012.
Delegates from the three Hong Kong institutions were welcomed by the Malta Enterprise Chief Officer for Trade, Investment and Enterprise Support Joe Schembri, who spoke about the similarities between the economies in Malta and Hong Kong and about what Malta can offer to companies in Hong Kong wishing to tap into the European and North African markets.
Mr Schembri also referred to the MOU signed between Malta Enterprise and HKTDC during the course of a business delegation to China organized last year, noting how the business seminar was a typical example of how the organisations could cooperate to strengthen bilateral commercial relationships.
The Special Representative from the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office to the European Union in Brussels, Mary Chow, delivered a keynote speech in which she highlighted the opportunities that Hong Kong offers to Maltese companies, with particular emphasis on the bilateral relations between Hong Kong and Malta and how they can find ways of working together.
Presentations were then delivered by Wing Sham, HKTDC Director for Germany and Central Europe, and Siegfried Verstappen, IHK's Senior Investment Promotion Executive for Europe, who both spoke about their respective organization's role and the various services offered to private sector companies particularly those wishing to set up and expand in Hong Kong.
Francis Vassallo, from Francis J. Vassallo & Associates Ltd, spoke about the advantages of doing business in China through an association with Hong Kong companies, while Stephen Sultana, Head of International Business at Simonds Farsons Cisk plc gave a short outline of the company's business experience in China and Hong Kong.
The business seminar was followed by a networking session that provided local companies the opportunity to obtain further information and clarify any queries with the representatives of the Hong Kong institutions.
Hong Kong has a services-oriented economy and enjoys the reputation of being one of the leading international financial centres and one of the busiest container ports on a global level. In 2011, Malta exported over €286 million worth of goods – almost entirely made up of electrical machinery and equipment – to Hong Kong, while it imported over €16 million worth of goods.
A Double Taxation Agreement between Malta and Hong Kong which entered into force around two months ago is expected to boost closer economic and trade ties between the two sides, providing added incentives for companies in Malta to do business or invest in Hong Kong, and vice versa.
The business seminar was also supported by the Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry, the General Retailers and Traders Union, FinanceMalta and the Gozo Business Chamber.