Page 1

NEW YEAR EDITION The Australian Chamber of Commerce Hong Kong and Macau 香港及澳門澳洲商會

ISSUE 188 | 2017

Greater Industry Connection to Drive Hong Kong’s Digital Transformation P.10

Hong Kong Focus Policy Address 2017 – 2018


Special Feature Australia–Hong Kong Business Entrenched

Industry Insights: 2017 Brings New Opportunities for Hong Kong Real Estate Market P.16


austcham news issue 188 03 Chamber Chatter

Published By: The Australian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong and Macau Room 301-302, 3/F, Lucky Building 39 Wellington Street, Central, Hong Kong Tel: +852 2522 5054 Email:

05 Book Review

06 Cover Story Greater Industry Connection to Drive Hong Kong’s Digital Transformation

09 Australia Focus

Editorial Committee: Drew Waters Karen Wu

10 Hong Kong Focus Policy Address 2017 – 2018

13 Membership eCard Benefit

13 Events Update

Advertising: Karen Wu Email:

14 Special Feature Australia–Hong Kong Business Entrenched

16 Industry Insights

17 AustCham Mentor Programme

17 Committees in Action

18 Corporate Profile

CONNEC T • ENGAGE • REPRESENT The Australian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong and Macau has more than 1,500 members from some 500 companies doing business here. It’s the largest Australian business grouping outside the country and the second largest of 28 International Chambers of Commerce in Hong Kong. The AustCham mission is: To promote & represent Australian business & values while enabling members to connect, engage & grow bilateral relationships.

- O Media

19 On The Scene


Follow us on: Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

austcham news Online version

The views expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the Australian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong and Macau, its members or officers. The Australian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong and Macau takes no responsibility for the contents of any article or advertisement, makes no representation as to its accuracy or completeness, and expressly disclaims and liability for any loss however arising from or in reliance upon the whole or any part of this publication. Copyright © 2017 The Australian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong and Macau

2 • austcham news | issue 188

Chamber Chatter

Chairman's Column It has been a busy month for the Chamber. Many members attended the Asian Financial Forum (AFF) at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre, 16-17 January. This included members who are based in Australia but visit Hong Kong each year as part of a delegation that was this year led by Stacey Martin. As is now customary, AustCham’s January “Mix at Six” took place at the conclusion of the AFF to allow visiting members to catch up with those of us who are based in Hong Kong. Long may this tradition continue! .......................... The quiet time during December and early January was used to work on the Chamber’s submission to the Chief Executive’s office as input to the 2017 policy address for Hong Kong. That submission, delivered in early January, represented a team effort with contributions from many members. The submission makes many recommendations and we are informed that it was well received. Key areas of focus that were highlighted in the Chamber’s submission include (the need for) (i) smart city development; (ii) innovation and technology; (iii) education and talent; (iv) the environment; (v) housing availability and property affordability; (vi) land use; and, (vii) commercial and business development. The detailed submission is provided on AustCham’s website, or is available by contacting the Chamber. .......................... AustCham’s annual Australia Day celebration, generously sponsored by National Australia Bank for the past 15 years, was held on January 20. As has been the case each year, the Australian business community gathered for another great celebration of national pride. Guest speaker Holly Ransom impressed everyone and did a marvelous job in communicating her many interesting experiences and insights in an entertaining way. Former Minister for Foreign Affairs, The Honourable Bob Carr, joined us to wave the Australian flag. Bob has spoken at or otherwise attended several AustCham events and is a great supporter of the Chamber. Thank you to all members who attended and supported the event. .......................... I hope that you will connect with the Chamber this month in some way, and that you will continue to share your views on how best the Chamber can serve you. Richard Petty

issue 188 | austcham news


Chamber Chatter


he year of the Rooster is upon us, and many will happily wave good bye to the year of the cheeky Monkey. Much happened last year to make us sit up and take notice as events have unfolded: Brexit, a new American administration, earthquakes, refugees, terrorist attacks, an unlikely flag for the Bulldogs, and Andy Murray out of the Open. I hope the chook can take a peck at 2017 and make things a little better. The Chamber is in its 30th year in Hong Kong, and we are keen to make the most of this significant milestone. We’re not alone, of course, with many of the other Chambers around the same vintage, but we have achieved much over that period. Here, then, is a great opportunity to put things firmly in place for the next 30 years, leaning into a great future full of opportunities for Australian businesses in Hong Kong and China, and for the many Australians working and enjoying life in the region. The Chamber is planning signature events around the birthday, and I hope to involve as many of you as possible to make it a very memorable year.

Across My Desk speaker, Holly Ransom, who entertained and challenged us with her address, and to the large group of supporting participants. NAB has supported the Chambers Australia Day celebration for 15 years and I appreciate their generosity and support. Australian Premium Wines stepped up at the last minute to provide some great wines, Little Creatures brewery for the magnificent ales, Island Shangri-La for that wonderful venue again, Qantas, and cievents. It was a pleasure to utilise cievents this year as one of our Platinum Patrons and I look forward to doing so again. You will have received an invitation to participate in our members Survey recently, and many of you have responded. Thanks to those who have taken a few minutes of their time to fill in this questionnaire, as I’m sure the results will assist the Chamber in the year ahead. I encourage you to find a moment to get back to us, perhaps during the rest over the New Year? Don’t forget the whiskey. Thank you all, not just the Monkeys, as you’ve joined us in activities last year. I look forward to meeting more of you, and assisting even more, in the year ahead. Kung Hei Fat Choi. Drew Waters, Chief Executive

Our Australia Days, in Hong Kong and Macau have been really good events, attended by our great membership and a wide range of guests. I would like to extend a very hearty thank you to our

Low-income Working Family Allowance


he Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region has in May 2016 launched the Low-income Working Family Allowance (LIFA) Scheme, which is a key poverty alleviation measure of the current-term Government. The Scheme targets at providing assistance to low-income working families, with a view to encouraging self-reliance and easing inter-generational poverty. Key features • Under the LIFA Scheme, a family of two or more members living in Hong Kong and meeting the income and asset limits may apply for a Basic Allowance of $600 per month at full rate if the applicant meets the working hour requirements. To recognise efforts in working more, applicants meeting a higher working hour requirement may apply for a Higher Allowance of $1,000 per month at full rate.

Community Corner

Depending on the family income, the Basic Allowance, the Higher Allowance and the Child Allowance may be granted at full rate or half rate.

Application Arrangement An eligible family may submit an application (a completed application form together with documentary proof) anytime for the past six calendar months. Call for Action Please pass this message to your staff members, and encourage and assist those interested to apply for LIFA.

