News Article | November 29, 2016
The 17th Hong Kong Forum, co-organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) and the Federation of Hong Kong Business Associations Worldwide (FHKBAW), opened today at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. Nearly 400 business leaders from 28 countries and regions are attending the event to explore business opportunities in Asia. Key topics featured at this year's forum include the Belt and Road Initiative, innovation and technology, big data and start-ups. Joining the Hong Kong Forum for the first time are representatives from the Hong Kong Business Association of Cambodia, which is the newest member of the FHKBAW. Other participants include those from the Chinese mainland, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, Australia, New Zealand, Austria, Latvia, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States. Finding opportunities amid adversity Speaking at the Hong Kong Forum this morning, Margaret Fong, Executive Director, HKTDC, noted the global economy had been affected by a number of unexpected outcomes over the past year, including the UK's Brexit referendum and the US presidential election. She said the political changes have inevitably created concern around the world. "It is true that Hong Kong is not immune to the wave of uncertainty that has been sweeping across many parts of the world. After all, we are a global city," said Ms Fong. "But I would like to assure you that our city is ready to ride out this wave, just as we had done many times in the past - from the Asian economic crisis in the 90's to SARS in 2003, to the global financial crisis whose aftermath is still felt today." Ms Fong pointed out that, as a leading international hub for finance, trade and professional services, Hong Kong will be able to capitalise on the opportunities brought by the Belt and Road Initiative. "Spanning 60-plus countries from Asia to Europe and Africa, the Belt and Road aims to integrate economic and social activity among these countries through infrastructure and connectivity." She added that, with the HKTDC celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2016, the Council would continue to promote Hong Kong's external trade, and she encouraged the younger generation to embrace the city's renowned entrepreneurial spirit to capture future business opportunities. Hong Kong: Platform for Belt and Road opportunities The first seminar this morning spotlighted the business opportunities arising from the Belt and Road Initiative. Speakers included Keith Griffiths, Chairman, Aedas; Peter Burnett, Regional Head, Corporate Finance, Greater China & North Asia, Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong) Limited; and Elaine Lo, Partner, Head of China Practice, Mayer Brown JSM. They examined ways that companies could leverage Hong Kong's professional services to capture Belt and Road opportunities, and how local firms could build closer relationships with regional players to seize new development opportunities amid new dynamics in the world economy. Peter Burnett pointed out that the Chinese mainland market is developing rapidly including through the internationalisation of the renminbi, mainland Free Trade Zones and the Belt and Road Initiative, all of which are opening up China-related opportunities for the global financial market. "These economic initiatives have all pointed the direction of the capital in China outwards. In this context, Hong Kong is playing a pivotal role in connecting worldwide enterprises to China." Elaine Lo said that Hong Kong's common law legal system lends itself well to multi-juridical practice, in particular many Belt and Road countries adopt the common law system as well, making Hong Kong the best partner for international firms to tap into the Belt and Road markets. Opportunities in innovation and technology Innovation and technology has become an integral part of corporate strategies to upgrade business operations. Aerial photography, social media, mobile apps and other emerging technologies have brought new business opportunities to different industries. At the second seminar, Phil Yuen, CTO & Head of Special Projects, Tink Labs; Christina Zhang, Director of Corporate Strategy, Da-Jiang Innovations Science and Technology Co., Ltd.; and Rex Sham, Co-Founder and Chief Science Officer, Insight Robotics Limited, discussed how different businesses could capitalise on innovation and technology. Success behind the scenes Today's "Luncheon Dialogue with Star Behind the Scene" invited Nansun Shi, Executive Director, Film Workshop Co. Ltd. and Mark Lui, renowned composer and producer, to talk about how Hong Kong's film industry has overcome challenges to succeed on the international stage. As a veteran film producer, Ms Shi has devoted herself to the film industry for more than 30 years, witnessing the changes in Hong Kong's movie industry. She pointed out that the new generation of young directors have rejuvenated filmmaking in Hong Kong. "Hong Kong's film industry isn't dead as you can see many local films and directors have gained awards at the recent Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival." Referencing the enormous film market on the mainland, she advised filmmakers to feature local culture and values while catering to the tastes of mainland