EXCLUSIVE: Hong Kong traders “increasingly worried” over US-China trade issue, sees ASEAN as a top new market

OPEN FOR BUSINESS anchor Caesar Vallejos interviews guest Mr. Billy Wong, Deputy Director for Research of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, on Saturday, December 8, 2018)

OPEN FOR BUSINESS exclusive interview with Deputy director for Research of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, Mr. Billy Wong, in Hong Kong

(Eagle News) – Hong Kong’s traders are “increasingly worried” about the ongoing trade war between the United States and China, and are now looking for new markets for their goods.

Deputy director for Research of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, Mr. Billy Wong, told Eagle News Service’s Online program, “Open for Business” that this was the sentiment in Hong Kong which is now looking for ways to “diversify” its markets.   And one of those markets is the ASEAN market.

Wong said that they see a lot of promise in the ASEAN market not just as a “consumer market,” but also as a “production base.”

“For the last two or three years, we have been emphasizing the ASEAN market,” Wong told Open for Business host Caesar Vallejos on Saturday, December 8.

US and EU are more mature markets, he said.

But ASEAN and other countries in Central Asia are new markets that Hong Kong traders are looking into.

-Hong Kong learning about new markets-

Wong said that Hong Kong traders are “starting to learn more about these new markets” and have been sending trade and study missions to know more about these markets and to establish business connectivity with them.

The ASEAN market, however, is becoming a choice for Hong Kong traders, not only because of its close proximity, but also because it is also considered a “more mature market.”

“We believe that the ASEAN market is another area that we have been pushing for in the last two to three years,” Wong said.

“We think The ASEAN market has relatively grown fast, and is relatively more mature than the other emerging markets. And it is closer to Hong Kong, it is closer to China,” he noted.

Wong said that Hong Kong companies also to some extent have a better access and better knowledge of the ASEAN market.

-Mainland China seen as another huge market-

Mainland China is also a “huge market” that Hong Kong is considering.

It is not just a consumer market, but also a potential production base, as well, said Wong.

“For the last ten years, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council is also prmoting China as a market,” he said.

Another unique trade relationship between Hong Kong and China is that Hong Kong is considered a “pathway” even for Asia-Pacific products to reach mainland China.

Because of the rising income in China, “there’s no doubt that China is a huge market,” Wong said.

The Hong Kong Trade Development Council is in fact also helping Hong Kong companies to “explore opportunities on the domestic sales of the mainland market.”

And this is “not just by producing products on the mainland and selling to the mainland, but also Hong traders can introduce overseas products” importing from countries such as the Philippines and the rest of the ASEAN, for selling into mainland China, Wong explained.

China is particularly receptive regarding products coming from the ASEAN countries, he said.

The taste of food products, for instance, from ASEAN countries, are quite closer to the traditional Chinese taste, Wong said.

And the price is not that high too.

Chinese businessmen also set up their trading offices in Hong Kong to reach overseas markets.

(For more information about what was discussed in the “Open for Business” interview in Hong Kong, check out: https://business.facebook.com/EagleNewsPH/videos/387416505334028/?business_id=1572172012832279. It can also be viewed on eaglenewslive.com)

(Eagle News Service)