The Inaugural TransPacific EntrepreneurIAL
Joint CanChamHK-HKCBA Conference On December 1st, 2014, the Entrepreneur and Small Business Committee (the “ESBC”) of the Chamber and the Hong Kong Canada Business Association (the “HKCBA”) jointly presented the first Conference offering a broad range of discussions focusing on how companies, including MSEs (“Micro and Small Enterprises”), had set up and succeeded in Hong Kong, and what resources are available to help Canadian companies do business in Hong Kong. The overall objective aims to continue building upon Hong Kong’s entrepreneurial spirit to encourage Canadians to use Hong Kong as a platform to expand their business eastward.
Setting up a Business in Hong Kong: An Overview Panel Discussion Chair: Irene Chu, KPMG Hong Kong was a well-known springboard for Chinese business to go global while Canada had been seen as the Pacific gateway for North America. There had long been a close bond between Hong Kong and Canada, especially after the signing of the Double Taxation Arrangement in 2012. Companies chose to set up headquarters or global functions in Hong Kong for further expansion to Asia.
Speakers: Charles Ng, InvestHK and Stephen D. Wortley, McMillan LLP
Talking about the InvestHK’s StartmeupHK Programme, Charles commented that there were a lot of support and fundings available for startups but the information previously available was not organized enough. InvestHK therefore gathered all different things under one website for startups. When it came to the concern of the diminishing role of Hong Kong as a bridge to China with the emergency of free trade zones, Stephen
commented that Hong Kong, as a “known commodity”, was opened for more international trades with fewer restrictions such as free exchange of currency and skills or knowledge developed in investing China. Also, he considered the free trade zones still under early development with only around 5% of foreign investors at the moment. Finally, Charles further added that Hong Kong’s position was not only the gateway to China, but also with the Asia Pacific region with other opportunities.
“How I Started: How I Made It” Panel Discussion Chair: Elizabeth L. Thomson, The Amber Foundation Limited
Christopher commented that flexibility was one of the most important elements in running business in Hong Kong. Entrepreneurs could spot opportunities, which could be a possible area for future expansion. Also, Christopher appreciated the attitude of Hong Kong people where they were willing to try for anything and never excused based on job descriptions. Janice considered that the key learning in Hong Kong was to reinvest yourself upon difficult times and learn to make things work. Compared to the reporting system in Canada, Janice thought that everything in Hong Kong was
Where We Are Now: Where We Want to Go. How We Want to Get There with Your Help in Hong Kong, in the PRC and South East Asia 6 EXCHANGE Vol.14
Panel Discussion Chair: Jimmy Mitchell, Advantage BC Speakers: Wayne Berg, HKCBA (Immediate Past President) and Alexandra Sham, HKCBA (Newly elected President) Wayne mentioned that Hong Kong was an important gateway to Asia, especially to China. Understanding the importance as such, the HKCBA wished to support its members by facilitating business between Canada and Hong Kong. The HKCBA was established in 1984, aiming to provide business partnership, education and networking opportunities to its members. There were certainly challenges that the organization was currently facing: competitions from similar organizations, being dependent on funding from corporate companies, the age demographic of the organization, which addressed the need to drive in more youth. Alexandria commented that the Association should be able to provide benefits to their members. As mentioned, the HKCBA was facing competitions as more and more similar organizations were founded with the same goal. Talking about challenges, one of them was that it was hard to make members make use of their benefits. Many members did not know what benefits they were