• Each eligible child in the families may also be qualified for a Child Allowance of $800 per month at full rate. Eligible children must be aged below 15, or aged below 15 and 21 receiving full-time education (but not post-secondary education). Details/Enquiries: 24-hour hotline: 2558 3000 Website:

4 • austcham news | issue 188

A Letter from Canberra


t's 30 degrees in the nation's capital, and as you wind down for Chinese New Year celebrations, Canberra is cranking up for back to school and the first week of the parliamentary sitting year. With Australia Day celebrations now over, the summer holiday season has officially come to an end. But it finished in style - with concerts, fireworks, barbecues, backyard cricket, citizenship ceremonies and the announcement of four exceptional Australians Of The Year. The Australian Of The Year is Professor Alan Mackay-Sim, a global authority on the biology of nasal cells whose research led to the world’s first clinical trial using the cells in spinal cord injury. Professor Mackay-Sim's research helped in the world’s first successful restoration of mobility in a quadriplegic man – a breakthrough described as the scientific equivalent to the moon landing. Vicki Jellie is Australia's Local Hero. After her husband Peter died of cancer, Vicki found his plans to bring radiotherapy services to South West Victoria. Despite being told a cancer centre would “never happen”, Vicki lobbied governments, rallied the community and raised funds. In 2016, the new South West Regional Cancer Centre opened its doors.


ook Review

85 year old Sister Anne Gardiner AM is the Senior Australian Of The Year. As a 22-year-old member of the Daughters of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, Sr Anne moved to Bathurst Island to live among the Tiwi people. In the 62 years since, she has devoted her life to enriching community, enhancing opportunity and supporting the Tiwi culture. The Young Australian Of The Year is fashion designer Paul Vasileff. His designs are now favourites on the world’s runways, stocked in international boutiques and worn by celebrities at the Oscars. Paul is deeply committed to creating local jobs and keeping his business in Australia. These Australians Of The Year showcase the diversity of Australia's talent and highlight how curiosity, tenacity, innovation and excellence can improve the lives of our community, our nation and our world. Happy Year Of The Rooster. Gai Brodtmann MP, Federal Member for Canberra and Co-Convenor of Parliamentary Hong Kong Friendship Group

The best dining guides brought to you by the Bookazine team!

The Michelin Guide Hong Kong Macau 2017 The ultimate guide for fine dining! Check who was awarded with one (or more!) prestigious star this year and discover the new go-to restaurants and eateries. The 2017 edition features a total of 238 restaurants, including 80 starred restaurants - 61 in Hong Kong and 19 Macau - along with 75 Bib Gourmand-rated eateries. Tatler Best Restaurants Guide 2017 Hong Kong’s fine dining authority since 1984. Read the 240 expert reviews of Hong Kong and Macau’s best restaurants, bars and cafes the guide has to offer and pick your next dining destination. Staying true to our motto, WOM guide is designed 'for those who love to eat'. Discovering a city’s best restaurants can be a challenge, especially in one with so many hidden gems as Hong Kong. At WOM guide it’s been our mission since 2005 to make your culinary journey easier. This, the 12th edition, brings you the very best new restaurants, along with the classics that still hold their own. These are our greatest eats, our ultimate playlist of everything from fine dining through to casual snacks and bars.


Hong Kong

360 WOM guide Hong Kong 360 The ‘Word of Mouth’ AKA WOM Guide is the perfect food companion to help you navigate Hong Kong's dining scene. It is Hong Kong’s only dining guide based on the opinions of everyday people who enjoy food. The venues are grouped by cuisine, including a Macau section and the brand new ‘Local Delights’ and ‘Mediterranean and Middle Eastern’ categories. Make your culinary journey easier and tastier with the 12th edition of WOM Guide!

The venues are grouped by cuisine, and the WOM Choice lists cover every occasion, from business lunches to date nights – all chosen by our panel of experts. So if you’re searching for good food, WOM guide has all you need.


Taste the best of the world


ISBN 978-988-98725-0-2


Hong Kong

360 The food guide for those who love to eat

9 789889 872502

0 WOM Cover FINAL.indd 1

Hugh Johnson's Pocket Wine Book 2017 Hugh Johnson's Pocket Wine Book 2017 is the essential reference book for everyone who buys wine-in shops, restaurants, or on the internet. Now in its 40th year of publication, it is unrivalled as the most comprehensive and up-to-date annual wine guide. Hugh Johnson provides clear, succinct facts and commentary on the wines, growers, and wine regions of the world. He reveals which growers to look for and why, as well as which vintages to buy, which to drink, and which to cellar. With clear information on grape varieties, local specialties, and how to match food with wines, this detailed guide will prove invaluable. Get your copies from Bookazine or order them online on

8/12/16 10:47 am

Available from Bookazine, issue 188 | austcham news


Cover Story

Greater Industry Connection to Drive Hong Kong’s Digital Transformation - Darrin Webb, Telstra’s Chief Operating Officer, Global Enterprise and Services, and Managing Director, North East Asia


sia has been a growth engine for the global economy for a sustained period of time, and with the region’s middle class expected to double by 2030 to more than 1.2billion households, there is huge potential for the region. However, a key to this success is digital capability, and to keep pace with the leaders in the region, Hong Kong must further improve its industry connectivity. A new report by the Economist Intelligence Unit, commissioned by Telstra, has taken a closer look at what is driving digital transformation, the role it plays in the ability for a business to succeed in a connected world, and how Hong Kong is performing against other countries in the region.

6 • austcham news | issue 188

The results of the Asian Digital Transformation Index places Hong Kong in fourth position out of the 11 other Asian countries indexed. The territory compares reasonably well with the Index leaders – Singapore, South Korea and Japan - in the development of ICT infrastructure and the availability of talent necessary to support digital transformation of its businesses. These strengths however, are offset by weaknesses in industry connectivity.

Some benefits for Hong Kong companies have been generated through involvement in open innovation communities in which data and ideas are shared by companies, research organisations and individuals. But anecdotal evidence suggests that at least some partnerships are essentially vendor relationships rather than collaborative associations, and Hong Kong must work on improving this to stay competitive with other countries in the region.

Why industry connectivity matters Skilled workers are in high demand In the report, industry connectivity is broadly defined as the ability to draw on resources external to the organisation to drive digital transformation and can also reflect the country’s technology ecosystem. Industry connectivity is important because it allows businesses access to evolving technologies and innovations, to find efficiencies and cost savings, to expand into new markets and offer more products and services to customers. Hong Kong ranked particularly low when it came to industry connectivity in the EIU index, coming in at fifth place at 40.4, well behind the leader Japan at 78.9. Yet a clear majority of executives (63 per cent) agree that their firms need to become better at leveraging digital partnerships. In addition, a number of business leaders said they believe their digital partnerships will be nearly as important as their own investments in technology in determining the success of digital transformation.

