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“A Force to be Reckoned With”

“A Force to be Reckoned With”

The Asian Logistics and Maritime Conference kicked off this morning with a strong opening message from Mrs. Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China. Lam didn’t fail to mention this was her fourth year in a row speaking at the eighth annual conference and noting that the representation brought is “One of Hong Kong’s and the world’s most vital sectors” paired with a strong turnout each year.

Lam focused on how the recent topic of the Belt and Road Initiative continues to “connect the region and the world” and building on the ties among other industry leaders around the world is vital to continued success. Additionally, she touched on the importance of free trade within the Hong Kong region, noting it as “immutable” before confirming the conclusion of a free-trade agreement with Australia within the last few days.

Adaptability and rolling with the market changes were a high point during Lam’s address, noting that trade and logistics are one of Hong Kong’s four pillar industries that contributes 22 percent of GDP, making Hong Kong a leader in logistics and financial centers in addition to trading economies in the world.

“Hong Kong’s noble market may be modest, but our ability to serve and create markets for trading goods and services for the world is inexhaustible. For that, we can thank our formidable foundation for international trade… I’m talking about world-class infrastructure, superb connectivity.. institutional strengths as well as an abundance of talents…”

Lam went on to expand on the massive container port quantities and TEU numbers within Hong Kong which include 320 lining ships per week, and over 3.8 million TEUs on record for last year. She also mentioned that the shipping rates are the fourth largest in the world and in regards to the air, “Hong Kong is a force to be reckoned with”  noting their airport has been the world’s busiest for international air cargo for the last 22 years in a row, serving high-value logistics in the Asia-pacific region and boasts sustainable air-service agreements with dozens of countries around the world, 67 to be specific.

As she concluded her opening address by reinforcing global connectivity and the ability to adapt to an evergreen market. The primary message remained consistent that Hong Kong will continue to leverage its impressive trade momentum regardless of market trends.


Hong Kong is special. In fact, “special” is part of its classification, a “special administrative region of the People’s Republic of China.” A newly formed colony of the British Empire post the First Opium War in 1842, the territory was held by the Brits until 1997, when it was returned to China but with the request that the area be maintained as “special,” a government distinct from that of mainland China.


The Chinese accepted and with a population of roughly 7.5 million folks crammed into 426 square miles, it is clear people want to be in Hong Kong, which is the world’s seventh largest trading entity. Firms from all over the world conduct a range of business in Hong Kong, where English is the most common language. While Hong Kong is chock full of skyscrapers and other “western” symbols, there are several cultural sensitivities one should be aware and mindful of as a business traveler to these 426 square miles in southern China.


First, hierarchy is still very much a major part of Hong Kong culture. Greeting business counterparts with their title and surname is recommended and if presented to a group of Hong Kong businessmen and women, do intend on greeting the eldest of the group first. Second, a handshake and a slight bow is commonplace and avoid any other contact beyond that of a handshake. Pats on the back and grabbing an elbow while shaking hands are no-nos. The less physical contact the better.


A common mistake many travelers make when visiting Hong Kong is referring to residents as Chinese. It is understandable as the official languages are Chinese and English, the regional language is Cantonese, and 92 percent of inhabitants are Chinese. But again, Hong Kong is a special administrative region and Hong Kongers like to be referred to as Hong Kongers, not Chinese. If you intend on presenting a gift to a business counterpart(s), avoid distributing presents in the denomination of 4. The number represents “death” in Cantonese, and that’s a bad way to begin what you’d like to be a fruitful relationship. Lastly, be careful with social drinking. Attempting to keep up with Hong Konger off-hours “business meeting” drinking could place you in a perilous position come the following morning. Be present but avoid going shot for shot.


When it comes time to pick an area to stay in, it is true that the plethora of hotels and activity in Hong Kong can be overwhelming. From a business perspective, Central Hong Kong is the financial center of the city and located in the general vicinity of some of the more visited spots such as Lan Kwai Fong (a series of small streets with restaurants and bars) and Victoria Peak. Downtown Hong Kong is also within walking distance and there are a series of affordable, luxury hotels such as the Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong, Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong and Island Shanri-La Hong Kong.


Another fantastic option is Hong Kong’s main commercial area, Wan Chai. In good weather one can stroll between Central Hong Kong and Wan Chai, which is also home to the world famous Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Center. Adjacent to Wan Chai is a neighborhood known as Admiralty and due to its proximity, most refer to the general area as Wan Chai/Admiralty. Affordable, business and luxury hotels in Wan Chai/Admiralty are the JW Marriot Hotel Hong Kong, Grand Hyatt Hong Kong and Conrad Hong Kong.