moviegoers. Mark Lui also pointed out that the local music industry is also facing strong competition. Nevertheless, he has tried to put a new spin on producing and performing Canto pop songs, so that Hong Kong's unique culture can be presented in ways that will appeal to mainland audiences. The era of big data In the current era big data, companies can collect data from numerous channels to analyse purchasing patterns, product preferences and customer feedback, and use such information to improve operations and enhance efficiency and competitiveness. At the seminar on "The Next Era: Big Data", Toa Charm, Chief Public Mission Office, Cyberport Hong Kong; Tony Tai, General Manager, IBM China / Hong Kong Limited; Patrik Forsstrom, Head of Business Intelligence, Cathay Pacific Airways; and Andy Ann, Founder and CEO, NDN Group (HK) Limited, spoke about the trends and applications of big data. Cradle for start-ups Many Hong Kong companies have successfully gone global and scaled their businesses. At tomorrow's seminar "Through the Window of Opportunities", Quinn Lai, Founder & Director, EONIQ (HK) Limited; Tony Verb, Managing Partner, Metta; and Katarina Ivarsson, Founder & CEO, Boris Design Studio Ltd., will share their experience of doing business in Hong Kong. They will also discuss Hong Kong's unique business environment and how entrepreneurs could succeed in this setting. Corporate succession At tomorrow's "Luncheon Dialogue with Heirs of Centennial Enterprises", two young "successors": Bryant Lu, Vice-Chairman, Ronald Lu & Partners, and Karen Chan, Executive Director, German Pool Group Co Ltd., will talk about sustaining family businesses by combining the experience of past generations with the creativity and perspectives of the new generation. Qingdao: key logistics hub Qingdao is one of the Chinese mainland's key logistics hubs and an important "commodity distribution centre". The city is also a fast-growing industrial and commercial city with immense potential. Iris Wong, Director of International & Mainland Relations, HKTDC, will lead a delegation of nearly 40 business people to visit Qingdao from 1 to 3 December, to survey Qingdao's investment environment and development prospects. Participants include representatives from chambers of commerce from Belt and Road countries as well as those from the US, Canada, Europe and Australia. Aside from meeting with senior officials in Qingdao, the delegates will also visit the CRRC Qingdao Sifang Co., Ltd., Haier Group, Tsingtao Brewery Co., Ltd., Port of Qingdao and the Oriental Movie Metropolis. They will also meet with young entrepreneurs of the Qingdao Federation of Industry and Commerce and Hong Kong entrepreneurs in Qingdao, and explore cooperation opportunities between Qingdao, Hong Kong and overseas enterprises. The two-day Hong Kong Forum (29-30 November) is a flagship event of the FHKBAW. Since its establishment in 2000, the Federation's network has grown to comprise 41 association members representing 12,000 members around the world. New business associations joining the Federation this year include those from Cambodia as well as sub-groups from the Chinese mainland including Qingdao, Tianjin, Wuhan, Chengdu, Hangzhou, Shenyang and Harbin. Hong Kong Forum website: http://www.hkfederation.org.hk/forum/forum2016 Photo download: http://bit.ly/2gDyR2B To view press releases in Chinese, please visit http://mediaroom.hktdc.com/tc About HKTDC Established in 1966, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is a statutory body dedicated to creating opportunities for Hong Kong's businesses. With more than 40 offices globally, including 13 on the Chinese mainland, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a platform for doing business with China, Asia and the world. With 50 years of experience, the HKTDC organises international exhibitions, conferences and business missions to provide companies, particularly SMEs, with business opportunities on the mainland and in international markets, while providing information via trade publications, research reports and digital channels including the media room. For more information, please visit: www.hktdc.com/aboutus. Follow us on Google+, Twitter @hktdc, LinkedIn. Google+: https://plus.google.com/+hktdc Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/hktdc LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/company/hong-kong-trade-development-council Contact:
Kennedy G.,Mayer Brown JSM
Computer Law and Security Review | Year: 2016
This column provides a country by country analysis of the latest legal developments, cases and issues relevant to the IT, media and telecommunications' industries in key jurisdictions across the Asia Pacific region. The articles appearing in this column are intended to serve as 'alerts' and are not submitted as detailed analyses of cases or legal developments. © 2016 Gabriela Kennedy.
Kennedy G.,Mayer Brown JSM
Computer Law and Security Review | Year: 2015
This column provides a country by country analysis of the latest legal developments, cases and issues relevant to the IT, media and telecommunications' industries in key jurisdictions across the Asia Pacific region. The articles appearing in this column are intended to serve as 'alerts' and are not submitted as detailed analyses of cases or legal developments. © 2015 Gabriela Kennedy.