Recruiting the right talent remains a crucial factor in a company’s ability to realise digital transformation and it remains a challenge across all countries surveyed. Hong Kong ranked third in the human capital category, with more than half (53 per cent) of survey respondents indicating that it is relatively easy to find employees with the requisite digital skills. Yet it appears the pool of available talent in more specialist areas such as data analytics and user experience is a lot smaller. This makes the task of nurturing local talent increasingly important for the country. In fact, Hong Kong’s 2016 First Quarter Economic Report showed that information and communications technology vacancies have risen by 18.3 per cent, highlighting the growing demand for tech talent in Hong Kong.



of companies say GOING IT ALONE (without digital partnerships) will soon be a thing of the past

say it’s “EASY” TO FIND EMPLOYEES with the right digital skills


SINGAPORE TOPPED THE INDEX thanks to its digital infrastructure and industry connectivity

Connecting Capabilities


The Asian Digital Transformation Index

acknowledge that a country’s INFRASTRUCTURE IS IMPORTANT to their organisation’s digital transformation

Ranking of 11 Asian markets based on 20 indicators

49% say it’s counter-productive to fiercely compete with a technology firm that may DISRUPT THE MARKET


cite LACK OF FINANCING as the greatest impediment to digital transformation

Results compared with Australia, the UK and US


870 executives surveyed across six industries


believe their investments in DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION have already proved their value

cite MORE INNOVATIVE IDEAS as the main benefit from digital partnerships


say BIG DATA AND ANALYTICS will be the most important focus in the future

issue 188 | austcham news


Cover Story While South Korea and Japan lead the Index in the human capital category, talent remains an issue right across the board, with only 16 per cent of all companies saying that it was ‘very easy’ to find employees with the digital skills they required.

transformation in the immediate future, should lie with industry connectivity and fostering collaborative partnerships. The full report and the data used to compile the Index can be found at

Partnerships key to surviving a disruptive future Disruption is happening everywhere we look at the moment and is set to continue. In order to drive digital transformation, it’s necessary to first embrace disruption. The companies who are already doing this are the ones who are seeing the greatest results. Resisting disruptors and engaging in direct competition with these industry newcomers will only see companies fall further behind in the race to leverage the opportunities presented by digital transformation. The key is to work in partnership with them. By doing so, established companies will receive technological knowhow from innovative start-ups, while disruptors can tap into existing customer bases and knowledge. Remaining globally competitive when it comes to digital transformation can be achieved by creating an environment that is conducive to continued investment in infrastructure, attracting a skilled workforce and sharing resources and best practice knowledge across industry. While Hong Kong has fared relatively well across the board, the key focus when it comes to driving digital

The Connecting Capabilities report includes: • The first Asian Digital Transformation Index, which is a quantitative ranking of 11 major Asian markets and three global comparators (the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom). The Index is comprised of 20 indicators across three categories relevant to enterprises and large organisations: digital infrastructure (including the reach and quality of telecommunications networks), human capital (including education, citizen e-participation and Internet usage) and industry connectedness (including e-commerce maturity and strength of digital partnerships). • A survey with 870 executives in the same 14 countries across six industries – manufacturing, financial services, media, healthcare, professional services, and logistics. Reference: • news-and-media/release-hsbc-digital-for-business-marketstudy-en.pdf •

Connecting Capabilities The Asian Digital Transformation Index

International Comparison

1. Singapore

1. USA

2. South Korea

2. AUS

3. Japan 3.UK

4. Hong Kong


72.5 70.7


5. Taiwan

65.7 65.1

6. Malaysia 7. China 8. Thailand 9. India

42.0 33.9

10. Philippines


8 • austcham news | issue 188

11. Indonesia

19.3 18.8


74.3 72.6

Australia Focus

Alternative Facts - commentary from Kerry-Anne Walsh


h e n e w black in politics is now, apparently, “alternative facts”, unveiled as the latest musthave political accessory by the new leader of the free world, US President Donald Trump. For the uninitiated, alternative facts are realities that some politicians invent. They are clear and unequivocal fibs proffered by politicians who don’t like clear and unequivocal facts that offend their worldviews. Confused? Prepare to be even more so, as President Trump is not the only office-bearer accessorising with the latest political trend. It’s fair to say that the only reason this new troubling phenomenon has blasted onto the international catwalk is because Trump is so breathtakingly open and brazen about it. Here at home, Australians have long been used to politicians gilding the lily. Ambitious politicians who deny having any aspirations are a mild version. Openly scheming former Prime Ministers who, in injured tones, vehemently deny trying to destroy those who replaced them, elevate the alternative fact to a particularly egregious level. And politicians who continually tell a sceptical general public that certain policies are good for them and the country, when evidence suggests only certain vested interests will benefit, are also alternative facters. It’s the reason why this year we’re in for a helluva ride in Australian politics. Not only will the wildly unpredictable President Trump be instrumental in affecting trade and other policies through his decisions, but our own wildly unpredictable rump of politicians is set to cause havoc. Take one of One Nation’s band of balance-of-power Senators, for instance. Queenslander Malcolm Roberts is one of Parliament’s most vocal and confused climate change sceptics. He crowed about being “invited” to the Trump inauguration and refused to clarify his story even when presented with the real facts: that he had begged the Australian Embassy in Washington for spare tickets for months. It wasn’t so much an invitation as a political scalping exercise. That aside, Roberts is determined to destroy Australia’s most venerable scientific research organisations, the CSIRO. He can do a lot of damage.

His leader, Pauline Hanson, although surprising many of her parliamentary colleagues with her more collegiate approach to policy horsetrading, nevertheless has flagged that her version of the truth, and facts, will prevail.

- Kerry-Anne Walsh Australian political and media analyst

She wants a Royal Commission into climate change, for instance, giving Aussie lawyers cause for post-Christmas rejoicing. She wants to ban the burqa in Government departments. And a host of other policies, with tenuous “facts” offered up to validate her demands. In the Lower House, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull spent the first month of the new year saying his Government will press ahead with the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal, despite President Trump saying the US won’t sign. Well! We’ll strike a deal with the other dozen countries and ignore the US, the PM declared, despite the fine print of the trade deal stating it can’t proceed without the US. True to his word Trump signed the death knell for the TPP on January 24, but Australian Trade Minister Steve Ciobo was still indulging in fantasies about the deal rising from the ashes. You get the picture. What are facts to the rest of us aren’t necessarily facts to those who would wish them away. But despite the alt-facters, the irrefutable truth for 2017 policy-making in Australia is that our policy future is very unclear. Trump’s brackish approach to China has acutely alarmed our foreign and trade policy boffins. His deeply protectionist trade approach, with few details yet sketched in to allow policy-makers to assess the impact, is also tickling spines – and not in a good way. The US is, after all, Australia’s fourth largest export market and our second largest source of imports. It is also the largest investor in Australia. In the light of this unpredictable new world, current and former politicians are urging the Turnbull government to turbo-charge our engagement with Asia. Just how the Government will do it in the new alt-fact world - and when the PM is absorbed fighting the destructive shadow-boxing of his predecessor, who wants his old job back but denies that fact – will be something to watch. issue 188 | austcham news


Hong Kong Focus

Policy Address 2017 – 2018 On 18th January, the Chief Executive of the HKSAR, C Y Leung, delivered his Policy Address for the year 2017 – 2018, which is titled “Make Best Use of Opportunities, Develop the Economy, Improve People's Livelihood, Build an Inclusive Society”. Here are some major highlights of the Address:

Economy Trade - The Government’s preparations to open an Economic and Trade Office (ETO) in Seoul are underway. ETOs will be set up in five other countries - India, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, and the United Arab Emirates. The Government has also been expanding the network of offices in the Mainland and plan to set up liaison units in Tianjin, Zhejiang, Guangxi and Shaanxi by the middle of this year.

