Opportunities brought by Five-Year Plan, GBA highlighted by SAR official
The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is expected to embrace "boundless" opportunities in logistics with the integration into national development, logistics behemoths and government officials said on Tuesday.
The remarks were made on the opening day of the two-day Asian Logistics, Maritime and Aviation Conference 2022, which was held both online and offline at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. The annual event was co-organized by the Hong Kong SAR government and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, the city's trade development body.
Hong Kong Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po said Hong Kong's future as a global logistics center and international aviation hub was inked in the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) and the outline for the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.
"Hong Kong will continue to integrate into our country's overall economic development. We will fully embrace the boundless opportunities presented to us, in logistics — and a great deal more," Chan said.
The air cargo handling capacity of Hong Kong International Airport will soon increase by 23 percent to an estimated 7.4 million metric tons, with the establishment of the Cainiao Hong Kong Smart Gateway. The logistics facility, which claims to be Asia's regional e-commerce hub for global small and medium-sized enterprises, is expected to begin operation in the third quarter of next year.
The annual event invited Yangtze River Delta-based companies to participate for the first time this year, marking their closer collaboration in the industry. A thematic session "A New Chapter of Hong Kong-Shanghai Collaboration in Industry Innovation and Development" was also held to discuss how enterprises can leverage the geographic and strategic strengths of the two global export powerhouses to boost their growth.
Michaela Yang Jing, chief financial officer of Shanghai Lingang Economic Development (Group) Co, emphasized the complementary advantages and shared resources from Shanghai and Hong Kong SAR in technology and innovation, along with opening-up policies promoted by authorities, injecting impetus into the development for both sides.
Lingang Group is a State-backed company engaging in business development of the Lingang Special Area of China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone. Located in southeastern Shanghai, the area serves as an important transportation node connecting waterways, air routes, railways, highways, inland rivers and subways, according to the Shanghai municipal government.
"The Lin-gang Special Area focuses on the aviation, shipping and financial services sectors," Yang said, and there are collaboration opportunities between companies located in Yangtze River Delta and those in Hong Kong in these aspects.
Lu Yongzhi, general manager of Hong Kong TCC Group shipping services, noted that China is the only country with two cities — Hong Kong SAR and Shanghai — entering the top five positions in the latest international shipping hubs ranking report.
Lu was referring to the 2022 Xinhua-Baltic International Shipping Centre Development Index Report, published jointly by the Xinhua News Agency and global maritime data provider the Baltic Exchange, gauging the competitiveness among over 70 global maritime centers, including Singapore and London.
"Logistics companies can leverage Hong Kong's renowned services in finance and shipping, as well as Shanghai's geographical advantages, to benefit their own businesses," he added.
Liu Yifan contributed to this story.