Major Speeches, Presentations and Press Releases

Speech by SCED at GS1 Hong Kong Supply Chain Management Excellence Summit 2015 (English only)

     Following is the speech by the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Gregory So, at the GS1 Hong Kong Supply Chain Management Excellence Summit 2015 today (November 19):

Ms Lin (the Chief Executive of GS1 Hong Kong, Ms Anna Lin), distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

     It gives me great pleasure to join you all at the "Supply Chain Management Excellence Summit 2015". First of all, I would like to extend my warmest welcome to all the guests and participants, especially those from overseas and the Mainland. I would also like to thank GS1 Hong Kong for organising this premier event.

     November is always an exciting time, not just because we have the annual SCM Summit, but also because it is a month where a lot of shopping takes place. Last week we had the Singles Day. Next week, we have Thanksgiving. Whether it's Singles Day, which is hugely celebrated in China, or Thanksgiving in the United States, when it comes to shopping, it also means selling, and it matters to everyone who works along the supply chain.

     Shoppers are increasingly choosing to spend their money online. Here are some telling statistics: According to forecasts by eMarketer, the global e-commerce sales will go from US$1.5 trillion in 2014 to US$2.36 trillion in 2017, a 57 per cent increase. For Asia-Pacific, the estimate will go from US$0.53 trillion in 2014 to US$1.05 trillion in 2017, a 98 per cent increase.

     Mainland China and the United States are by far the world's leading e-commerce markets, together accounting for more than 55 per cent of global Internet retail sales last year. According to China's National Bureau of Statistics, e-commerce sales in Mainland China in the first three quarters of this year accounted for 10 per cent of its total retail sales. Alibaba said shoppers spent more than US$10 billion in the first 14 hours of this year's Singles Day, surpassing last year's day-long total of US$9.3 billion.

     Some in Hong Kong may wonder, with our efficiency and convenience, we don't really need to do online shopping. Would Hong Kong embrace e-commerce? The answer is yes, and a very definite yes. When we talk about e-commerce, we are not just focusing on our local market, and certainly not just the shopping. We are talking about a much bigger picture. When people shop online, they shop from everywhere. And when you shop from somewhere afar, you need to ship what you shop. And that's where we come into play.

     Hong Kong, as Asia's world city, as the gateway to China and as the "super-connector" between the Mainland and the rest of the world, will always be a great partner for anyone who wishes to tap the Chinese markets. From air to road to sea, we provide shippers and suppliers with reliable transportation. Within five hours' flight time from Hong Kong, we can reach half of the world's population and most of Asia's thriving economies. Our port is among the top five busiest in the world. Our international airport is the world's busiest cargo airport.

     Hong Kong is a global centre for trade, finance, business and communications. You need superb infrastructure and connectivity to support e-commerce. And we have that. The shipping of goods plays a big part in e-commerce. Our strategic location and our role as a regional logistics and international maritime centre are some of our clear advantages.

     Hong Kong is also a hub of managers and professionals conversant with the latest world trends and practices. People working along the supply chain have confidence in the services that we provide. E-commerce is about a constant evolution of shopping behaviour and sales strategies. In Hong Kong, we are adaptable to changes. We are business-savvy. We know how to provide customised solutions to our clients. And we have a good track record of that over decades.

     Ladies and gentlemen, e-commerce has changed long-standing ideas about the experience of shopping and the experience of selling. E-commerce spurs evolution and revolution of businesses, enhancing efficiency through the entire supply chain. And Hong Kong, an ever evolving city, has all the right ingredients to embrace e-commerce.

     Today's theme "Riding the Wave of E-Commerce Evolution" is certainly a timely one. I hope you will enjoy the sessions that follow and walk away fully inspired.

     Thank you.

Ends/Thursday, November 19, 2015
Issued at HKT 10:31