Hong Kong Australia Business Association: Savvy entrepreneurs heading to Hong Kong


Key business forums and events in Hong Kong continue to assist Australian businesses make headway in Asia, writes the Hong Kong Australia Business Association’s Teresa Lee.

Hong Kong – toast of the wine industry
The success of last year’s HKTDC Hong Kong International Wine & Spirits Fair 2011 has firmly established Hong Kong as the regional trading point of choice for the global wine industry.
Government and private sector initiatives have been in place to promote wine trading in Hong Kong for a number of years, including the abolition of import duty on wine and speedier customs clearance into major Chinese mainland cities. Of these initiatives, the Hong Kong International Wine & Spirits Fair has quickly become one of the most influential.
In 2011 the fair became Asia’s biggest wine event, hosting over 930 exhibitors from 37 countries and regions. Visitor numbers set a new fair record with 19,400 trade buyers coming from 71 countries & regions, a 37 percent increase over 2010. Buyers from Italy, the Chinese mainland, France, Taiwan, the US and Australia all showed significant growth.
Hong Kong and the Chinese Mainland also boast an increasing community of keen wine investors and last year saw the introduction of the Wine Investment Zone; its success is an indicator of a great future for this zone.
The inaugural zone featured purveyors of fine investment wines such as Acker Merrall & Condit, the biggest auction house in the United States; wine agent Berry Bros and Rudd, a royal wine supplier since 1903; Liv-ex, the world’s only online wine-trading business; Octavian, the world’s largest wine cellar; and Wing Lung Bank, the first Hong Kong bank to provide wine loans.
The well-established Cathay Pacific Hong Kong International Wine & Spirit Competition is also recognised as Asia’s premier event of its kind. Last year over 1,700 applications were received.
Bill Calabria, Managing Director of Australian Westend Estate Wines exhibited at the International Wine & Spirits Fair for the first time last year, securing four orders worth a total A$500,000 with Chinese mainland and Japanese customers. The biggest order, involving about 60,000 bottles of red wines, came from a Chinese customer.
“This is only the beginning and I can see a great future for the growth of the Asian wine market,” he said.

*To join the Australian Pavilion at the 2012 Hong Kong International Wine and Spirits Fair, contact Toni Wade, Marketing Manager at the Hong Kong Trade Development Council’s Sydney Office on +61 2 9261-8911 or email toni.wade@hktdc.org.

The Hong Kong Forum
As a Cathay Pacific manager, and the President of HKABA-WA, Ian Mathison has played a leading role in the history of the Hong Kong Forum. This year’s event will be held on December 4 – 5 at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre and is followed by the SME Expo, free to members. Several delegations led by prominent leaders will be heading there.
“This is a most effective opportunity to network, in particular with trade relations between HK SAR/China and Australia,“ says Mr Mathison.
When the first Hong Kong Forum was launched in 2000, it had just 150 overseas association members attending the two-day event. This year’s event will have close to 400 participants.
“Now the participants have the opportunity to network with experienced market players from around the world and exchange ideas and information with entrepreneurs at the heart of the Hong Kong/China success story,” he says.

The Asian Financial Forum
In January 2013, Hong Kong also hosts the Asian Financial Forum – a voice in global finance. It brings together some of the most influential members of the global financial and business community.
Every year, over 2,000 senior industry professionals from around the world meet, network and hear from some of the leading players in Asia’s financial services sector. With the ambition to become “the Davos of Asia”, and now in its sixth year, the HKTDC has created an ideal platform for investors, regulators, industry practitioners and Government officials to come together to discuss areas of mutual interest and, most importantly to kick off their Asian activities for the New Year.
For the past three years, David Thomas of Think Global Consulting has led an Australian financial services delegation to the Asian Financial Forum.
Over a four-day program, designed to maximise each delegate’s time and interests in Hong Kong, David provides access to his extensive network of contacts through business matching, introductions and facilitated events.
One of the key features of each mission is the focus on individual business matching, to make it possible for every delegate to source, identify and actually meet the individuals and/or organisations that are of particular interest to them over the two days of the Forum. 

Upcoming Events:
26 Oct Business Awards Dinner
27 Oct Business Awards Dinner
Sept Annual Dinner

4-5 Dec 2012 13th HK Forum
14-15 Jan 2013 Asian Financial Forum
*To join as a member of the Association, or for further information on any events, contact hkaba@hktdc.org or T: +61 2 9267 3158


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