By Kate Madley

Why should Welsh businesses look to Hong Kong as a trade destination?

The answers will be explored at a West Wales Exporters Association event held this evening (22 January) at Swansea’s Dragon hotel.

‘Enter the Dragon – Hong Kong the 1st step in to Asia’ will outline the opportunities for Welsh businesses in the region. Guest speakers include Welshmen, David Parker, Head of Investment Promotion at Invest Hong Kong, and Martin Evans, of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council.

“In recent years we’ve witnessed a major realignment in world trade as the centre of the global economy has shifted eastwards,” said Mr Evans.

“Underpinning this change has been the strong growth of the Chinese economy, which has experienced near double-digit growth year after year during the last two decades. During this time China’s trade with the rest of the world has grown at an average rate of 20 per cent.

“There are huge opportunities across a wide variety of sectors, from raw materials, manufacturing equipment, hi-tech products and luxury branded items.

“China is an exciting market for Welsh companies, but for many, particularly SMEs and those new to market, it is also a challenging place to do business.”

David Parker, a graduate of Glamorgan Business School, heads up InvestHK’s London office and assisted 29 British firms in setting up or expanding their operations in Hong Kong in 2012.

Hong Kong has been voted the freest economy in the world for the 19th consecutive year by the Heritage Foundation. With a familiar business culture and English widely spoken by its populace, there are few barriers to trade.

“Hong Kong is an ideal entry point for the mainland market because it offers a familiar business environment based on rule of law,” continued Mr Evans.

“It is also a level playing field for business, irrespective of where your company originates. Hong Kong is a major financial and trade services centre, well equipped to finance and facilitate companies looking to build their business in Asia.

“And in addition, Hong Kong has first mover advantage in China; its companies were the first to set up in the mainland when it embarked on its ‘open door’ policy in the late 1970s. During the last three decades they have gained invaluable experience and built up unrivalled networks of contacts in China.”

Tonight’s event gives exporters the opportunity to connect with experienced business people in this arena, giving insight into how Welsh businesses should best position themselves to enter the lucrative Asian market.

For full event details click here.

Songquan Deng / Photo