It will be quickly evident that the major difference between corporate travel and business in Hong Kong compared to many other cities in Asia is language. English is by far more widely spoken in Hong Kong than Tokyo, Seoul, Shanghai or even Mumbai. The British influence is felt strongly, but in conjunction with a strong Chinese culture energy that is distinct in Hong Kong. As such, it is always recommended to add on a couple days either before or after a business trip to take in the city. Be it the horse racing at Sha Tin or Happy Valley or snapping a photo in front of the Big Buddha at Lantau Island, the sights and sounds are completely unique and will keep you longing for another trip back to this very “special administrative region.”

Asian Logistics and Maritime Conference 2018

Prepare to join thousands of global  industry experts at this year’s Asian Logistics and Maritime Conference from November 20-21 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.

A press release from October highlights the conference’s three main areas of focus on “Asian connectivity,  new retail revolution and its implications to logistics and logistics technology” in addition to the rapid changes in the industry (HKTDC).

An expected 70 industry experts are scheduled to speak along with Secretary-General Dato Lim Jock Hoi, who  will kick-off the conference at the opening session.

Other topics anticipated include supply-chain management, logistics, air freight, cold-chain logistics, e-commerce and the ” the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) new air cargo security requirements and logistics technology in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area,” (HKTDC).

“Asian countries and regions are now pushing forward various trade agreements and regional development strategies, including the Hong Kong-ASEAN [Association of Southeast Asian Nations] Free Trade Agreement signed last year, the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area development plan, and the China-Singapore Initiative on Strategic Connectivity,” said HKTDC Deputy Executive Director Raymond Yip. “Under the Belt and Road Initiative, many major infrastructure projects, including new road transport systems and port developments, have been kick-started, with a number of them already completed. Such projects foster the development of trade and logistics in Asia, driving better connectivity within the regional supply chain,” (HKTDC).

In addition to traditionally seen forums and discussions, a “New Tech Dialogue and Tech Demo Session” will be featured, spotlighting some key insights and information in block chain technology and hyperloop transportation. Transpod co-founder and CEO Sebastien Gendron and Chief Analytics Officer of Blockchain in Transport Alliance are among those that will review industry tips and developments.

There are more than 100 exhibitors expected and more than 150 one-on-one business-matching sessions are being arranged in an effort to boost industry relations and spur business relationships. For a full list of noted speakers, please visit:


Source:, HKTDC








Hong Kong: Banks Relocating, Port Authorities Mum

Los Angeles, CA – Updates on the continuing situation in Hong Kong…

* US Secretary of State John Kerry and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi are holding talks today in Washington, DC that are expected to address the growing political crisis in Hong Kong.

“This is obviously a prominent issue in the news, one the secretary is well aware of, and I expect it will be a part of this discussion,” said State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki.

* The Hong Kong stock exchange “insists” it will continue to operate as normal but the Hong Kong Monetary Authority says 17 banks – including Standard Chartered and HSBC Holdings – have been forced to close 29 branches across the city.

A number of financial sector firms are moving staff to contingency premises on the outskirts of the city. According to media reports, JP Morgan, Bank of America, CITIC Securities, HSBC, Société Générale and Barclays are considering the option of moving staff to ‘back office’ sites outside Hong Kong. On Monday, it was reported that 44 branches, offices or ATMs from 23 different banks had been temporarily shut down in the face of protests.

* Earlier this week, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority said it was standing by to provide additional liquidity if required.

* Concerns are growing over the possible impact of the demonstrations on the movement of goods in and out of Hong Kong’s container terminals. Information is scarce on cargo movement at the port as, to date, neither the Hong Kong government, the Hong Kong Container Terminal Operators Association, nor the Hong Kong Liner Shipping Association have issued statements on the situation.

* Mobile messaging app FireChat has reportedly been downloaded more than 200,000 times in Hong Kong since Monday. FireChat allows users to bypass mobile networks, meaning it is easier to bypass the strict censorship rules recently applied by the Chinese authorities.

* Users of Instagram, Facebook and Twitter in Hong Kong have had their access blocked.

* L’Oreal, the world’s top cosmetics group, has suspended all business travel to Hong Kong until “at least” Monday, October 6. The French company has a major subsidiary based in Hong Kong that serves the company’s huge customer base in Asia. Italian luxury group Prada said today that it is was monitoring the situation on a hourly basis and closing shops early when necessary.

Domestic Hong Kong rival Tod’s also said its Hong Kong shops located in the Landmark and Pacific Place shopping malls had closed one hour early on Sunday and Monday, in line with guidance issued by the affected shopping malls.