Hong Kong, Guangdong and Macao governments join forces to attract North American companies to access Bay Area
Invest Hong Kong (InvestHK), the Department of Commerce of Guangdong Province and the Macao Trade and Investment Promotion Institute jointly held a seminar in Seattle today (1 December 2017, Seattle time), promoting their combined business advantages amid the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area development.
From left: The Director of Business Development, Microsoft Corporation, Mr Tom Reyes; the Senior Manager of Investor Service Department, Macao Trade and Investment Promotion Institute, Mr Agostinho Vong; the Assistant Director of the Office of Economic Development and Competitiveness of the Washington State Department of Commerce, Mr Chris Green; the Director-General of Investment Promotion, Mr Stephen Phillips; the Economic and Commercial Counselor of the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in San Francisco, Mr Yang Yihang; the Representative of the Department of Commerce of Guangdong Province and Director of the Guangdong Economic Development and Trade Promotion Office, North America (Los Angeles), Mr He Dinghong; and the Director of Smart Cities, iSoftStone North America, Ms Greta Knappenberger.
The seminar, entitled “Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao Greater Bay Area: Your Ideal Business Partners in China”, was the last destination of a three-city tour after Toronto and Mexico City. The event began with welcome remarks from the Assistant Director of the Office of Economic Development and Competitiveness of the Washington State Department of Commerce, Mr Chris Green, and the Economic and Commercial Counselor of the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in San Francisco, Mr Yang Yihang. Keynote speeches were delivered by the Director-General of Investment Promotion, Mr Stephen Phillips; the Representative of the Department of Commerce of Guangdong Province and Director of the Guangdong Economic Development and Trade Promotion Office, North America (Los Angeles), Mr He Dinghong; and the Senior Manager of the Investor Service Department of the Macao Trade and Investment Promotion Institute, Mr Agostinho Vong.
Mr Phillips explained the special role of Hong Kong within the Bay Area. He said, “The Bay Area covers 11 prosperous cities in Guangdong, including Hong Kong and Macao, with an aggregate population of 66 million and an aggregate GDP at US$1.36 trillion in 2016. The Bay Area as one is a huge, fast-growing market for not only multinationals with global functions but also SMEs and entrepreneurs from around the world. The opportunities arising from the increased flows of people, goods and capital within the Bay Area will be immense.”
He continued, “In the midst of the Bay Area, Hong Kong under the ‘one country, two systems’ principle offers unrivalled edges including our geographical location, a vibrant business environment, a robust legal system, intellectual property protection, and deep, world-class financial and professional services, amongst others. All these make our city the ideal place for companies to leverage in seizing the precious opportunities arising from the Bay Area.”
He added, “To add to our attractions, the Hong Kong Government has recently announced new tax measures to benefit small and medium-sized enterprises, in which the profits tax rate for the first HK$2 million of profits will be halved to 8.25 per cent. I believe this will add further appeal to Hong Kong as your choice of base if you are considering setting up or expanding your business in the region.”
Mr He said, “At present, under the overall framework of Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area construction, Guangdong is striving to build a modern economic system and develop an innovative economy. In line with the deployment of the Central Government, Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao will comprehensively integrate the talents, logistics, capital and information, which will also enhance the global competitiveness of the business environment.”
He added, “The development of the Bay Area is inseparable from international co-operation and the participation of investment trading partners including the United States. At the Communist Party’s 19th Congress in October, China’s President Xi Jinping proposed that China’s doors would not be closed, but would only be more open. At present, Guangdong’s policy of encouraging more foreign investment will bring new business opportunities to the trade and investment co-operation between Guangdong and the US.
He continued, “To build a long-term mechanism for exchanges and co-operation, the Guangdong Economic Development and Trade Promotion Office, North America (Los Angeles) was launched this year and will provide a higher level and wider working platform for Guangdong and North American economic and trade co-operation.”
Mr Vong said, “The US and Macao have a long-established close co-operation relationship, and a number of great US resorts and entertainment companies have set up their businesses in Macao. Meanwhile, Macao is developing its unique strengths and will continue to nurture its emerging industries including the convention and exhibition sector, featured financial services and the traditional Chinese medicine sector. On the other hand, with the completion of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge expected very soon, the flow of people, goods, capital and information between Macao and the region will be greatly enhanced. The development of the Bay Area will certainly provide new impetus to the development of Macao. American enterprises are welcomed to make use of the Macao platform to expand their businesses.”
Other speakers at the seminar included the Director of Business Development, Microsoft Corporation, Mr Tom Reyes, and the Director of WeChat Marketing and WeChat Pay of Tencent, Mr Eagle Yi. They explained the business opportunities in the digital economy in the Mainland at the seminar.
InvestHK is the department of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government established in 2000 to attract foreign direct investment and support overseas and Mainland businesses to set up or expand in Hong Kong. It provides free advice and customised services to help businesses succeed in Hong Kong’s vibrant economy. For more information, please visit www.investhk.gov.hk.