As Hong Kong companies continue to face significant business challenges following the COVID-19 pandemic, they can look to government programmes set up specifically to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) expand their horizons.
The fifth China International Import Expo (CIIE), hosted by the Ministry of Commerce and the Shanghai Municipal People’s Government, ran at the Shanghai National Convention and Exhibition Center from 5 to 10 November, with a significant Hong Kong presence.
Hong Kong’s hub and connector status – serving as a gateway between Mainland China and the rest of the world, and a pivot point for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) and the new Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) – makes the city a natural focus point for the Belt and Road Initiative.
Summertime this year came with celebrations to mark the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), as well as the city’s continued recovery following the fifth wave of the COVID-19 epidemic.
Under the recently implemented 3+4 COVID quarantine rules, travellers arriving from overseas or Taiwan need to spend three days in a quarantine hotel followed by four days in their own accommodation under medical surveillance. During those four days they must contact rapid antigen (RAT) tests. They can visit their workplaces and shops for essentials, but are excluded from public venues such as restaurants.
As pivot points between Mainland China and the rest of the world, Hong Kong and the broader Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area both have key roles to play in the Belt and Road Initiative. As COVID-19 restrictions ease and physical gatherings are made easier, government and business leaders from around the world will converge on Hong Kong for the Belt and Road Summit at the end of this month.
The Hong Kong business community has welcomed authorities’ move to relax COVID-19 prevention requirements for arrivals, who from 12 August will need to stay in a quarantine hotel for three days followed by four days of self-isolation.
The Belt and Road Summit is a premier international platform for promoting business collaboration along the Belt and Road. The summit gathers senior government officials and business leaders from countries and regions along and beyond the Belt and Road to exchange insights on multilateral cooperation and explore concrete business opportunities.
As the exhibitions industry moves through its third year of working amid COVID-19 restrictions, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) has fine-tuned its online-physical hybrid exhibition model, rolling it out in time for its spring-summer events this year.
International trade fairs and sourcing modes have seen dramatic changes in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, leading the organisers of many physical exhibitions and seminars to transition to a digitised or hybrid path.
The COVID-19 pandemic impacted every area of economic activity across the world, from agriculture to utilities, and sourcing by importers and exporters was no exception.
A year and a half after the COVID-19 pandemic started impacting activities around the world, big events now appear to be back with a bang and their success – or otherwise – will prove something of a litmus test for the potential relaunch of the exhibition sector as a whole.