Speech by STL at business seminar on logistics, maritime and aviation (English only) June 15 2023
Following is the video speech by the Secretary for Transport and Logistics, Mr Lam Sai-hung, at a business seminar on logistics, maritime and aviation jointly organised by the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, Sydney, Invest Hong Kong (InvestHK), the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) and the Australian Trade and Logistics Corporation today (June 15):
Dear friends in Australia,
Hello from Hong Kong! I am delighted to join you all virtually this evening at the business seminar, jointly organised by the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, InvestHK, the HKTDC and the Australian Trade and Logistics Corporation, to keep you abreast of the latest developments in logistics, maritime and aviation in Hong Kong.
With an unbeatable location in the world's most vibrant markets, I am sure that you know why Hong Kong excels in the logistics, maritime and aviation sectors. Our Shipping Register is the fourth largest in the world in terms of gross tonnage. Our airport has been the world's busiest international cargo airport. Under the unique principle of "one country, two systems", we are blessed with the unwavering support of national strategies while maintaining unparalleled connectivity with the world. The National 14th Five-Year Plan has supported the development of the international maritime centre and international aviation hub in Hong Kong.
Maritime and logistics
With this strong backing, Hong Kong never slows down in taking the city's developments to the next level. On the logistics and maritime front, I am going to focus today on two areas that the Government has been actively promoting - tax concessions and sustainability. Over the past few years, a series of tax measures have been put in place to make our maritime package even more attractive to businesses. These concessions cover qualified ship leasing activities by ship lessors and ship leasing managers, marine insurance businesses, as well as ship agents, ship managers and ship brokers. All these have created a welcoming ecosystem for the international maritime enterprises to thrive in Hong Kong.
On the other hand, we are committed to developing a smart port to strengthen our competitiveness. We are enhancing port efficiency while going green at the same time, for instance, by setting up a digitalised port community system to facilitate paperless operation and real-time information sharing.
To consolidate efforts, we have recently set up a Task Force on Maritime and Port Development Strategy to accelerate the growth of Hong Kong's high value-added maritime services. The Task Force will promulgate an action plan on key strategies this year, including facilitating the transformation of global maritime and port businesses towards zero emission, and further promoting the development of smart initiatives and digitalisation in the maritime industry.
On aviation, the much-anticipated Three-Runway System of our airport is expected to be completed next year, which will substantially increase the overall capacity and competitiveness of the airport. We are also actively pursuing the far-sighted initiative of transforming our airport into an Airport City.
Like our port, one of the highlights is how smart our airport is getting. For those of you who have recently visited Hong Kong, I am sure that you will be amazed by how the efficiency and customer experience have been enhanced by the technology we introduced. From check-in to boarding, the big data and facial recognition technologies have enabled passengers to enjoy a hassle-free journey.
In terms of cargo movement, we have some of the best cargo handling facilities in the world and we retained the position as the world's busiest cargo airport in 2022 despite the challenges of the pandemic. Our capacity in handling e-commerce cargo at our airport has continued to increase, with the completion of the expansion of DHL's Central Asia Hub in March and the expected commissioning of a premium logistics centre spearheaded by Alibaba Group's logistics arm, Cainiao Network, later this year.
With all the developments in these three sectors, I can't wait to welcome more Aussie businesses and talent to join us in Hong Kong. The Government has dedicated much effort in nurturing talent in these industries, notably with the world-renowned Hong Kong International Aviation Academy as well as the Maritime and Aviation Training Fund which has been injected with an additional HK$200 million this year. In addition, we will launch a Maritime Services Traineeship Scheme this year for young people who aspire to a career in maritime law. The recently expanded Talent List of Hong Kong covers three professions under Maritime Services as well. Together with the Top Talent Pass Scheme we rolled out last December, I see no reason why you should not consider Hong Kong as your next destination for boundless opportunities.
Welcome to Hong Kong
Ladies and gentlemen, seeing is believing. I can go on and on to tell you all about the offerings of Hong Kong. But there is no better way for you to experience the excitements of the Asia's World City than to hop on a flight to Hong Kong. The upcoming Asian Logistics, Maritime and Aviation Conference (ALMAC) in November 2023, which is the largest of its kind in Asia, would offer you the best platform to network with logistics, maritime, air freight and supply chain management services players from around the world. ALMAC will be a part of our Hong Kong Maritime Week, which was launched in 2016 and will be scaled up this year to make your visit even more fruitful. I understand that our HKTDC colleagues in Australia are actively arranging a delegation to join ALMAC in Hong Kong. Don't miss out on such a great occasion and I look forward to seeing you all in person very soon!
Thank you for having me today and I wish you all an enjoyable evening.