The New York-based Hong Kong Trade Development Council (TDC) is eager to assist Georgia’s small- to- medium-sized companies enter mainland China and elsewhere in the Asia-Pacific through partnerships and alliances, according to Peter Woo, the organization’s director for the Americas.

“We invite U.S. entrepreneurs to complement the strengths of our own entrepreneurs and to use Hong Kong as their global platform for business development,” he said during a luncheon address at the Capital City Club downtown on Feb. 20.

He added that companies with “brand names, product excellence and technology know-how” are the most sought after by their Hong Kong counterparts, which may have only 30 to 80 employees.

          The timing is particularly right to form such relationships, he said, because of two main reasons: the “impending” accession of China to the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the experience many of Hong Kong’s companies have gained doing business on the mainland.

          “Hong Kong has a ‘first mover’ advantage on the mainland, which we earned through successes and failures over the last 20 years. We wish to share this ‘first mover’ advantage with our partners,” he added.

          He urged the luncheon attendees to review the TDC’s Web site, which, he said, receives more than one million hits a day giving “entrepreneurs worldwide access to valuable trade connections, market intelligence and business services.”

          “For the first time, Hong Kong is able to look seriously upon the mainland as a domestic market for goods and services,” he added. With China’s economy estimated to grow by eight percent this year, there will be a need “for strong service support” and he cited the promises of China’s government “to make many reforms including improving the transparency of its legal system.”

          For more information, call Lou Epstein at the TDC at (212) 838-8688.