News Article | November 30, 2016
Organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) and the Federation of Hong Kong Business Associations Worldwide (FHKBAW), the 17th Hong Kong Forum opened yesterday (29 November) and continues through today at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. Yesterday's seminar "Hong Kong: Your Beacon along the Belt and Road" welcomed three respected industry professionals to analyse Hong Kong's competitive edge in infrastructure, legal and financial services in relation to the China-led Belt and Road Initiative, which promotes connectivity between more than 60 countries from Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Europe. Hong Kong's extensive experience in infrastructure projects Keith Griffiths, Chairman of Aedas, one of the world's largest architectural firms, noted that Hong Kong's economy began to thrive in the 1970s, and, as a result, numerous infrastructure projects have been completed in the city over the past four decades. With this experience, Hong Kong's pool of professional services talent gives the city a competitive edge in terms of contributing to Belt and Road infrastructure projects and urbanisation on the Chinese mainland. Mr Griffiths stated that architectural firms based in Hong Kong, including Aedas, are world-renowned companies with infrastructure projects worldwide. Some of these projects are in Belt and Road countries and cover seaport, road and airport developments. Hong Kong property developers also have extensive experience, as they have been involved in different kinds of infrastructure, commercial and residential projects since the 1980s, according to Mr Griffiths. He also highlighted the connectivity of Hong Kong's transport and mobility infrastructure as a model that is being adopted in mainland cities. "Such high density integrated projects have long been launched in Hong Kong; for instance, the district of Central is connected via footbridges throughout. Hong Kong has a population density of 15-18: 1, while mainland cities have a population density of 8:1," he said, adding that this reflects expertise that Hong Kong infrastructure companies can offer to other high-density cities. Advantages of "one country, two systems" formula Another speaker, Elaine Lo, Partner, Head of China Practice, Mayer Brown JSM, said that Hong Kong's legal services are extremely important for investors and financers of Belt and Road projects. She quoted statistics stating that the mainland's overseas direct investment reached US$123 billion in 2014, making it the world's third-largest investor country. Of the nation's overseas direct investment, 58 per cent was channeled through Hong Kong. She also said the fact that mainland companies listed on Hong Kong's stock market comprise more than half of the total number of listed firms demonstrates that these companies are keen to use Hong Kong as a springboard to "go global". Ms Lo said: "Under the framework of 'One Country, Two Systems', the Common Law is practiced in Hong Kong, which is more acceptable to foreign governments and enterprises. In addition, infrastructure projects are years-long investments where disputes often arise. Legal professionals from Hong Kong are familiar with the business environment in foreign countries. They have extensive experience in arbitration in such projects, and they excel in negotiation. These are all unique advantages that Hong Kong possesses." According to Ms Lo, there are 872 law firms in Hong Kong, of which 78 are registered overseas law firms, and the city is home to 1,331 registered foreign lawyers from 32 jurisdictions. They are not only familiar with Hong Kong's Common Law system, but they also come from different countries and many of them are proficient in multiple languages. Niche for financial services Meanwhile, Peter Burnett, Regional Head, Corporate Finance, Greater China & North Asia, Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong) Limited, stated his observations about the Belt and Road Initiative. "As is emphasised by all the Chinese officials I have come into contact with, the Belt and Road fosters economic prosperity through cooperation in trade and business between the countries in the regions. Your neighbor prospers, you should prosper. These are the investment opportunities," he said, adding that it was an opportunity for all countries to participate and "not a closed shop". He said Hong Kong's financial services also possess distinctive niche areas, including as an international financial centre and an offshore renminbi business hub. Hong Kong is also the top IPO market worldwide, attracting some of the world's largest IPOs in the past 20 years. Mr Burnett also pinpointed Hong Kong's free capital flows, synergy of various professional services, and the city's substantial experience in infrastructure and financing as important advantages that can help Hong Kong grasp the Belt and Road business opportunities. Photo download: http://bit.ly/2gwhod6 To view press releases in Chinese, please visit http://mediaroom.hktdc.com/tc About HKTDC Established in 1966, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is a statutory body dedicated to creating opportunities for Hong Kong's businesses. With more than 40 offices globally, including 13 on the Chinese mainland, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a platform for doing business with China, Asia and the world. With 50 years of experience, the HKTDC organises international exhibitions, conferences and business missions to provide companies, particularly SMEs, with business opportunities on the mainland and in international markets, while providing information via trade publications, research reports and digital channels including the media room. For more information, please visit: www.hktdc.com/aboutus. Follow us on Google+, Twitter @hktdc, LinkedIn. Google+: https://plus.google.com/+hktdc Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/hktdc LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/company/hong-kong-trade-development-council Contact:
News Article | November 24, 2016
The appetite for fintech investment by financial services firms looks set to continue over the next three years, despite concerns about Brexit, according to a report called The ABC of Fintech launched by international law firm Mayer Brown today. In a survey of 70 UK-led financial services companies, 100% expect to purchase a product or commission work from a fintech company over the next three years. Recognising the need to expose themselves to expertise in new technologies and approaches, financial services firms cite increased cost saving, the delivery of new products and services, and customer services improvements as the top three benefits of collaborating with fintech in the Mayer Brown report. "Larger financial services firms are having to get more flexible with their models. They have shown a willingness to invest in, or at least expose themselves to new types of business that they would not have considered even a few years ago," said Mark Prinsley, head of the Intellectual Property & IT group in London at Mayer Brown. The survey reveals that collaboration between the two sectors has led to few outright acquisitions of fintech companies by financial services firms. Of the 50 UK-led fintech companies surveyed, more than half favoured acquisition by a financial services firm as their exit strategy, however two-thirds (67%) of financial services respondents stated that they are likely to make no fintech acquisitions in the next three years. This is in part due to the market but there are other contributory factors, such as cultural and system compatibility and regulatory issues. "M&A levels generally are pretty low right now, which has certainly had a dampening effect on these particular markets - although activity levels are lifting, said Peter Dickinson, co-head of the global Business & Technology Sourcing group at Mayer Brown. "Large financial services firms are understandably risk adverse and will want to carry out detailed due diligence in relation to any fintech target company to make sure everything is in order - not just now, but historically." Regulatory complexity was cited as the biggest barrier to fintech progress by financial services and fintech respondents alike, however there is a clear difference of opinion on what the ideal regulatory environment should look like. Sixty percent of fintech companies preferred self-regulation and limited regulatory oversight, whilst more than 76% of financial services respondents opted for clear regulatory oversight with some self regulation. Guy Wilkes, a partner in the Financial Services Regulatory & Enforcement group in London at Mayer Brown, said: "Regulators say they're technology neutral, that the platform is not a factor, but it's undeniable that some regulations are not suited to some of the technology we're seeing emerge." On top of concerns about the regulatory environment, there are signs of growing pessimism about the Brexit effect in the report, with 60% of financial services and 76% of fintech survey respondents believing this uncertainty will slow down the development of the fintech market. Despite the presence of this major issue of concern, all respondents were optimistic about the strength of opportunity for more integrated partnerships between traditional financial services companies and young fintech businesses. Peter concluded: "For many large financial services firms, investing in a smaller fintech business is a relatively small financial commitment. The benefits of exposure to technologies that will drive down cost, boost customer engagement and open up new markets far outweigh potential downsides from various Brexit outcomes." The ABC of Fintech forms part of Mayer Brown's focus on the digitisation of business called Lexicon of Next, which provides a focal point for businesses seeking to understand how their opportunities and risks are changing in a transformed business world. Click here for a copy of the report. Mayer Brown is a global legal services organization advising clients across the Americas, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. Mayer Brown comprises legal practices that are separate entities (the "Mayer Brown Practices"). The Mayer Brown Practices are: Mayer Brown LLP and Mayer Brown Europe-Brussels LLP, both limited liability partnerships established in Illinois USA; Mayer Brown International LLP, a limited liability partnership incorporated in England and Wales (authorized and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and registered in England and Wales number OC 303359); Mayer Brown, a SELAS established in France; Mayer Brown Mexico, S.C., a sociedad civil formed under the laws of the State of Durango, Mexico; Mayer Brown JSM, a Hong Kong partnership and its associated legal practices in Asia; and Tauil & Chequer Advogados, a Brazilian law partnership with which Mayer Brown is associated. Mayer Brown Consulting (Singapore) Pte. Ltd and its subsidiary, which are affiliated with Mayer Brown, provide customs and trade advisory and consultancy services, not legal services. "Mayer Brown" and the Mayer Brown logo are the trademarks of the Mayer Brown Practices in their respective jurisdictions. 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