Talent Exchange Visa - The Government will consider relaxing visa requirements for nationals of countries along the Belt and Road for employment, study and visit. The government has reached a consensus with Belarus on mutual visa exemption and are planning to relax visa requirements for Cambodian nationals.

Tourism - This year the Government will invite a tender for the Kai Tak Tourism Node in the vicinity of the cruise terminal to develop a world-class tourist attraction. Tax - The Government plans to introduce a bill into the LegCo this year to amend the Inland Revenue Ordinance to offer tax concession so as to attract companies to develop aircraft leasing business in Hong Kong. Labor -The Statutory Minimum Wage (SMW) rate will be increased with effect from 1 May this year. This is the third time for the current-term Government to increase the SMW rate.

Exchange programs - New initiatives include increasing the quotas to 5, 600 for students’ Mainland exchange programs along the Silk Road this year, and encouraging, through the Quality Education Fund, students to engage in exchange activities in the Mainland and countries along the Belt and Road. Scholarships - The Government sets up the Hong Kong Scholarship for “Belt and Road” Students (Indonesia) this academic year. In the next academic year, there will be two “Belt and Road” scholarships funded by private donations for students from Malaysia and Thailand.


Technology InnoCell - The Government supports the construction by the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTPC) of an InnoCell adjacent to the Science Park. InnoCell will provide residential units for leasing to staff of the incubatees and start-ups in the Science Park. It will also be open to scientific research personnel from outside Hong Kong who work for other companies in the park.

Land supply in Kowloon East continues to increase. The commercial floor area in the area now amounts to over 2.3 million square meters, and is expected to further increase by about 4.7 million square meters.

Inno Space - The Government will establish an Inno Space with the Hong Kong Productivity Council to facilitate the sharing of practical technologies and skills to promote the translation of innovative and technological ideas into industrial designs or products, and support a start-up culture and reindustrialization.

The Government will establish a preparatory committee to study the ambit and modus operandi of a conservation fund, as well as the legislation and resources required for setting up such a fund. The fund will also provide an integrated and dedicated mechanism and resources for implementing policy initiatives relating to the conservation of biodiversity in the rural areas.

Re-industrialization - The Government is preparing to build a Data Technology Hub and an Advanced Manufacturing Center in the Tseung Kwan O Industrial Estate, to be completed in three and five years respectively.

10 • austcham news | issue 188

Smart City Development CSDI - The Government is striving to promote the establishment of a Common Spatial Data Infrastructure (CSDI) to provide an information infrastructure to share spatial data, supporting various smart city applications, and support the smart city blueprint of the ITB. Data Centre - The Government will continue to implement incentive measures to encourage the private owners of eligible industrial buildings to convert them into data centres. The procedures will be further streamlined for issuing waivers for such purpose. Kowloon East - The Government is using Kowloon East as a smart city pilot area, leveraging people-centric information and communications technology solutions for the sharing of data to improve the use of resources and enhance the management of pedestrian and vehicular traffic flows. Fund - The Government will launch a $500 million Innovation and Technology Fund for Better Living by the middle of this year to subsidies innovation and technology projects which will bring more convenient, more comfortable and safer living to the public, or those addressing the needs of specific community groups.

Development of Lantau The blueprint for Lantau’s development and conservation will be published in the first half of this year. The direction will be “development for the north, conservation for the south”. North Lantau will be for economic and housing developments while Northeast Lantau will be developed into an area for leisure, entertainment and tourism through reclamation in Sunny Bay, complemented by Hong Kong Disneyland. Most of the remaining areas in Lantau will be used for conservation, leisure, cultural and eco-tourism purposes. The AA’s SKYCITY development project occupies over 25 hectares, and will become a dedicated area for hotel, retail, dining and entertainment. The boundary crossing facilities island of the HZMB can provide a floor area of 500, 000 square meters for economic uses.

Environment Energy - The Government will gradually replace most of the electricity generated from coal-fired plants with cleaner energy by 2030. When negotiating the new Scheme of Control Agreements with the power companies, the Government will study how to further promote energy saving and renewable energy (RE) generation. The Government will earmark at least $500 million to gradually achieve the targets of energy saving and will actively encourage private building owners to make use of various tax concessions, loan schemes and funding schemes to procure energy saving installations. Biodiversity - The Government will implement the first Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan for Hong Kong and strengthen conservation of biodiversity by conducting studies, enhancing public awareness, and promoting the mainstreaming of biodiversity issues and values. Waste Management - The Government plans to introduce the bill for implementing waste charging in the current legislative year. Meanwhile, the new construction waste charges will take effect in April this year. The Government is also preparing the legislation required to mandate the use of a Global Positioning System on construction waste collection vehicles to combat illegal depositing of construction waste. Phase 1 of the Organic Waste Treatment Facilities (OWTF) will be completed this year to further waste-to-energy efforts. The Government will implement a pilot project to source separate food waste from wet markets and cooked food centres managed by the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department, as well as wet markets and shopping malls managed by the Hong Kong Housing Authority, for delivery to the upcoming OWTF for treatment. The Government will provide tertiary institutions and primary and secondary schools with suitable support for on-site treatment of food waste, with a view to enhancing student and teacher awareness of the “food wise” culture. issue 188 | austcham news

• 11

Hong Kong Focus

Transport Roads - The Government will construct the Central Kowloon Route, which will link Yau Ma Tei with Kowloon Bay and the Kai Tak Development Area and reduce the journey time from 30 minutes to 5 minutes during rush hours. Other large-scale road projects, such as the Tuen Mun- Chek Lap Kok Link, the Central-Wan Chai Bypass and Island Eastern Corridor Link, the Tseung Kwan O-Lam Tin Tunnel, the widening of Fanling Highway and the Hiram’s Highway improvement works, are being taken forward at full speed. “Walk in HK”- The Government will encourage people to walk more and rely less on motorized transport. We will consolidate past efforts to foster a pedestrian-friendly environment and promote “Walk in HK”. Two areas is selected for pilot study to test innovative measures for a comfortable walking environment, and to explore relaxing the requirements for adding covers to public walkways as stipulated in the Transport Planning and Design Manual, etc. A “bicycle-friendly” environment - Measures will include providing comprehensive cycle track networks in NDAs under planning, including Hung Shui Kiu and Yuen Long South, to facilitate commuting by bicycles within the districts, as well as extending the cycle track network within the open spaces of the Kai Tak Development Area (KTDA) to about 13 kilometres to link up major attractions.

