HK delegation sees vast potential for investments with Brunei SMEs
| James Kon |
HONG KONG, the number one business city in Asia, and a perfect base for companies eyeing business in mainland China, is beckoning for Brunei’s SMEs especially in the area of food manufacturing to establish a base in the city in a bid to tap into the Hong Kong and China market.
The benefits and opportunities of setting an office in Hong Kong for Brunei’s companies were lauded by the Director General of Invest Hong Kong, Simon Galpin during an interview yesterday.
Simon Galpin is in the country with Fong Ngai, the Director of Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office (Asean) based in Singapore; Miss Elsie Tang, Manager of International Operations, Invest Hong Kong; and Willie Tan, Deputy Head of Investment Promotion, Invest Hong Kong; to help Brunei’s companies to understand the benefit of investing in Hong Kong.
In an interview with the Bulletin, Simon Galpin said “There are many potentials for Brunei and Hong Kong to further develop cooperation, because both countries are fairly close to each other and we are seeing more SMEs setting up in HK. Its easy for smaller businesses to expand to neighbouring economies. It make more sense for us to help Brunei’s entrepreneurs to understand the opportunities and benefits of establishing a base in Hong Kong.”
“The trade has been growing quite quickly. We would like to encourage companies to establish their base in Hong Kong even though it’s only a one person office in Hong Kong. We are happy to help them to understand how to use their presence in Hong Kong. They can use Hong Kong to export to mainland China or target the visitors to Hong Kong whereby we have 48 million visitors coming to Hong Kong. For a small company that has a product that wealthy mainland visitors would want to purchase, Hong Kong is a good place to target them,” he continued.
In addition to attracting companies to Hong Kong as a gateway to China, he said Brunei Companies can also try to partner with mainland Chinese companies who want to go global, so there is an opportunity for Brunei companies to collaborate as well as to work with big Chinese firms.”
When asked about sectors with potential for the Hong Kong market, he replied “In the area of food, because Hong Kong imports all its food products and Brunei has some very good food products which are very accessible and attractive to Hong Kong consumers. I think there is opportunity for Brunei manufacturing companies to expand in Hong Kong.”
Besides investment, he also lauded, “What we are trying to do is to improve cooperation and communication in many different levels and our job is to ensure that investment will flow and grow from strength to strength. We want to see the presence of Brunei companies expand into Hong Kong.”
Prior to the discussion with local business associations, entrepreneurs and bankers, Simon Galpin also met with Dato Paduka Lim Jock Hoi, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
He revealed after the meeting, “I think that there is a lot of areas where we can work together, and we are also very happy to work with the Brunei Economic Development Board. We all want to make sure that smaller exporters get the support that they need in Brunei and Hong Kong.”
When asked about the crime rate in Hong Kong, he said, “Hong Kong crime rate is very low and the statistic has shown Hong Kong has the lowest crime rate among many countries. This is important because many people are moving to Hong Kong with their families.”
After their first visit to Brunei, the Invest Hong Kong delegation hopes to return by the end of the year to conduct more events.