“There are many business opportunities ahead for all of us,” Mr Frederick Ma, Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury of the Hong Kong SAR Government, told members of the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry today.
Mr Ma was speaking as head of a high-level Hong Kong business mission visiting Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia, from January 26 to 28.
Mr Ma emphasized Hong Kong’s “unique position” as an intermediary between China and the Middle East. “There is no other place in the world with more knowledge of China business,” he said.
“On the one hand, Hong Kong is the foreign investor’s gateway to China, helping overseas corporations expand into that enormous market. On the other hand, Hong Kong has been serving as China’s gateway to the world market, acting as a platform for funds, investors, fund-raisers and financial institutions in the Chinese mainland.”
Accompanying Mr Ma are senior representatives of 33 firms from Hong Kong’s investment and infrastructure service industries. During their stay, they will also meet with officials of the Saudi government, Saudi Arabia General Investment Authority and business counterparts in the financial and real estate sectors.
The Middle East mission, sponsored by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (TDC), moves on to Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates, January 28.
“Hong Kong has been doing business with the Middle East for years, covering a wide range of product sectors,” said Jeff Ambjorn, the TDC’s Middle East director. “We are now taking business relations to the next level, offering companies in this region the world-class service expertise of Hong Kong companies.”
Hong Kong is an ideal investment platform for Middle East investors looking to the Greater China region. Total market capitalization of its stock market reached US$1,710 billion at the end of 2006, sixth in the world and second in Asia.
Hong Kong is also the premier capital formation centre for the Chinese mainland. At the turn of the year, 367 mainland enterprises were listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange.
Hong Kong's equity market provides an excellent platform for fund-raising and investment. Hong Kong has also become the world's second-largest fund-raiser of IPO funds, overtaking the New York Stock Exchange. It is a leading regional asset management centre as well, with a combined asset management business of $580 billion at the end of 2005.
Hong Kong boasts a significant cluster of world-class professionals in interior design, architecture, project management, engineering, construction and property management. They can help developers and project owners realize construction plans efficiently and effectively.
The business mission follows a similar Hong Kong services mission to Dubai in February 2006.
Established in 1966, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (TDC) is the international marketing arm for Hong Kong-based traders, manufacturers and service providers. With 40-plus offices worldwide, including 11 in the Chinese mainland, the TDC promotes Hong Kong as a platform for doing business with China and Asia. The TDC also organises trade fairs and business missions to connect companies with opportunities in Hong Kong and the mainland, while providing information via trade publications, research reports and online. For more information, visit www.tdctrade.com