Roles of Hong Kong and Singapore complementary in global and regional supply chains
Being among the world's leading trade and logistics hubs, following the common law system and adopting internationally recognised codes of practice in business and commerce, Hong Kong and Singapore play complementary roles in global and regional supply chains, the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Gregory So, said today (October 31).
Delivering an opening speech in the Hong Kong Festival 2012: ASEAN - Hong Kong Business Forum in Singapore, Mr So said both Hong Kong and Singapore know that free trade under a rules-based trading system is the best way to secure prosperity.
"That is why both places strive to facilitate trade and business as far as possible. We are highly competitive among international indicators including economic freedom and business-friendliness," Mr So said.
He, however, pointed out that fortunately both Hong Kong and Singapore thrive on competition.
"The close historical, economic and cultural links between Hong Kong and the Mainland, and similarly those of Singapore with ASEAN, are likely to offer one another vast potential in expanding access to each other's huge hinterland.
"Both places serve their respective hinterlands with highly sophisticated services incidental to the seamless operation of supply chains," he said.
Leveraging on the growth potential in the Mainland of China and ASEAN, the scope for co-operation between Hong Kong and Singapore in exploring and expanding business opportunities is large, Mr So added.
"Closer economic co-operation between Hong Kong and Singapore will bring greater synergies in trade to both parties," Mr So noted.
Concerning ASEAN, Mr So appreciated the significant contributions by the association to regional supply chains, and the implementation of the ASEAN Free Trade Area (FTA) fuelled the development of supply chains among members. He also pointed out that Hong Kong has spared no effort to promote trade and investment with ASEAN.
"Hong Kong is a key trading and logistics hub in East Asia, serving as an important platform for trade and investment between ASEAN and the Mainland of China. Hong Kong's participation in the China-ASEAN FTA (CAFTA) will, no doubt, create positive synergies and grow a bigger economic pie, benefiting all the parties concerned.
"Hong Kong and Singapore are the nodes to connect the two hinterlands of Mainland China and ASEAN. The expansion of supply chains between ASEAN and China offers ample opportunities for service providers in Hong Kong and Singapore to collaborate," he added.
Mr So appealed to the forum participants for support for Hong Kong to join CAFTA, and he looked forward to ASEAN agreeing to formally start the negotiations with Hong Kong for joining the FTA at the earliest opportunity.
Today's business forum was another event of the Hong Kong Festival 2012 organised by the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Singapore with its partners to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
Apart from attending the forum, Mr So met with the Minister for Trade and Industry of Singapore, Mr Lim Hng Kiang; the Chairman of the Singapore Economic Development Board, Mr Leo Yip; and the Assistant Chief Executive of the Singapore Tourism Board, Ms Neeta Lachmandas-Sakellariou, to exchange views on the region's growth and other matters of mutual interest.
Mr So also took the opportunity to tour around the Marina Bay Cruise Centre Singapore at the bay area. In addition, he paid a courtesy call on the Ambassador of the Chinese Embassy in Singapore, Mr Wei Wei.
Mr So will arrive in Jakarta, Indonesia, tomorrow (November 1). He will meet with the Vice Minister of Trade of Indonesia, Mr Bayu Krisnamurthi, and the Chairman of the Employers' Association of Indonesia, Mr Sofyan Wanandi.
Wednesday, October 31, 2012