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TDC News(HKTDC Electronics, Vol 01,2002)

Vol 1, 2002

TDC News

Deals Strengthen E-Trade Portal

Fast-Forward Strategy Applies

Euro Cash Claims Attention

Deals Strengthen E-Trade Portal

TDC deputy executive director Anna Lai (left) and Yahoo! Hong Kong general manager Alfred Tsoi (right) launch tdctrade.com's Int'l Web Cast Channel.
THE Hong Kong Trade Development Council (TDC) has forged strategic partnerships with PR Newswire Asia and Yahoo! Broadcast Services to increase information content on its popular Internet business portal, tdctrade.com.

PR Newswire Asia, a joint venture between PR Newswire and the Australian Associated Press, distributes news releases from corporations and organizations worldwide. Now these releases are accessible on TDC's portal, thereby helping to create trade opportunities for Hong Kong companies, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

"This useful information helps Hong Kong SMEs keep abreast of market and industry trends, policy changes and news about potential business partners. Hong Kong SMEs can seize ensuing opportunities and enhance their competitiveness," says TDC deputy executive director Anna Lai.

Founded in 1998, PR Newswire Asia is based in Hong Kong. Its chairman, John M. Williams, says, "Business news lies at the heart of global markets, and Asian markets set the tone for much of what is produced and sold around the world. News coming from TDC is a key aspect of the information flow."

In another deal, TDC and Yahoo! Broadcast Services agreed on marketing and technology arrangements to create a Webcast channel that stresses Hong Kong's global competitiveness.

The new channel, leveraging Yahoo!'s multimedia technology platform on the Internet, provides an array of TDC productions about Hong Kong's advantages.

"For overseas enterprises, the Chinese mainland's entry to the World Trade Organization is the single largest business opportunity in the world. Hong Kong offers outstanding advantages for those planning to expand their business activities in this region," Lai says.

"With the new channel, we can keep the global business community updated on opportunities in Hong Kong and on the Chinese mainland across all business sectors."

Yahoo! Asia broadcast services director Richard Pak says, "Our powerful digital distribution network enables TDC to deliver high-quality live and on-demand audio and video streaming to large audiences through the Internet."

Yahoo! Hong Kong general manager Alfred Tsoi adds, "On the marketing side, Yahoo! uploads TDC event listings, keyword search listings and monthly event highlights, thus helping TDC to expand its customer reach worldwide."

Initially, the new channel will broadcast four series highlighting Hong Kong's advantages as a centre for trade fairs, arbitration, merchandise trade and Chinese herbal products.

The channel gives access to a multimedia archive of more than 300 TDC programmes on the dynamics of Hong Kong trade and business.

Each day, TDC's Internet portal attracts up to 1.8 million "hits" while hosting a community exceeding 600,000 Hong Kong and overseas registered companies. TDC plans more enhancements in the months ahead.


Fast-Forward Strategy Applies

NOW that the Chinese mainland has gained membership in the World Trade Organization, its trade with Hong Kong may surge by 4-6 percentage points within four years, estimates TDC.

Therefore, TDC has developed a "no-time-to-lose" package of promotional opportunities and services so Hong Kong companies can move swiftly to capture this exceptional growth opportunity.

By 2005, most mainland market-access restrictions will be phased out under its WTO commitments. "Hong Kong manufacturers operating there will have more opportunities to sell in the vast domestic market," says TDC deputy executive director Frederick Lam.

Hong Kong manufacturers on the mainland will be able to engage in domestic and foreign trading, a combination previously off-limits to non-mainland companies.

"Mainland integration with the world economy will substantially benefit Hong Kong's services sector," says Lam. Yet there are no guarantees for the SMEs driving Hong Kong trade.

"China will open to the world, not only to Hong Kong. We must anticipate tough competition from overseas firms and from indigenous mainland suppliers," Lam says.

TDC is pursuing a programme of more than 100 promotional events on the mainland while devoting additional resources to its 11 offices there. Highlights of its strategy to help Hong Kong SMEs to penetrate the mainland domestic market are as follows:

Marketing Opportunities:

  • An annual Hong Kong Expo in Beijing to help Hong Kong companies expand sales channels nationally;
  • Sector-specific Hong Kong fairs in regional centers like Shanghai, Shenyang and Chengdu;
  • Networking missions to distribution centres like Yiwu, Shishi and Humen to help Hong Kong companies solicit agents, distributors and franchisees;
  • Numerous promotional options, such as study missions, road shows, seminars and exhibitions for specific services sectors.

Trade Contacts:

  • Upgraded trade matching services using TDC's database and network of overseas offices. A special trade-matching team will provide customized services for overseas and mainland companies to partner with Hong Kong counterparts; and
  • Road shows in North America, Europe and Japan to attract foreign companies to join those in Hong Kong for China business.

Market Knowledge:

  • An expanded China Business Advisory Unit giving Hong Kong companies individual advisory services;
  • Face-to-face advisory services extended to TDC offices in Shenzhen and Guangzhou; and
  • A one-stop China-trade centre on the Internet portal tdctrade.com.

Competitive Skills:

  • An e-commerce trade-utility hub on TDC's Internet portal; and
  • A series of training courses for trading in China.

Euro Cash Claims Attention

TRADERS in Hong Kong have been cautioned to heed the euro cash changeover and to determine how it affects their business operations.

"Euro cash changeover has a psychological and real impact on how business is done in Europe and with Europe, one of Hong Kong's major trade and investment partners," said TDC executive director Michael Sze during a recent seminar on the subject.

Entitled "Euro: Its Arrival and Practical Implications", the seminar in Hong Kong attracted an audience of executives, mostly from small and medium-sized enterprises. TDC, the Office of the European Commission in Hong Kong and the European Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong organized the event.

Euro banknotes and coins are now in circulation. The new European single currency will replace the national currencies of the 12 EU countries, namely Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain, thus marking an additional step towards European economic integration.

"It is crucial for manufacturers and other business people in a global trading hub and financial centre like Hong Kong to fully and quickly understand the impact and practical implications of this change," Sze said.

Hong Kong traders were advised to adjust their pricing strategies and marketing efforts accordingly.


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