12 • austcham news | issue 188

The Mandatory Provident Fund System The Government proposes to progressively abolish the “offsetting” of severance payments (SP) or long service payments (LSP) with MPF contributions. The Government will discuss in detail with the business and labor sectors, MPF trustees and relevant advisory bodies in the coming three months, and finalist our proposal by the end of June. The next objective of the MPF Schemes Authority is to put in place an eMPF, a centralized electronic platform, to facilitate the standardization, streamlining and automation of the MPF scheme administration, thereby further reducing costs and paving the way for “full portability” so employees will have full control over the investment strategy.

Culture The Government will collaborate with the film industry to run training programs regularly with a total of 200 places to provide practical training or internship opportunities for front-line talent in the production and post-production sectors of the film industry. Moreover, the Government will support 10 practitioners in the post-production sector in each of the next three years to further their studies or undertake internships overseas.

Membership eCard Benefit AustCham

ard Membership eC

k Than ! You

Corporate Services I Cloud Accounting I HR & Payroll I Trade Services I Full China Services In

January, Primasia is offering AustCham

members exclusive discount on their business services.

Primasia assists in the transition from traditional accounting software and prepare you to embrace the future - Xero cloud accounting. Xero is an easy to use but powerful online accounting system designed to give you real time financial information. You can access it anytime and anywhere when there is an internet connection.

- All members are entitled to 1 hour Xero training within January and February 2017 - Enjoy 50% off for 1st month Accounting Services if engage our Accounting Services by the end of February 2017 - Offers valid until 28th February 2017

Primasia Corporate Services Limited +852 2882 2088/ / Also in Shanghai I Beijing I Guangzhou Representatives: London I ParisI Vancouver I Toronto I San Diego

EVENTS UPDATE FEBRUARY AT A GLANCE… Wed, 15 Feb, 6:30pm – 9:00pm VR: Groundbreaking creative technology being used by the leading brands INFINITI LAB, 2/F, Hopewell Centre 183 Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai, Hong Kong Thur, 16 Feb, 8:00am – 10:00am InterSME: Handling Crisis and Change as an SME UniCredit, Prague Room, 26/F, Man Yee Building 68 Des Voeux Road Central, Hong Kong Thur, 16 Feb, 6:00pm – 9:00pm Mix at Six Tonic, 43 Wyndham Street, Central, Hong Kong

APRIL AT A GLANCE… Thur, 6 April, 12:00nn – 2:30pm AustCham Commonwealth Bank Rugby Sevens Lunch with David Campese Grand Ballroom, Grand Hyatt Hong Kong 1 Harbour Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong

To enquire about advertising, submit an article, comment or respond to austcham news, please contact Karen Wu at or call +852 2522 5054. issue 188 | austcham news

• 13

Special Feature

Australia–Hong Kong - Acting Australian Consul-General Hong Kong Janaline Oh As a demonstration of Australia’s continuing openness to foreign investment, the Attorney-General and Treasurer yesterday announced reforms to the way we manage investment in Australia’s critical infrastructure to provide investors early advice on any potential issues. We have also, with New Zealand, launched the Australia New Zealand Infrastructure Pipeline, a one-stop web portal of major infrastructure investment opportunities. We work closely with Hong Kong to promote economic liberalisation through the WTO and APEC.


ustralia Day is a date we share as national day with India. In the spirit of fellowship and good diplomatic relations, it’s our Indian friends’ turn to celebrate on the 26th.

The theme of our Australia Day reception this year is “Innovative Creative Australia”…We take pride in the fact that international partnerships enable people the world over to enjoy on a daily basis the benefits of Australia’s creative thinking, often without them realising. Ultrasound, life-saving pacemakers, a vaccine that protects against cervical cancer, and the real-life “bionic ear” – a cochlear implant - are examples of the work of Australian scientists. And, by the way, we’re now well advanced on the development of a bionic eye.

At a bilateral level, we continue to explore further strengthening through possible free trade and double taxation agreements and a truly liberalising air-services agreement. And we welcome here our fourth cohort of New Colombo Plan Scholars thanks to the support of the Hong Kong government. But our relationship is not built primarily on government agreements. Its real strength relies on the connections between Australian and Hong Kong people. Hong Kong is home to the second largest concentration of Australians overseas – we think around 100,000. It will be no surprise to you that Hong Kong also hosts the largest offshore Australian business community. Australians are drawn to Hong Kong for the warmth with which your administration and the people of Hong Kong extend the hand of friendship. Fantastic food and world-class public transport also help.

If you enjoy the convenience of high-speed WiFi, use Google Maps to navigate, or enjoy safe air travel, thanks to the cockpit voice recorder or aircraft inflatable slides, then it’s Australian innovation on which you rely. Australia produces excellent research, but it’s the partnerships I mentioned earlier that help translate such ideas into commercial realities. This is something Hong Kong does well. Australia’s wool industry for example, represented by our awardwinning event partner Woolmark, is the world’s most innovative but around this room tonight, it’s Hong Kong designers that have brought this fibre to life. The Octopus Card, based on technology developed by a small company in Perth, is ubiquitous thanks to Hong Kong commercial acumen. We welcome the priority given by the Hong Kong Government to innovation in The Policy Address 2017, and look forward to further partnerships in this area. Australia’s experience shows that Governments cannot buy innovation, although start-up funds are always welcomed. Rather, Governments foster innovation by being open to goods and services, capital, people and most of all ideas from around the world. After a year in which the world’s media have proclaimed the death of globalisation, Australian Ministers have been loudly championing the benefits of openness.

14 • austcham news | issue 188

Australian businesses base themselves in Hong Kong to take advantage of its efficient and transparent regulatory environment and rule of law, backed by an independent judiciary and the freedoms of an open civil society. These indispensable elements of “One Country, Two Systems” are what allow Hong Kong to play the role the Chief Executive likes to call a “super-connector” to Mainland China: a role that brings great benefits both to Hong Kong and the mainland. “One Country, Two Systems” has been much discussed in Hong Kong recently. I would like to assure everyone here tonight that Australia will play its part to support and protect this precious, essential element of what makes Hong Kong unique as a global city.

The above abstract was taken from the speech of Acting Australian Consul-General Hong Kong Janaline Oh at the Australian Consulate-General's Australia Day Reception on 24 January 2017.

Business Entrenched - HKSAR Financial Secretary Paul Chan


ong Kong and Australia have long been good friends - in the pursuit of business, innovation, as well as good wine.

