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9 December 2004, Hong Kong

Plenary Session

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TDC Chairman calls for sectoral partnerships between SMEs in HK & Korea


Demonstrating the combined strengths of Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta, the 11th plenary session of the Hong Kong/Korea Business Round Table was yesterday (9 December) held in Shenzhen, China.

Trade Development Council (TDC) Chairman Peter Woo said: "Hong Kong provides a world-class business and trade service hub for the Pearl River Delta's unsurpassed production basin and exploding consumer market. Korean companies should take advantage of the added edge now available through the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) I and II between Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland by using Hong Kong as a platform from which to source from, sell to and produce in China. "

"This will also enable the Korean firms to benefit from Hong Kong's role as a risk manager for overseas companies doing business in the mainland, taking advantage of the SAR's free flows of information and capital, rule of law and other long-established institutional strengths."

Other issues discussed at the plenary included Hong Kong's stunning economic rebound from the ravages of prolonged deflation and last year's severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak, new business opportunities resulting from the Pan-Pearl River Delta and Mainland Enterprise Establishment Facilitation Scheme initiatives and, on the Korean side, the country's development as a financial service hub for northeast Asia and its success in concluding a number of free trade agreements (FTAs) with trading partners around the world.

There was a strong emphasis on exploring opportunities for sectoral partnerships between small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Hong Kong and Korea. Members agreed to establish task forces to create openings for such partnerships in the year or so before the next plenary session takes place in Korea in 2005. Sectors offering real promise of such partnerships include logistics, supply-chain management, financial services, digital entertainment and ICT, as well as auto-parts and arbitration.

Before the plenary, delegates obtained a first-hand understanding of the importance of Hong Kong's economic links with the Pearl River Delta through a visit to the workshop of a Hong Kong digital entertainment company in Shenzhen.

The TDC supports the Hong Kong/Korea Business Round Table with secretariat services for the Hong Kong team. Similar services are provided in Korea by the Korean International Trade Association (KITA).