The Slovenia Times

Hong Kong - where business goes to grow


The business luncheon, 'Hong Kong - Slovenia: Opportunities in Hong Kong for Slovenian Business', was organised during the official visit of Mr Gregory So, Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. The event, organised by the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office and supported by JT Business Development, was attended by 120 managers and entrepreneurs interested in doing business in Hong Kong.

"The most important element of future leadership is connectivity" stressed the former President of Slovenia, Dr Danilo Türk, who gave the opening address. Connectivity, namely mutual cooperation and joint economic and investment opportunities between Slovenia and Hong Kong, was the "fil rouge" of the event.

This aim is obviously closely connected to the Belt and Road Initiative (OBOR), spearheaded by President Xi of China in 2013. The keynote speaker of the event, Mr So, gave an inspiring speech, presenting the main opportunities that Hong Kong can offer Slovenian businesses and a perspective on how Hong Kong could help Slovenia capitalise on the wealth of opportunities emerging from the Belt and Road Initiative. He started with the following remark: "Aside from the rich culture, heritage and beauty of this city and this great country, the desire to succeed and your entrepreneurial spirit remind me very much of Hong Kong." A good case of collaboration he referred to in his introduction was the recently signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Cooperation in Wine-related Businesses, The MoU will facilitate cooperation in wine-related trading and investment promotion, education and training, tourism, prevention of counterfeit wines and more. Agriculture Ministry State Secretary Marjan Podgoršek, stated: "With the MoU, Slovenia can make the best use of Hong Kong's advantages as a duty-free port, a regional logistics and business hub, and the world's largest wine auction centre," and added his approval of such events, as political visits open paths for new business opportunities.

Like the wine trade, many Slovenian businesses can make use of the unique advantages of Hong Kong to extend their reach to the Far East. "The unique status that Hong Kong enjoys under the "one country, two systems" principle, and our very strong links with Mainland China continue to make Hong Kong the preferred location for doing business in Asia. Add our fundamental strengths, including the rule of law, free flow of capital and information, a business-friendly environment, a diverse and international talent pool, and a low and simple tax regime." stated Mr So.

Mr William Chui, Regional Director, Europe of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council presented eye-opening comparisons between Slovenia and Hong Kong. "Slovenia has an area of 20,273 km2, a population of two million, GDP of US $44bn, GDP per capita of US $21,308 and trade with Hong Kong of US $65m. On the other side, Hong Kong has an area of only 1,104 km2 with a population of 7.3 million, but boasts GDP of US $319bn, GDP per capita of US $43,400 and total trade of US $1,146bn." So, it is quite clear that the size of the country is no limit for success. However, location and accessibility is wildly important. "Half the world's population is just five hours away," stressed Dr Wing Hin Chung, Head of Investment Promotion, Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, Berlin. He added that Hong Kong is an international gateway to Mainland China, offering unique physical and intangible connectivity to the Mainland with privileged trade and social access. Hong Kong has a well-established system that connects it to the international community in terms of the legal system, language, trade practices as well as a lifestyle which international traders are familiar with.

Dr Danilo Türk, former President of Slovenia, Brane Krajnik, CEO The Slovenia Times, Jure Tomc, CEO and owner, JT Business Development Ltd and Dr Danica Purg, the President of the IEDC-Bled School of Management, Slovenia, and the President of CEEMAN; (photo by Iztok Brodnjak)

Jure Tomc, CEO and owner, JT Business Development Ltd, claimed that there are many opportunities for Slovenian businesses in Hong Kong, especially in wine, clean technology, energy conservation, education, food safety and FinTech. To help the development of financial technologies (FinTech), the Hong Kong Monetary Authority is developing a new Faster Payment System to provide a round-the-clock, inter-bank, real-time payment platform. The government will also encourage the industry to make good use of the trial environment provided by the FinTech Supervisory Sandbox.

Being a global financial, logistics and trading hub, Hong Kong will continue to play the important role of a "super-connector" between Slovenia and Mainland China. According to Mr So, through OBOR, we expect to see soaring investment in infrastructure, deepening financial integration, expanding trade and the building of people-to-people bonds on a global scale. We will see if President Xi's vision for OBOR to emerge as a driving force of the world economy in this 21st century will come true (soon) but, for sure, Hong Kong is a place to consider if you want your business to grow.


- has earned the title of the world's most competitive economy awarded by Switzerland's IMD 2016 yearbook.

- was ranked the freest economy by the Heritage Foundation of the US for the 23rd consecutive year, once again affirming the steadfast commitment to safeguarding free market principles.

- offers commercial presence for over 8, 000 international companies

- boasts the world's fifth busiest container port, providing some 350 services a week to more than 500 destinations worldwide.

- has 700 shipping-related companies and Hong Kong's airport has been the busiest cargo airport in the world for more than 15 years.


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