Hong Kong and Japan have a had long and fruitful business relationship. In addition to their mutual strengths in areas such as electronics and information technology, much of the recent business between the two places has focused on food, beverages and crafts.
To support the Hong Kong business community in preparing for a full resumption of international business activities as the city continues to ease its COVID-19 pandemic-related travel restrictions, Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) Chairman Dr Peter K N Lam and Executive Director Margaret Fong visited Japan this month to meet the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, as well as leading Japanese companies in the financial and healthcare sectors, to explore deeper partnership opportunities between Hong Kong and Japan.
Views have been exchanged on the latest trade and economic development situation along with upcoming opportunities for Japanese businesses. These include the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) development plan, market and partnership prospects in the financial, medical and healthcare sectors, and the growth potential for Japan’s pearl industry and its food, fisheries and agricultural products.
Trade and investment ties
Dr Lam said: “Japan is an important trade and investment partner of Hong Kong, and we are delighted to have the opportunity to meet with the two ministers and leading Japanese companies, which can strengthen Japanese and Hong Kong business ties. Hong Kong will continue to strengthen its role as an international trade and investment hub to offer even more opportunities for Japan and Hong Kong to work closely together. As Hong Kong gradually reopens, the HKTDC will continue with international outreach to support the business community in gearing up for a full business recovery.”
Noting the strong demand for Japanese products among Hong Kong residents along with the recent difficulties they’ve faced travelling abroad, Japanese companies have increasingly been making their presence felt in the city. For example, a Japanese drugstore chain recently started to open outlets in Hong Kong, while a Japanese cabinet maker has set up a branch in the city to meet local demand for quality furniture.
Many regions in Japan have unique culinary traditions and Hong Kong gourmets are always eager to sample the country’s fine foods. The HKTDC has initiated programmes to streamline trade between the city and Japanese regions where the cuisine is a strong focus.
Trade between Hong Kong and Japan received a further boost with the launch of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP), which created the world’s largest trade bloc that stretches from the fringes of the Arctic in Hokkaido, Japan to the periphery of the Antarctic in southern New Zealand. Mainland China is an RCEP member and Hong Kong plans to join shortly.
Japanese exhibitors are also fixtures at HKTDC food and beverage events such as the HKTDC International Wine and Spirits Fair that will take place in January 2023 and the HKTDC Hong Kong Food Expo happening next August.
Japan – Market Profile