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Dynamic economies adapt to challenges

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Hong Kong and Thailand enhanced their trade and promotion links amid COVID-19.



Vibrant Asian economies have long been known for their adaptability, switching focus rapidly when circumstances change. Hong Kong and Thailand are fine examples of flexible economies and businesses in both have moved rapidly to adjust to the new circumstances brought by the COVID-19 pandemic. What is more, their trade promotion bodies put a premium on bilateral collaboration.

The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) and the Thai Ministry of Commerce’s Department of International Trade Promotion (DITP) recently ratified a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to promote trade and business activities, enhance the exchange of trade-related information, and strengthen the economic partnership between Hong Kong and Thailand.

The MOU, ratified on 11 September at CENTRESTAGE, Asia’s premier fashion event organised by the HKTDC, renewed an earlier one signed in 2018.

Wide-ranging exchange

A CENTRESTAGE fashion parade showcased the creativity of Thailand’s home-grown designers and labels

“The HKTDC and DITP are pleased to cooperate in organising exchange, training and marketing activities such as trade fairs, seminars and forums to facilitate communication and cooperation between the business communities of Hong Kong and Thailand,” said HKTDC Deputy Executive Director Benjamin Chau (main picture, right).

"Under the renewed MOU, small-and-medium enterprises [SMEs) and start-ups in selected target industries of Hong Kong and Thailand will be encouraged to participate or feature in online platforms [ and], mobile applications and trade fairs of the DITP and HKTDC to promote their products and services to international markets.”

Targeted industries include decorative arts and crafts, houseware, furniture, toys, gems and jewellery, garment and fashion accessories, food and beverage, pet supplies, cosmetics and personal care, gifts and premium, stationery, spa products, medical devices and supplies, electronics and information communications technology, printing and packaging, as well as natural and organic products. Service industries such as healthcare, finance, infrastructure and real-estate services, design and marketing, and film and animation are also covered.  

“To help SMEs and start-ups capture the opportunities arising from the shift to online business, the two organisations will also enhance collaboration in the digital economy, such as in e-commerce promotions, webinars, virtual trade fairs and showcases, and online business matching activities, in order to provide enterprises with technology support and solutions to improve their capabilities,” Mr Chau continued.

“With the surge of online business activities under the pandemic, it is important for enterprises to make good use of technology to capture business opportunities.”

SME access

The parade included modern takes on traditional designs

“We are very happy to strengthen our cooperation with the HKTDC.  We also look forward to our businesses taking part in a wider scope of HKTDC activities”, said Chanunpat Pisanapipong (main picture, left), Trade Commissioner and Consul of Thailand’s DITP.

Thailand is Hong Kong’s 10th-largest trading partner, with bilateral trade totalling US$17.3 billion in 2020. Hong Kong exports to Thailand amounted to US$6.3 billion last year while the city imported US$11.1 billion worth of goods from the country.

CENTRESTAGE, held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, featured more than 200 fashion brands from 24 countries and regions during its three-day run from 10 to 12 September. The debut Thai Pavilion, organised by the DITP, showcased 17 Thai fashion brands that participate in a Thailand fashion start-up incubation project called QUARTED.

The pavilion symbolised increased collaboration between the DITP and HKTDC in promoting Thai fashion brands in Hong Kong.

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