Hayward’s Chamber of Commerce invited Hong Kong representatives to Hayward on September 20, in the hopes of building business partnerships between local businesses and Hong Kong.
Jeff Leung, the director of San Francisco’s Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office (HKETO), spoke to a small group of about 15 local Asian community members and business owners trying to “spark interest” in offshoring businesses to Hong Kong
HKETO are official representatives of Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) Government, Leung affirmed. SAR serves in the interest of Hong Kong’s foreign business relations.
As part of Hayward’s Economic Development Plan, the meeting was part of a marketing tool exposing Hayward’s business friendly message, according to president of the Hayward Chamber of Commerce, Kim Huggett.
“We want our companies to be importers of money and exporters of goods,” said Sean Brooks, Hayward economic development manager.
Moreover, Brooks explained Hayward is a major partner with the Asian market, particularly in food retail. “Hayward is an international city,” he said, and having business abroad would make Hayward an international player opening the business market to Hayward.
In attendance was, Jenerro Lockhart, an international marketing consultant for United to Connect International LLC. Lockhart said, Hayward has a lot of manufacturing businesses, especially in the industrial areas that would benefit from doing business in Hong Kong. More specifically he mentioned Pucci Foods – the event location – as an exporter of seafood to Hong Kong.
He also said small businesses might not benefit from the move, but named Vintage Alley on B Street as a company that might benefit in moving abroad.
“It’s a two way thing,” said Lockhart. “It’s not so much as companies here investing there, there’s companies there, investing here.”
Lawrence Tang – Leung’s top promoter – explained wine is a growing industry in Hong Kong and mainland China, possibly pointing fingers at wine manufactures located in Hayward.
According to Wine Spector, in 2008, Hong Kong recently eliminated import tariffs on wine and beer creating an open portal for wine and beer business.
“California Vintage is one of the exciting new investments in Hong Kong,” Tang said, after wine sales have sky rocketed in China.
Hong Kong has been a major international competitor, because of its free market policies, said Leung. He noted Hong Kong was ranked freest in the world in 2011, according to the
Wall Street Journal and Heritage Foundation. (or foundation?)
Hong Kong’s Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) is an agreement between mainland China and Hong Kong which allows for an easy start-up of a company in Hong Kong, according to Leung. CEPA does this by having no tariffs on goods imported to mainland China, as stated by SAR’s Trade and Industry Department. Moreover, Leung noted Hong Kong does not have sales taxes and does not require a visa to work in Hong Kong.
Leung mentioned business in Hong Kong is not immune to the economic crisis plaguing all economies. He stated, although it is easier to do business in Hong Kong, business owners might still be affected by the economic downfall.
Also, the Hong Kong representative stated the cost and lifestyle of living in Hong Kong is drastically different. In terms of space, Hong Kong has tight living quarters and property is still controlled by mainland China, according to The Economist. It also stated the high demand for property, and the shortages of land, is impart, mainland China’s government “monopoly on land in Hong Kong.”
This entry was published in The Pioneer Online on Thursday, September 27th, 2012 at 5:34 pm.