Ireland was historically a farming country, and agriculture remains an important industry there though financial services, especially fintech, have since come to the fore. Conversely Hong Kong went from trade to manufacturing before becoming a global financial services centre.
Mainland China presents massive domestic sales opportunities. The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) led Hong Kong companies to participate in the China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai last year and helped Hong Kong companies find partners to introduce organic and healthy foods from countries along the Belt and Road to the mainland market.
Governments around the world have announced commitments and deadlines for achieving net-zero carbon dioxide emissions. Enterprises must keep pace with the times and adapt to a low-carbon business ecosystem. Businesses worldwide are adopting environment, social and corporate governance (ESG) policies, and investors need to take these issues into account when allocating funds.
“Elephants can be eaten in small pieces” is a saying that comes to mind, when faced with the task of moving Mainland China’s economy on to sustainable footing and achieving the stated goal of net-zero by 2060.
The global energy crisis and concerns over climate change have been concentrating minds on green transport – all the more so in Hong Kong where the clock is ticking on fossil-fuel driven cars, which will need to be off the road within 13 years.
Food and fashion fulfil people’s fundamental needs – something that’s recognised by Hong Kong-based innovation platform The Mills Fabrica, which is focused on cultivating start-ups engaged in these two fields.
The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government’s commitment to bring forward the ban on in-house single-use plastic tableware and plastic foam food containers to the final quarter of next year is good news for the environment. It also presents plentiful opportunities for companies and start-ups offering sustainable alternatives.
The work-from-home trend and a desire to shrink their carbon footprints has led many Hong Kong firms to switch to paperless workflow management and adopt a digital transformation. For example, since July the Hong Kong Stock Exchange has required that initial public offerings must be paperless, while AS Watson has spent HK$900 million (US$115 million) on technology this year to accelerate its digital transformation and deliver an online-to-offline (O2O) platform strategy.
With projects such as the Zero-carbon Building in Kowloon Bay (main picture), Hong Kong is rapidly taking a more sustainable route – and Mainland China provides much of the hardware for the renewable energy revolution.