In this period of global market volatility and in the aftermath of the terrible events in the US and Bali, it is vital that we work together with our partners in Hong Kong and elsewhere to weather the difficulties and maintain our trading relationships. This is important for global prosperity.
China’s accession to the World Trade Organization has meant that the international business community is now focusing its attention on China and an increased number of companies are interested in accessing the market. This can only be good for Hong Kong. Although in the long run, it will be easier for western companies to enter the mainland market directly, the whole of China will not change overnight. In the meantime Hong Kong entrepreneurs with their understanding of Chinese culture and western business, can help SMEs navigate through the intricacies of doing business in China.
Pessimists say that China’s WTO accession will make Hong Kong irrelevant, that Hong Kong’s role as a middleman will be undermined and that Shanghai will take over from Hong Kong as a regional headquarters and international finance center. I do not share this view.