In the past couple of years, quite a number of my ministerial colleagues visited Australia. I am pleased to note that their talks with the Australian ministers included discussion of a comprehensive avoidance of double taxation agreement. I hope negotiations on that can begin soon. This is because throwing open our respective doors via double taxation avoidance and free trade agreements can only mean expanded trade, more business and investment, and ramped up opportunities for innovation on both sides. We also brought up the possibility of an Australian-Hong Kong free trade agreement, as free trade is one of our common aspirations. These two agreements would definitely make the best of business sense for all concerned. After all, Hong Kong is Australia’s sixthlargest trading partner in services and sixth-largest foreign investor. And our investment in Australia runs from infrastructure and telecommunications to banking, property development, transport, hospitality, agriculture and much more. And you need only a glance at the numbers to see how broadly based, how deeply entrenched, Australian business is here in Hong Kong. At last count, around 550 Australian companies called Hong Kong home. In addition, over a thousand Australian companies keep their representative offices in Hong Kong. And, no surprise here: the Australian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong is the biggest anywhere beyond Australia, and the second-largest chamber in Hong Kong. From banking and finance, to construction, transport, food, beverage, and more, Australian business believes in Hong Kong's advantages: an efficient and free market, the rule of law together with robust intellectual property protection, a low and simple tax system, as well as a level playing field for business. Like most international companies, Australian enterprises also count on Hong Kong’s unique role as the gateway to Asia and the superconnector to the vast consumer markets on the Mainland of China. Innovation and technology development, which is high on the Hong Kong Government’s policy agenda, is certainly an area that we can further co-operate and learn from each other’s experience. Just 14 months ago, we set up the Innovation & Technology Bureau in our Government to oversee the planning and development of our I&T sector. Last year, we injected some US$2.3 billion to fuel the development of the industry. These funds are being distributed to our world-class universities for them to undertake midstream R&D, and to boost the

commercialisation of their solid R&D output. Some other funds are being provided to support SMEs to adopt technology services and solutions. And we will be setting up a US$250 million Innovation & Technology Venture Fund, for investing, together with private venture capital funds, in promising local I&T start-ups. Australia, I’m pleased to note, is very much part of Hong Kong’s I&T future. Most recently, Australian telecommunications company Superloop has completed the first phase in the construction of its dark fibre network in Hong Kong, strengthening our already strong ICT infrastructure. The Hong Kong network is the company’s largest installation to date. A smart move, I would say. As one of the world’s leading financial centres, and China’s international financial capital, Hong Kong is also growing apace as a Fintech hub. Indeed, we newly established the Fintech Facilitation Office under the Hong Kong Monetary Authority to fast-track development of financial technology. Our Fintech office, I am sure, is working closely with the Innovation Lab established by the Commonwealth Bank of Australia last year right here in Hong Kong, which is the first of the bank’s offshore lab. And, finally, if you are a wine lover like me, you will be excited to know that Hong Kong is indeed Australia's fifth-largest wine-export destination in value. And among the world's biggest consumers of Australian wine on a per capita basis. Since we decided to do away with the wine duty back in 2008, Hong Kong has become a wine free-port, as well as the region’s wine-trading and distribution hub. Add it up, and you can well understand why Langton’s, one of the leading wine auction houses in Australia, opened its East Asia office here in Hong Kong last July, extending its brokerage business into the heart of Asia's wine country.

Hong Kong SAR Financial Secretary Paul Chan gave these remarks at the Australian Consulate-General's Australia Day Reception on 24 January 2017.

Photos: Australian Consulate-General Hong Kong issue 188 | austcham news

• 15

Industry Insights

2017 Brings New Opportunities for Hong Kong Real Estate Market Talking POINTS Talking POINTS - Justin Lam, Tenant Representation, Office Services at Colliers International


espite the regional and global uncertainties at the outset,

Year-endyear Review andmoderate 2017 Outlook November 2016 2016 saw growths in local and22regional economies. Hong Kong’s real GDP growth was better than

Hong Kong: Rising above newofchallenges in 2017 expected with an estimated growth 1.5%. Supported by healthy We expect Hong Kong’s GDP growth to build on its upward trend in 2017 with improved domestic consumption strongbeinvestment demand, economic business sentiment. While thereand will always challenges ahead, Hong Kong’s property market sector should continue to improve in 2017.

performance and business sentiments improved towards the end CAPITAL VALUE of the year.


Office (HK): Office (Kln):

+4% -7%

Office (HK):


Asia Pacific economies are mostly healthy, with China set to Retail: -5% to -10% Retail: -5% to -10% achieve 6.3% GDP growth in 2017. After three years of steady Industrial: +3% Industrial: depreciation against +5% the US dollar, the RMB should not fall much Residential (Mass): -5% Residential (Mass): business -3% further. Improving confidence, stable consumer spending, and aResidential strong investment demand will push higher GDP growth for Residential (Luxury): -10% (Luxury): -5% Hong Kong in the next three years.

Hong Kong: resilient against global uncertainties Import / Export, Accommodation & Food

High value service sector expands

Wholesales/retail sector

Economic growth in Hong Kong has beaten expectations so far in 2016. Real YOY GDP Officewas rents diverge further between Kong Island & growth 0.8%to in Q1 2016, 1.7% in Q2 and 1.9% in Q3.Hong This improvement has been driven by strength in domestic demand, with consumer spending, investment and imports Kowloon all picking up, and business confidence rising correspondingly. While the high value service sector’s expansion continues, other sectorsof have re-emerged with 4better growth On office leasing markets, new supply approximately million towards the end of the year.

sq ft. in 2017 will have a significant impact on rental growth and

Hong negative real interest rates persist createKong: cost-effective opportunities fortooccupiers.

Hong Kong’s property market remains supported by negative real (i.e. inflation-adjusted) interest rates. Hong Kong interest rates closely follow US interest rates due to the currency peg. Whether US interest rates rise rapidly or gradually over the next few years depends in part on whether the economic policies of President-elect Trump prove expansionary or contractionary. Right now this is hard to say; there are arguments both ways. Although upward pressure on rates is a risk, we expect Hong Kong to enjoy negative real interest rates until some time in 2018.

Central and Admiralty leasing markets are unlikely to face a negative rental growth due to minimum vacancy and continued demand for prime office space from Mainland Chinese tenants. Buy PRC office market: leasecould or notsee to softening lease However, other submarkets on the to Island rents PRC companies have been a key tenant group for the core CBD area. Many due to increasingof competition from Kowloon East.toAll Kowloon them are becoming owner/occupiers. In additional en-bloc purchase key financial institutions, more companies are looking for strata-title office markets will alsoby see rental softening due to the new supply. Colliers opportunities on Hong Kong Island. A lack of stock will drive office prices further in 2017. Rentexpects rental the gap between Hong Kong Island and Research Kowloon to further expand with Hong Kong Island rents to grow Millennials torents dominate by 4% while in Kowloon to fall by 7% owing to the upcoming Millennials are going to shape Hong Kong’s real supply. Capital values Hong Kong Island are expected to grow by estate landscape in different ways. in Retailers have been offering a more authentic experience and 10%, while Kowloon will experience a 5% fall in its capital values. connecting to millennials through social media. Many TECH SAVY

companies will have to re-design their offices to provide more social and collaborative space, flexible work stations, and install the latest technology to improve their productivity and employees’ well-being. Developers are building smaller units of apartments to meet their limited budget.

market sector should continue to improve in 2017.


