Hong Kong is the seventh largest source of foreign Direct Investment (FDI), and 18th largest export destination for Bangladesh. In 2016, the total trade value between Bangladesh and Hong Kong amounted to nearly US$ 1.7 billion. The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is a statutory body dedicated to creating opportunities for Hong Kong’s businesses. With more than 40 offices globally, including 13 on the Chinese mainland, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a platform for doing business with China, Asia and the world. HKTDC organizes over 30+ world class international fairs in Hong Kong, 11 of which are the largest in Asia and five are the largest in the world. HKTDC also publishes 20+ product magazines and industry supplements, undertakes business-matching activities and develops trade contacts through HKTDC’s online and mobile applications. Recently Johnny Wan, Director of Exhibition Marketing Department (DEMD) of HKTDC has visited Bangladesh to show business and investment opportunities via Hong Kong and HKTDC’s robust trade platform, which would assist Bangladeshi companies to look for new markets to expand their international business and to meet potential partners in Hong Kong. The director has discussed several issues with Textile Today. Here is the brief of the interview. The interview was taken by Akhi Akter, Sub-Editor, Bangladesh Textile Today.
Textile Today: Could you please explain us about Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC)? How has the company grown since its establishment in 1966?
Mr. Johnny Wan: Yes the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) established in 1966. Hong Kong is an international business, trade and financial hub and it is the biggest trading partner of the world. Hong Kong is Asia’s central business district and lifestyle trendsetter, the HKTDC helps showcase the strengths of Hong Kong services sector to the world, encouraging overseas and mainland companies to utilize Hong Kong’s services platform. The HKTDC response to latest global and regional economic developments and policies is to help Hong Kong SMEs capture new opportunities. There are lots of companies here which get support from HKTDC since its establishment developing rules and getting new markets, particularly in Middle East, South America, and Europe. We have strong international network. Of course there are many areas we can do better. We welcome opinion to revise promotion strategy program.
Textile Today: Will you please comment on the slogan of HKTDC ‘We are HKTDC, your business –our mission’? How could you help Bangladeshi industry, especially textile industry?
Mr. Johnny Wan: The trade council work as a platform for traders. The HKTDC organizes more than 330 trade fairs and promotional activities, 590 networking and outreach events, and receives some 640 trade missions every year to help Hong Kong’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) connect with business clients and partners around the world.
Bangladesh is now second largest exporter of the readymade garments in the world and we see that there are many potential for home grown garments producer to get more research to the new markets. So i think HKTDC is a great platform to expand Bangladesh garment industry through Hong Kong especially by the two Hong Kong fashion weeks, one in January and one in July. So the two events could be very potential to the company from Bangladesh. Bangladesh can get more market and create trade and business relations with Hong Kong and other Asian countries through participating in different trade shows there, including above mentioned two events.
Generally HKTDC exhibitions are cost effective than Europe and other Asian countries.
Textile Today: Business matching, which is dedicated to help global customers identify and screen potential Hong Kong business partners, How Bangladeshi businessman could expand their business by the process?
Mr. Johnny Wan: I think now a day’s Bangladesh has many customize service oriented company that’s why business matching can help Bangladeshi businessman to get proper buyers for their product. HKTDC Business Matching is a customized suite of integrated matching services dedicated to helping global customers identify and monitor potential Hong Kong business partners. We arrange personalized one-on-one meetings for suppliers and buyers, where we meet buyers in order to understand their sourcing requirements in detail, we pre-screen and shortlist suitable suppliers and then we create high-value, immediate business opportunities. So this is very effective to maximize their chances of corporation.
Textile Today: There is a big trade deficit in bilateral trade between Bangladesh and Hong Kong, What do you think about this and what are your suggestions for Bangladesh to reduce this trade imbalance?
Mr. Johnny Wan: I think we need more corporations between Bangladesh and Hong Kong companies increasing interest among the Hong Kong companies as Bangladesh’s company sell their product to the Hong’s market. In that case, we need strong trade relation from Bangladesh, so we hope that the trade gap between Bangladesh and Hong Kong will reduce.
Textile Today: What is your plan for future?
Mr. Johnny Wan: We hope to create long-term cooperation between HKTDC and different ministries and all the trade associations to deepen economic relations between Hong Kong and Bangladesh. We will try to make good relationship particularly with Ministry of trade, Ministry of IT, Ministry of culture and Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA). I think by forming partnerships with us the country can develop their business. By this, Bangladeshi companies will know about HKTDC and that will increase economic ties between Hong Kong and Bangladesh.
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