Speech by USTH at the opening of Hong Kong SAR Pavilion at Marintec China 2019 (with photos)3 December 2019

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

Good morning and welcome to the opening ceremony of the Hong Kong SAR Pavilion.

I am honoured to be here with you all at the Marintec China 2019, the bi-annual signature event of the international maritime community in Asia. This year marks the seventh time for Hong Kong to take part in Marintec China since 2007. The Hong Kong Pavilion is set up by the Hong Kong Maritime and Port Board, in collaboration with the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) and the Hong Kong Marine Department. May I take this opportunity to express my deepest gratitude for the support rendered by HKTDC, Marine Department as well as our fellow exhibitors.

Under the National 13th Five-Year Plan, the Central Government has pledged support for Hong Kong to entrench its status as an international maritime centre, which was later reassured in the Outline Development Plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area published in February this year. As the facilitator and promoter under the Belt and Road Initiative and Greater Bay Area Development, Hong Kong could serve as a springboard for the Mainland companies to go global and for the overseas companies to tap into the vast China market.

When making cross-border trade, reliable and professional support with good reputation would definitely be the key to success. Whether you are from overseas, the Mainland China or Hong Kong, you can always benefit from Hong Kong’s vibrant maritime cluster. Hong Kong is home to over 800 maritime services companies. This vibrant maritime cluster offers multifarious services covering ship management, shipbroking and chartering, shipping finance, marine insurance, maritime legal and arbitration services, etc. The Hong Kong SAR Government is by your side to explore the business opportunities.

Indeed, the Government put no stones unturned in further developing the high value-added maritime services in Hong Kong, so as to offer a more facilitating business environment and provide wider variety in maritime services to Mainland and overseas enterprises. For instances, to further develop ship leasing businesses in Hong Kong, a new tax regime is being put forward for qualifying ship lessors and ship leasing managers. Also, the preparation work for the first phase of Hong Kong Shipping Register Regional Desks is now in full swing, with an aim to having our Regional Desks in Shanghai, London and Singapore ready to serve in the first quarter of 2020. The Government will continue to work closely with the industry to understand the industry’s need and strive to be the one-stop shop of maritime services for the global shipping community.

Indeed, as you all maybe aware, the International Chamber of Shipping has just launched its China Liaison office in Hong Kong last month, which has reflected the importance of the Chinese market and its recognition to Hong Kong in performing its role as a facilitator and promoter, connecting China and the world.

May I once again thank all the exhibitors, organisers and industry representatives for all the hard work in setting up the Hong Kong SAR Pavilion. I wish Marintec China 2019 a great success, and wish all of you have a very rewarding experience in these four days. Thank you.

Now, let me say a few words in Chinese for our distinguished Mainland guests and visitors to the Hong Kong SAR Pavilion.