RENTAL Office (HK): Office (Kln):

+4% -7%

Office (HK):



-5% to -10%


-5% to -10%





Residential (Mass):


Residential (Mass):


Residential (Luxury): -5%

3.4% Transaction volume (over HKD100 million)

growth. The availability of quality office spaces, coupled with large floor plates at a significant rental discount compared to the options available on Hong Kong Island, will create opportunities for large occupiers in and around the CBD to consider. Another key Year-end Review and 2017is Wong Outlook Novemberof 2016 emerging submarket of note Chuk Hang. The 22 opening the South Island MTR line has improved Wong Chuk Hang’s status Hong Kong: Rising above new challenges in 2017 as a low-cost fringe CBD area, which will experience increased takeWe expect Hong Kong’s GDP growth to build on its upward trend in 2017 with improved business While there will always be challenges ahead, Hong Kong’s property up andsentiment. rental growth in 2017.


In the long term, Kowloon East will be an inevitable choice for larger occupiers looking for expansion 33% space to facilitate further WORKFORCE

Five retail sectors are capturing market attention Creative F&B, retail-tainment, sports & lifestyle, modern living, new skincare and cosmetics have been thriving in a soft retail market, shifting focus back to local customers. These are the key target groups during shopping mall revamps of tenant mix to offer new and authentic experiences.

Residential (Luxury): -10%

Retail will re-emerge as an attractive investment segment Hong Kong: resilient against global uncertainties

2016 was a challenging year for the Hong Kong retail sector as Mainland Chinese visitor arrivals continued to drop and a strong Transaction volume Import / Export, High value service Hong Kong dollar Accommodation further squeezed tourists expenditureWholesales/retail across the (over HKD100 million) & Food sector expands sector board. However, local consumption has stabilised and has started Economic growth in Hong Kong has beaten expectations so far in 2016. Real YOY GDP growth 0.8% ingrowth Q1 2016, towards 1.7% in Q2 and Q3. This improvement has 2017 been to seewas positive the1.9% lastinquarter of 2016. The driven by strength in domestic demand, with consumer spending, investment and imports retail landscape will be similarrising to that of 2016 and four all picking up, and business confidence correspondingly. While the market high value service sector’s expansion continues, other sectors have re-emerged with better growth categories, including food & beverages, sports & lifestyle, cosmetics towards the end of the year. & skin care products and modern living, are expected to increase Hong Kong: negative real interest rates to persist their market share amid high proportion of consumption by the Hong Kong’s property market remains supported by negative real (i.e. inflation-adjusted) interest rates. Hong Kong interest rates closely follow US interest rates due to the currency peg. Whether US interest local population.


rates rise rapidly or gradually over the next few years depends in part on whether the economic policies of President-elect Trump prove expansionary or contractionary. Right now this is hard to say; there are arguments both ways. Although upward pressure on rates is a risk, we expect Hong Kong to enjoy negative real interest rates until some time in 2018.

With total retail sales stabilising, we will only see a moderate adjustment of street shop rent at prime shopping areas by 5% while Buy PRC office market: lease or to notgrow to lease rents at decentralised locations willtocontinue by 5% in 2017. PRC companies have been a key tenant group for the core CBD area. Many of them are becoming owner/occupiers. additional to en-bloc From the investment perspective, the retailIn sector will bepurchase attractive by key financial institutions, more companies are looking for strata-title office to investors withopportunities more up-side potential in the medium term on Hong Kong Island. A lack of stock will drive office prices further in 2017. beyondRent 2017.

Millennials to dominate

We are confident that Hong Kong will continue to retain its mantle of being a leading destination for top international retail / hospitality brands.

Millennials are going to shape Hong Kong’s real estate landscape in different ways. Retailers have been offering a more authentic experience and connecting to millennials through social media. Many companies will have to re-design their offices to provide more social and collaborative space, flexible work stations, and install the latest technology to improve their productivity and employees’ well-being. Developers are building smaller units of apartments to meet their limited budget.





Five retail sectors are capturing market attention Retail-tainment

Creative F&B, retail-tainment, sports & lifestyle, modern living, new skincare and cosmetics have been thriving in a soft retail market, shifting focus back to local customers. These are the key target groups during shopping mall revamps of tenant mix to offer new and authentic experiences.

Creative F&B

16 • austcham news | issue 188

Sports & lifestyle

Mentor Programme

Mentor Programme Update


he month leading up to Christmas and New Year was busy and packed with parties for all. For the AustCham Mentor Programme, December saw Karen See from {embrace} worldwide run an interactive and thought provoking session on "Leadership is not a title, It’s a Way of Being" as the last event for 2016.  Again we would like to thank James Carlile at Wine Bothers for their support in providing wine and food at this event.   

There are only a few events left for the 2016/2017 programme and in January we were very excited to be running an event titled “Dialling up Your Influencing Skills”, delivered by professional trainer and actor Sean Kwan. February will be our Reverse Mentoring Month where Mentees will get the opportunity to mentor their partner for the month, with both sides sharing their experience - and more importantly what they have taken away from the dialogue.  March will be our final event for this year, where we see our 2016 cohort graduate from the program, with many already indicating the relationships will continue long after the March deadline…  Applications open shortly for the 2017 mentorship programme.   Are you new to Honk Kong? Starting a new business? Thinking of a career change or would like to improve your soft skills?  If so, this programme provides great networking opportunities and potential to match you with a mentor that can provide you with guidance and assistance in making personal and professional changes. If you would like to be a part of the mentor programme beginning in May 2017, please contact

Committees in Action Macau Business Network: Review and Looking Forward


he Chamber’s Macau Business Network (MBN) was set up about 2 years ago. It aims to plan how to revitalise AustCham’s activities and strengthen its presence and position in Macau so we can maximise the benefits for our current members and potential members. The MBN members consists representatives of Australian companies operating in Macau, Australians working in companies operating in Macau key industries, and representatives from Australian Trade and Investment Commission of Australian Consulate-General in Hong Kong. In 2015-2016 and under the leadership of our first Chair, Michael Usher the MBN met regularly to discuss key matters affecting our future as a chamber in Macau, in particular how we can increase memberships by tailor-making events that suit the characteristics of Macau, Macau current & future members. With the support from the Secretariat (led by AustCham Chief Executive Drew Waters and his team), our key findings and recommendations were presented to the Board for consideration and agreement. Our aim is to bring to life the purpose of AustCham, to “Connect, Engage and Represent” here in Macau. As a recently elected new Chair of the MBN and together with the strong and continuous support from fellow members, I will continue the development of AustCham in Macau according to our original plans and to come up with new plans for moving onto the next phase. We have plans for our events for the first half of 2017, including Australia Day, ANZAC Day and Queen’s Birthday, business lunches and importantly, an event to Showcase Macau in Hong Kong. I am

sure this key event will definitely help demonstrating AustCham’s capabilities in promoting and developing Macau. Macau’s economy has been recovering and recorded increases in gaming revenue for 5 consecutive months since August 2016. In addition, with construction of large scale hotel resorts and the Hong Kong-ZhuHai-Macau Bridge to be completed in 2017-2018, I expect an improved Macau economy with more business opportunities for Australians and Australian companies. We should also keep an eye on the business opportunities in Hengqin, ZhuHai. One of MBN’s visions is to position AustCham in Macau as the first chamber for all Australians to join, no matter if you are an individual, a company or someone with strong Australian interests or connections, a place where members can find business information on Macau, networking opportunities for business development and sharing valuable knowledge amongst members. All this along with having some good fun with mates old and new from time to time. - Patrick Liu, EY

