The appointment of New York Hong Kong Association President Raymond Fan as Hong Kong’s new transportation and logistics minister in May will facilitate Georgia companies’ access to mainland China, said the Hong Kong Commissioner to the United States, Jacqueline Willis.
Ms. Willis told GlobalFax of Mr. Fan’s new position during a visit here on March 20 for an Atlanta Women in International Trade luncheon at the World Trade Center.
She said Atlanta logistics and transportation firms should especially be aware of Mr. Fan’s new position. Mr. Fan works closely with Hong Kong Association’s Atlanta office, which is headed by Gene Hanratty. The two will maintain direct contact when Mr. Fan takes his new position, suggesting that Atlanta could develop stronger ties with the Hong Kong government, Ms. Willis said.
Ms. Willis underscored the growing opportunities for Georgia companies in Hong Kong’s logistics industry, as well as financial services, tourism and professional services.
Hong Kong is investing further in the development of its education system and infrastructure, as well as liberalizing its telecommunications market, all of which will prove useful for tapping into Chinese markets using Hong Kong as a base of operations, she said.
The special administrative region already serves as the Asia-Pacific region’s logistics hub, having a more advanced logistics infrastructure than China, Ms. Willis noted.
“Hong Kong is proud of the development of Shanghai as a logistics port, but we are not in competition with Shanghai,” Ms. Willis said, suggesting that Hong Kong has better transportation linkages with mainland China than does the mainland city.
“Especially with increasing traffic through Hong Kong’s international airport and seaport, the region can exchange talents, technology and capital with the rest of the world through Hong Kong’s relationship to the mainland,” she said.
She asserted that the area of China closest to Hong Kong, Guangdong province, holds the best opportunities for foreign companies. The region’s external trade and foreign direct investment are expected to double to $600 billion and $100 billion, respectively, by 2005, she said.
Ms. Willis said that Hong Kong is “always looking for international talent,” and has become the arbitration center of the Asia-Pacific region. Half of the 1,100 U.S. firms in Hong Kong, including a substantial number of legal services companies, are using the city as their regional headquarters to break into mainland China’s market of 1.3 billion people.
She also praised Atlanta’s importance as a business center, denoted by her scheduled visits here twice a year, and the fact that Atlanta houses the only other Hong Kong trade office in the U.S. besides New York.
Mr. Fan will be in Atlanta April 9-10 to participate in the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Global Business Forum, which will focus on doing business with China.
Contact Mr. Hanratty at (404) 238-0875. Contact Ms. Willis at (202) 238-6336 or email@example.com. Visit www.hongkong.org for more information.