Hong Kong 2006
Chapter 5:
Commerce and Industry
Merchandise Trade Performance
The Manufacturing Sector
The Services Sector
External Investment
The Institutional Framework
External Commercial Relations
Small and Medium Enterprises
Promotion of Innovation and Technology
Protection of Intellectual Property Rights
Professional Services Development Assistance Scheme
Business Facilitation
Trade Documentation
Hong Kong Awards for Industries
Trade and Industrial Support Organisations
Standards and Conformance Services
Human Resources, Technical Education and Industrial Training
Consumer Protection
Trade in Endangered Species
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Trade and Industrial Support Organisations

Hong Kong Trade Development Council

The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (TDC), a statutory body established in 1966, is responsible for promoting and expanding Hong Kong's external trade in goods and services. With its global network of 40 offices, TDC helps its customers, mainly local SMEs, develop marketing opportunities, trade contacts, market knowledge and competitive skills. One of its primary goals is to project and uphold Hong Kong as the international trade platform in Asia.

The TDC has helped position Hong Kong as the exhibition and convention centre of Asia. It organised more than 30 exhibitions during the year, seven of which represented the biggest international trade fairs in the region. These events attracted more than 25 000 exhibitors and over half a million trade visitors, including some 270 000 from overseas. Reflected in TDC's exhibitions was the council's new initiative to promote Hong Kong as a technology marketplace.

The TDC continued to seek opportunities, particularly for SMEs, on the Mainland and in both established and emerging overseas markets. On the Mainland, the focus was on promoting Hong Kong as a professional, creative and financial services platform, a logistics hub, a partner for Mainland businesses seeking global opportunities and a prime supplier of fashionable and lifestyle products. In mature markets, TDC stepped up efforts to differentiate Hong Kong merchandise by highlighting reliable quality, stylish designs and adherence to stringent green and safety standards. Targeting emerging markets, TDC's role focused primarily on pathfinding and image-building to identify business opportunities for Hong Kong's SMEs.

In 2006, the TDC maintained a global databank of about 700 000 business contacts, facilitating worldwide users in locating business partners. It also published various trade magazines, research reports and practical guidebooks. Its online business newspaper Hong Kong Trader was read by over 500 000 senior corporate executives and decision-makers. The online publication CEO Express, targeting Mainland senior management, also helped strengthen TDC's advocacy of Hong Kong.

The TDC serviced six high-level bilateral business committees to help foster stronger economic ties between Hong Kong, the US, the European Union, Japan, the United Kingdom, France and Korea. To facilitate partnerships between Hong Kong and overseas SMEs, the TDC maintained close liaison with the Federation of Hong Kong Business Associations Worldwide, which provided more than 10 000 SMEs around the world with links to Hong Kong.

To achieve its goals, the council organises international exhibitions, seminars and workshops, sector-specific networking events as well as outreach programmes. It also provides information support and personalised business advisory services to the trade. In 2006, the TDC organised more than 550 promotional events in and outside Hong Kong. In addition to its pathfinding efforts, TDC's website tdctrade.com serves as a global trading platform for Hong Kong SMEs to facilitate business opportunities. The website offers insightful market information, multi-media broadcast content and business tools. It also provides an online trading platform for Hong Kong companies and overseas buyers.

Hong Kong Export Credit Insurance Corporation

The Hong Kong Export Credit Insurance Corporation (ECIC) was created by statute in 1966 to provide export credit insurance facilities for Hong Kong exporters of goods and services against non-payment risks arising from commercial and political events. The ECIC is wholly owned by the HKSAR Government, which also guarantees its maximum contingent liability, currently standing at $15 billion.

The ECIC provides a wide range of insurance facilities to Hong Kong exporters of goods and services for payments on credit terms. The Comprehensive Cover Policy, which covers exports, re-exports and external trade business for credit terms up to 180 days, is the most popular policy. Tailor-made facilities are also available for meeting the needs of exporters in different sectors.