Members of the current Macau Business Network Patrick Liu (Chair) Liviano Lacchia Michael Keen

Michael Usher (former Chair) Martin Darveniza Vincent Kelly

Representative from Australian Trade and Investment Commission of Australia Consulate-General in Hong Kong issue 188 | austcham news

• 17

Corporate Profile

O MEDIA Head office: Golden Dragon Centre, 105 Avenida Xian Xing Hai, 10L, Macau Corporate office: Suite 301, St Georges Building, 2 Ice House Street, Central, Hong Kong

Andrew W Scott, CEO

O MEDIA, founded in 2009, is a Macau-registered private equity media company with additional assets in Entertainment and Events. O MEDIA owns and publishes luxury lifestyle, leisure and culture magazine High Life, B2C gaming magazine WGM and Asian gaming industry publication Inside Asian Gaming, with additional media assets in digital and print slated to launch in 2017. All our media brands are based in Macau and offer online and offline content. As well as our Macau head office, O MEDIA has offices in Hong Kong and the Philippines, and representation in mainland China, Europe, North America and Australia.

What is the vision of your company in 10 years? We’ll be the leading media company of Macau and have over a dozen media channels to effectively speak to the 40 to 50 million people who visit Macau each year (it’s currently around 31 million, and I expect steady growth). We’ll also have a number of adjacencies such as business units in events, recruitment, education and research. And by then we should have spread our wings from Macau to the wider South China region.

What are the main skills of your job? Like any CEO my primary role is managing people. A media company is only as good as its people and that’s especially challenging in a place like Macau. Also very important is understanding Macau’s residents and visitors and the people of the wider Pearl River Delta. What entertains them? What are their information needs? What are their preferences? What are the changing demographics? How do we get an effective message to them in a context that works? In a media organisation you certainly need to keep your finger on the pulse.

What’s your company’s connection to Australia? Over half of our current shareholders are Australian, as is our CEO (me!) That’s changing though, we’re actively encouraging more and more Chinese people to join O MEDIA.

What’s the most unusual thing you have had to do as part of your job? Interviewing Hugh Hefner at the Playboy Mansion in LA certainly ranks up there! I even got a guided tour of his menagerie of exotic animals roaming the property! What does your company do really well? Without a doubt two things – the creation of engaging content, and truly and deeply understanding Macau and the opportunities it presents.

18 • austcham news | issue 188

What’s something most people don’t know about your company? Our key shareholders all have some sort of connection to the gambling industry!

How would you describe your workplace and colleagues? Fun. We have an awesome corporate culture with very little hierarchy or boundaries. We encourage experimentation and lateral thinking. Macau is such a dynamic and interesting place it’s hard not to continually come up against exciting experiences. One day we’ll be covering some global celebrity visit, the next day we’ll be eating at one of the world’s best 3-star Michelin restaurants and on the weekend attending some amazing cultural event like a world-class art exhibition or performance. What’s your favourite place to go on the week-end? With all the entertainment options on offer in Macau sometimes I like to just curl up with a good book or movie! Sometimes I hop on a plane and do a short visit to Japan or Thailand or any of the many great places around Asia to sneak away to for a 3-day weekend.

On The Scene

Salman Tariq of The New York Times and Paul Resnik of Fina Metrica.

Adam Gregory Goern of TPA & Co. and Steve Newnham of Financial Content Network.

Ian Thomson of Crossroads Foundation and Benjamin Wong of Wells Fargo.

Michael Madigan of OBE Organic and Lucy Zheng of Financial Partners.

The first Mix at Six of the year was held at Tamarind, after the closing of the 2017 Asian Financial Forum. Special thanks to event sponsor Delta Capita and the support from Expat Advisors Community and their delegation from Australia. Vincent Lim of SUMO SIV Pty Ltd and Tina Hui of Blue Stone Management.

Jonathan Watkin of Asia First Financial Intelligence Ltd and Stacy Martin of Expat Advisors Community.

AustCham Chairman Professor Richard Petty, Brian Hunter of PwC and Nick McDonald of event sponsor Delta Capita.

Emily Trusler of EY, Nichola Salmond of Optimal Family Health and Shweta Parnami of Zebra Insights.

Andrew Macintosh, Managing Partner – Hong Kong of Delta Capita welcomes all.

Angus Dixon of IP Global, Greg Pek of Brek Technologies and John Tivey of White & Case.

Jacinta Reddan of Pine Bridge Investments, Lee Anderson of Lee People Asia and Sarah Stewart.

Ian Robinson of Brek Technologies and Peter Bennett of SnagR Ltd.

Cheuk Wong of IP Global, Amanda Teng of Astbury Marsden and Benjamin Wong of InvestHK.

issue 188 | austcham news

• 19

Schools don’t have to be purely theoretical. Expect great things. Creativity. Invention. Problem-solving. Confidence. At Brisbane Boys’ College, we know boys. We teach our boys how to think and to question the status quo. We know how to harness their energy, curiosity and thirst for competition. We call this A New School of Thought. Since 1909 the tradition of boarding has played an important role in the life of Brisbane Boys’ College. Boarding is part of who we are and we are proud to provide a quality education within an inclusive, connected community. In turn, our boarders bring their diversity of experiences and varied perspectives to our city school where they have access to facilities, activities and opportunities for independence and self-reliance within a supportive community. To find out more about our approach to boys’ education, visit or join us at our upcoming function.

YOUR INVITATION The Headmaster, Mr Graeme McDonald, cordially invites BBC Old Boys, current families and future parents to join him, along with BBC staff, for complimentary drinks and canapés at the Conrad Hong Kong on Monday 27 February. This is an opportunity for guests to hear the latest College developments and student achievements or to speak with our Director of Admissions.

Hong Kong Community Visit Monday 27 February 2017 Conrad Hong Kong – The Bowen Room One Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, Hong Kong Fingerfood and beverages provided For catering purposes, please RSVP via or contact Jarrod Turner, Director of Alumni and Community on +61 422 231 777 or email

Brisbane Boys’ College. A New School of Thought. A G P S S C H O O L F O R B O Y S I N P R E P T O Y E A R 12 . B O A R D I N G Y E A R S 6 T O 12 B R I S BA N E . Q U E E N S L A N D . AU S T R A L I A . W W W. B B C . Q L D . E D U. AU . C R I CO S 0 0 4 91 J

austcham news Issue 188  

The Australian Chamber of Commerce Hong Kong and Macau monthly publication.

austcham news Issue 188  

The Australian Chamber of Commerce Hong Kong and Macau monthly publication.