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Hong Kong Singapore Business Association Chinese New Year Business Luncheon

January 31, 2023

Supported by the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Singapore (Singapore ETO), the Hong Kong Singapore Business Association (HSBA) held the Chinese New Year Business Luncheon on January 31 to usher in the Year of Rabbit with a series of inspiring talks over food and wine.

The Director of the Singapore ETO, Mr Owin Fung, gave an update on Hong Kong’s latest developments in his welcome speech.  He highlighted that Hong Kong is on the way towards normalcy, attributing the containment of the epidemic and lifting of all curbs recently to the concerted efforts of all sectors in the city. With China re-opening its border, it is anticipated that Hong Kong will achieve a modest GDP growth of about 3-4% and a headline inflation of about 3% this year, despite a gloomy outlook  for the global economy. Labour market is also expected to continue to improve, with unemployment rate kept below 4%.

He further elaborated that Hong Kong remains the only place in the world where the global advantage and China advantage converge, thus enjoying the distinctive advantages of the Motherland’s strong support and close connection with the world.  This unique convergence makes Hong Kong the irreplaceable bridge between the Mainland and the rest of the world. The city is an ideal base for overseas and Mainland companies and global entrepreneurs to set up or expand their business in Hong Kong, the Mainland China in particular the Guangdong-HK-Macao Greater Bay Area, as well as Asia. Moreover, the Hong Kong government has put in place some far-reaching strategies including the Lantau Tomorrow and the Northern Metropolis in recent years so as to provide much-needed land for housing and economic development.

On the relationship between Hong Kong and Singapore, he pointed out the similarity between the former’s role as a gateway to the Mainland and the latter’s role in ASEAN. Being small open economies with their respective hinterlands, both cities share many similarities and challenges ahead, which they can exchange experience and seek collaboration to achieve a win-win outcome.

He also drew the audience’s attention to the development of arts, cultural and creative industries in Hong Kong in recent years, highlighting the establishment of the Hong Kong Palace Museum and M+ museum in the West Kowloon Cultural District, as well as the Mega Arts and Cultural Events Fund, as part of the efforts to cement the city’s pivotal role as a hub where the East meets the West for international cultural exchange under the National 14th Five-Year Plan. Calling on them to visit the city to see the fast development in this sector, he remarked that Hong Kong is their first choice of travel destination, for both business and leisure.

His speech was followed by two talks given by Mr David Song Huajing, Head of Digital Asset and Innovation of Green Link Digital Bank, and Mr El Lee, co-founder and chief operating officer at DTC, a payment institution in Singapore, sharing their insights on the future of crypto payment and digital bank respectively.

The luncheon was attended by some 130 guests from a wide spectrum of sectors including financial services, innovation and technology, education and catering.   Other attending guests included Mr Qiu Yuanxing, Counsellor and Consul General of the Chinese Embassy in Singapore, and Mr Ronald Ho, Regional Director of Southeast Asia and South Asia of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council.