The ECIC's total insured business in 2006 amounted to $38.6 billion, a 9.8 per cent increase over 2005. Gross premium income grew by 6.8 per cent to $166.3 million. Cash claims payments decreased by 4.6 per cent to $32.83 million.

The ECIC continued to strengthen its support to the exporting community by enhancing exporters' understanding of the essence of credit management. Banks generally accepted the cover as useful collateral in providing export financing to exporters.

In addition, it devoted extra resources to help exporters capture the opportunities arising from CEPA and the Pan-Pearl River Delta Regional Cooperation. In 2006, the ECIC celebrated its 40th anniversary and organised a series of seminars on trade issues for exporters.

Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation

The Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation was established in 2001 to offer one-stop infrastructural support services to technology-based companies and activities in a synergetic manner, ranging from nurturing start-ups through incubation programmes, providing premises and services in the Science Park for applied research and development activities, creating and sustaining a design cluster in the InnoCentre, to offering land and premises in industrial estates for production.

The Science Park will occupy 22 hectares of land being developed in three phases. Phase 1 was officially opened in June 2002. Construction of Phase 2 is expected to be completed in stages from 2007 to 2010. The park provides an effective research and development environment and support services to facilitate collaboration and synergy among its tenants under four clusters — electronics, information technology and telecommunications, biotechnology and precision engineering.

The corporation operates three industrial estates in Tai Po, Yuen Long and Tseung Kwan O, which together sit on 217 hectares of land. Developed land is provided at cost to companies with new or improved technology and processes that cannot operate in multi-storey buildings. The industrial estates have helped broaden the industry base and upgrade the technology level in Hong Kong.

The corporation nurtures technology-based start-up companies through its business incubation programme by providing low-cost accommodation and management, marketing, financial and technical assistance in their critical first years of operation. A new incubation programme was launched in 2006 to support design start-ups. The corporation also initiated a Small Technology/Design Enterprise Programme during the year to provide support services and office premises to graduates of these programmes to help them become full-fledged tenants.

Hong Kong Productivity Council

The Hong Kong Productivity Council promotes productivity excellence among Hong Kong companies.

The council provides integrated support to innovative and growth-oriented Hong Kong firms across the value chain, with special focus on the manufacturing sector, particularly in Hong Kong's foundation industries and related service activities in Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta region. Leveraging its expertise in manufacturing technology, information technology, environmental technology and management systems, the council adopts a three-pronged strategy to upgrade manufacturing technology and processing methods, help innovative industries move up the value chain to tap new business opportunities and to provide regional and global support to improve Hong Kong's business and manufacturing competitiveness.

Other Trade and Industrial Organisations

The Federation of Hong Kong Industries, the Chinese Manufacturers' Association of Hong Kong, the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce and the Chinese General Chamber of Commerce are among the oldest and the most influential trade and industrial associations in Hong Kong. They are cross sectoral and represent a broad spectrum of business interests. They aim to promote the interests of and foster relationship among their members. They issue certificates of origin, organise trade promotion activities, and offer views to the Government on general economic issues and government policies of relevance to them. There are numerous other associations representing specific sectors or interests and overseas chambers of commerce.

Established in 1960 by statute, the Federation of Hong Kong Industries has around 3 000 members, which are categorised into 27 groups. It operates a Q-Mark Product Scheme and a Q-Mark Service Scheme to enhance product and service standards. It also organises the annual Young Industrialist Awards of Hong Kong and the Industrialist of the Year Award.

Established in 1934, the Chinese Manufacturers' Association of Hong Kong has a membership of about 3 700. It organises the annual Hong Kong Brands and Products Expo, and helped establish the Hong Kong Brand Development Council which promotes brand building.

The Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce is the oldest business association in Hong Kong. Established in 1861, it has around 4 000 corporate members. It founded both GS1 Hong Kong (the new name of Hong Kong Article Numbering Association) and the Hong Kong Coalition of Service Industries.

Established in 1900, the Chinese General Chamber of Commerce has around 6 000 members. It maintains close contacts with trade organisations on the Mainland and worldwide.

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